The amiable bakers at Cow Chip Cookies drop 11 types of dough onto sheets before baking their signature cookies to a golden finish. Fresh ingredients from The Butter Creek Farm are used to craft cookies available in flavors such as classic chocolate chip with Ghirardelli chocolate and Mock Baby Ruth cookies featuring a peanut-butter-and-oatmeal cookie-dough base spotted with chocolate and butterscotch chips. As the cookies drop, each one takes on its own slightly different shape, just like a handmade pillow filled with shredded college rejection letters. Gift boxes delight recipients with heart-shaped treats, seasonal shapes, or custom flavor combinations.
Since Frank Tonkin Sr. opened his first Taco Time in 1962, each location has hand-chopped its own vegetables and concocted pots of fresh-cooked pinto beans every morning. Try the classic beef crisp burrito ($2.79) or its meat-free cousin, the veggie soft taco ($4.69), with a side of spherical, seasoned Mexi-fries ($1.69 for a regular). Watch your figure through southwest chop-salad-colored glasses, with black bean and corn salsa, pico de gallo, and mixed veggies ($5.59). Or opt for a cup of white chicken chili, another of many healthy options at just 139 calories ($1.99).
With more than 845 locations, Jamba Juice proves to the masses that nutrition can be speedy and delicious. Since the beginning, the company’s product philosophy has revolved around choosing whole fruits and other natural ingredients over artificial flavorings, sweeteners, and preservatives. The menu is completely free of high-fructose corn syrup and trans fats, and it offers additional accommodations for vegan and gluten-free diets.
This naturalistic approach is fully realized in Jamba Juice's selection of smoothies. Made with 100% fruit juice, sherbet, and frozen yogurt, the frosty delights range from all-fruit smoothies such as Peach Perfection and Strawberry Whirl to more indulgent creamy treats, including Peanut Butter Moo'd, an enticing blend of peanut butter, bananas, nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt, and milk chocolate. The lunch hour presents toasted bistro sandwiches and California Flatbreads that pack only about 320–420 calories each.
In addition to providing healthy eats to customers, Jamba Juice sponsors Team Up for a Healthy America. The initiative fights childhood obesity while encouraging fans to join the Team Up community of celebrities, athletes and other leaders committed to getting kids active—which they can do by visiting the main Jamba Juice website.
Ishtar Greek & Mediterranean Cuisine is named for an ancient Mesopotamian goddess of love, and the restaurant itself is a love letter to the Middle Eastern home of Iraqi immigrant and founder Alaa Hamadi. Inside, the smell of grilled lamb and chicken floats through in the air as arabic music softly plays, transporting the senses to the Persian Gulf and its surrounding cultures—the best of both worlds for Hamadi, who, as he told The Thunderword, fled Iraq in 1991 to escape the oppressive regime. Today, the large halal menu reaches beyond Persian cuisine to embrace Greek dishes and a few American standards, ranging from fluffy falafel balls to skewered beef and lamb morsels to gyro meat hand carved into the shape of the Mediterranean Sea. Huge windows run around the dining room's perimeter and wrap up onto the ceiling, and on sunny days, bamboo shades pulled over them give the impression of dining beneath a rustic arbor as light filters down through grape vines.
In addition to earning the title of Best Macro Brew in Roast magazine's 2011 Roaster of the Year Competition, Dillanos Coffee Roasters coffee—made at its Sumner, Washington headquarters—also fills cups at Urban Timber Coffee. Urban Timber's various in-state locations also brew other caffeinated drinks, such as caramel macchiatos and white-chocolate mochas. Other Northwest-made ingredients flavor its coffee alternatives, which include apple cider and protein smoothies. Goods sourced from local bakeries sweeten mornings, and candy toppings add an extra-sweet kick to create-your-own frozen yogurts.
Though its robust coffees provide the backbone of each storefront, not every Urban Timber Coffee offers the same delicacies or experiences. Microbrews and wine populate the beverage counter at its Kent location, for instance, which also requires a secret handshake to prove you’re 21 or older.