Before teaming up in 1953, Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins were seasoned business owners with their own ice-cream shops. The words “unusual varieties” shone high above each shop, signaling their respective owners’ passion for anything but an ordinary dessert experience. When the two got together, it was natural that they’d adopt the theme of “31 flavors,” one for each day of the month. Since then, Baskin-Robbins has introduced more than 1,000 flavors and opened shops with more than 5,800 franchise owners worldwide. Even their little pink tasting spoon has become a staple as a way to make flavor browsing an event by allowing guests to try specialties without paying cash or chicken-based trade for the privilege.
A sweeping floor-to-ceiling fireplace in a room illuminated with vintage chandeliers provides ample eye candy for the diners at Giselle's Restaurant. But the rustic aesthetic serves as the supporting character to the eatery?s true star: a panoramic view of Lake Swannanoa. Visible from any seat in the room, the lake offers rippling waters, boaters, and the occasional loon as guests sup on grilled steaks and chicken served seven ways. Chefs also ladle housemade bolognese and pink vodka sauces onto rigatoni noodles and build berry cobblers from scratch. At the bar, guests can nibble on shareable plates of fried calamari and coconut shrimp while sipping martinis and thimbles of wine.
Nature's Pavilion has inspired healthful hankerings since 1961 with a cornucopia of nutritious organic and vegan foodstuffs as well as natural health and body care products. Stock up on by-the-pound breakfast fodder such as the organic raisin-bran cereal ($0.79/oz.) for a heart-healthy breakfast undisturbed by nosy toucans. Herbivores and omnivores have ample access to ground-grown goodies such as Eden canned organic black beans ($2.59) and Woodstock Farms whole pod edamame ($9.99), as well as earth-derived vegan delicacies such as Dr. Praeger's italian veggie burger ($5.09) and carrots made from real carrots. Customers who prefer their meals meaty yet ethical quell hunger with Organic Valley boneless chicken breasts ($12.99/lb.) and Boves of Vermont organic meatballs ($9.99/lb.).
This cozy, unpretentious pizza shop furnishes parties and cozy nights in with repasts of wings, pasta, and pizza pies. Slices of pizza come embellished with selections from more than 20 toppings and sauces including pineapple, sauerkraut, white sauce, and ground beef. The shop’s Pizza Man sandwich delivers the flavor a pizza in convenient handheld form, much like a calzone or pizza in a hot dog bun.:m]]
Circles of fresh mozzarella, whole basil leaves, and fresh slices of tomato rest atop the aptly named fresh mozzarella pie at Frank's Pizza. The aesthetic diverges from Americanized versions of pizza; this pie adheres to the traditional Italian style. But that's not to say Frank's completely shirks American influences. Try the saut?ed sausage, fried calamari, or stuffed pizza for something a bit outside of the traditional, like an Italian ma?tre d' who questions if it is amore.
But if you choose to stick with one of the strikingly authentic Italian eats on Frank's menu, you have many options outside of pizza. Housemade focaccia sandwiches, veggie lasagna, and shrimp scampi present tempting alternatives.
The Little Food Cafe’s cooks assemble sauce-slathered chicken-pesto press sandwiches, fresh salads, and mile-high meatloaf in a charming café setting. Midday hunger pangs meet their match in refreshing entrees such as the avocado club, a bacon-and-avocado bundle that fires up tongues more than trilling the first words of their high-school fight song. Greens include Italian-style salads strewn with bite-size eggplant and provolone and taco salads adorned with ground turkey, cheddar, tomato, avocado, and tortilla strips. Alternately, evening eaters can avail themselves of appetizers such as meat-filled rice balls, fish such as honey-dijon-glazed salmon, and down-home entrees such as mile-high meatloaf.