Happy Cup's owners opened the business because they wanted to serve customers a frozen treat that was not only tasty, but also healthy. So they created a self-serve frozen-yogurt shop whose staffers crafted frozen yogurt from scratch daily using organic milk, yogurt, and sugar, as well as all-natural flavors. The proprietors quickly realized that people craved tasty, healthy food all the time?not just as a treat?and Happy Cup now fills that need.
Mornings there start off with a cup of organic coffee and organic steel-cut-oat oatmeal, a Greek yogurt bowl, or an anti-oxidant-filled a?a? bowl. Greek yogurt bowls are available in flavors such as peanut butter + jelly, pistachio + dark chocolate, as well as cucumber + olive oil + pita chips. A?a? varieties are offered in flavors such as Amazing Almond and the SoCal, a made-from-scratch a?a? sorbet with peanut butter, bananas, and almond milk topped with banana, hemp granola, cacao nibs, and honey. Lunchtime tempts taste buds with vegetarian wraps made with organic ingredients, as well as freshly baked goods. Happy Cup also satisfies with fresh fruit smoothies, which can be filled with protein-heavy Greek yogurt.
The Roman-Italian menu at Tonino’s Trattoria warms hearts with classic chicken, veal, and seafood plates alongside other saucy favorites. Pasta dishes include lasagna built from fresh sheets of pasta as well as linguini Amalfi, populated with chopped grouper, clams, and mussels beneath creamy marinara. The pizza chefs hand twirl crusts before transforming them into New York style pies or Italian pizzette, such as the refreshing margherita stacked with fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic, and pieces of a Venetian canal. The homey trattoria evokes an alfresco-Italian eatery with murals of canals and bridges and lush faux vines, which spill from cutouts in the walls and wind around the top of a bar stocked with martini mixings and wine. Tables await diners with classy trappings of thick white tablecloths and emerald-green napkins blooming from empty wineglasses, and with sun-and-shade season fare on the outdoor patio, where patrons enjoy light breezes from a cluster of tables ringed by a white fence.
Johnny Angel’s Diner is a 50s joint known for its burgers and fries, hand-dipped shakes and malts that harken back to a different era. Step right back to the doo wop days at the checkerboard tiled counter while sitting on one of the theme-appropriate peacock leather bar stools, or tuck into an overstuffed booth that comes complete with chrome trim. Menu options are equally of-an-age, including the Elvis breakfast special, which includes country-fried steak, two eggs and biscuits with sausage gravy, or a lunchtime sandwich like The King, a crusty grilled reuben done up with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss and Russian dressing on Rye. There’s often live music, a trivia night and of course, rocking karaoke to be had at Johnny Angel’s, making every visit its own unique party.
Uptown Market, in the revitalized historic Springfield section of Jacksonville, serves daily breakfast, lunch and takeaway items, freshly prepared with organic and local ingredients from area farmers. Unique offerings like stuffed crêpes, smoked salmon benedict and huevos rancheros make breakfasts here sing. Later in the day, homemade soups, salads and deli sandwiches draw a huge work-lunch crowd, including the Asiago roast beef sandwich and the fried green tomato salad, both of which are local favorites. Assorted cobblers, pies and cookies are made from scratch daily in Uptown Market’s industrial-chic space. The diner-style eatery is simple, casual and a little noisy, with lots of chatter and clattering dishes to go along with the affordable prices.
Like the Phoenician traders who set out from Lebanese ports in ancient times, the Barakat family has voyaged far and wide, spreading culinary excellence across three continents since the 1930s. Founded in 2008 by Pierre Barakat, Mandaloun Mediterranean Cuisine is the latest outpost of a dynasty that includes UK restaurants run by Pierre's nephews and his father John's original eatery back in Lebanon. Family tradition finds expression in recipes honed over decades, guiding chefs as they transform fresh ingredients into Mediterranean classics from veg-friendly falafel to meaty shawarma and kebabs. Sunlight glints off outdoor tables in front during the day, and belly dancers maze between white-linen-topped tables inside on some weekend nights.
For the cooks at Lila's Seafood & Steaks, no imitation seafood can ever compare to the real thing. That's why they never rely on imitation crabmeat; instead, they sell real snow crab legs by the pound and stuff mushrooms with actual blue crab and crab stuffing. Crab only skims the surface of Lila's selection, which ranges from conch fried into fritters to mussels coated in housemade seasoned butter.
Equally choosy about beef as they are about seafood, the cooks shape certified Angus cuts into half-pound burgers and 16-ounce T-bone steaks. To end feasts on a sweet note, the culinary team creates several housemade desserts, including peanut-butter pie, a more satisfying dish than peanut-butter cups that you pretend are tiny pies.