The Marble Slab Creamery sensory experience begins by just walking past the storefront, where the buttery scent of fresh-baked waffle cones drifts out into the air. Gourmet ice creams are freshly crafted on site from Marble Slab’s original recipe, enticing customer's eyes with a rainbow of colors. Once clients have made a flavor selection, they choose from a smorgasbord of mix-ins, from fresh fruit to nuts to candy and crumbled cookies, which an ice cream chef then hand-folds in atop a frosty marble slab before packing the finished custom-designed flavor masterpiece into a house-made waffle cone.
In addition to procuring hand-held treats, Marble Slab Creamery can send creations home in a variety of other formats, such as ice cream cakes, cupcakes, and hand-packed quarts, or in the capable hands of a catering team for sprucing up special events such a corporate get-togethers or school functions with sundae bars in tow.
The staff at Orange Leaf rejects the oft-touted claim that Americans don’t care about nutrition. The problem, they say, has more to do with selection than anything else; most low-calorie sweets don’t hold a candle to a fudge brownie or a warm slice of apple pie. They kept this in mind when crafting their frozen-yogurt recipes, working tireless to develop a healthy—and equally delicious—alternative to the dessert status quo by turning to decadent confections and just-picked fruits for inspiration.
Their experiments thus far have yielded more than 60 frozen yogurt flavors, which take turns pumping through the self-serve machines that line their colorful shop’s wall. Before taking a seat in a bright orange chair, guests fill their dishes with cool, low-fat swirls of chocolate cheesecake, strawberry banana, and a classic tart that bites as pleasantly as a teething kitten. Juicy pears, crunchy granola, and gooey chocolate sauce headline a smorgasbord of at least 30 toppings ready to scooped or poured into cups before their final weigh-in.
Although Rosmond Duzich Thormahlen and Ryanne Duzich aren’t natives, their family, who has helmed popular local enterprises such as Fisherman’s Wharf and The Spot, has been contributing to Galveston’s small-business community for more than two decades. Today, the sisters continue that legacy at Farley Girls Cafe, where they whip up a made-from-scratch spread that, according to their motto, features "a little bit of everything." On weekday afternoons, diners can dig into salads, specialty pizzas, or sandwiches, such as the Mile High meatloaf—a thick slice of homemade meatloaf served on Texas toast. During weekend brunches, guests can create their own omelets or savor a slice of breakfast pizza topped with bacon, eggs, and cheese.
Charcoal-tiled floors and cream-colored walls help cultivate a relaxing ambiance in the dining room, and stained-glassed windows and lofty ceilings emanate an airy, elegant vibe in the indoor patio at the rear of the restaurant.
With a name like Mod, you might expect this coffeehouse to be a prime hangout for writers, poets, artists, and musicians. And you'd be right. But even if live tunes, local art exhibits, and neighborhood game nights aren't your thing, there's still plenty to love about this cozy, downtown Galveston hub—starting with the coffee. Baristas use fair-trade, organic brews to create espressos, americanos, and specialty sips such as white mochas and milky way lattes. The drinks pair perfectly with a selection of housemade pastries that are baked fresh each day, including muffins, rice-krispie treats, and teacakes. The laid-back vibe and comfy chairs make the spot popular with those looking for a quiet place to study or chat with a friend over a glass of specialty tea. Once caffeine cravings are under control, patrons can spend an evening drinking beer or sipping wine out on Mod's patio, which hosts live music every Friday night.
Marble Slab Creamery has used its cold-marble technique to fashion gourmet ice cream and frozen treats fresh in-store since 1983. At 541 locations across the world, customers look on admiringly as expert marble mavens take fresh flavors—including distinctive varieties such as peanut-butter banana, European-chocolate rum, and the pineapple-tinged piña colada—and blend in any of more than two dozen mix-in ingredients such as name-brand candies or fresh fruit atop a frozen marble slab. They then stick the concoction onto a bowl or one of the fresh waffle cones that staffers bake in-store every day. Marble Slab's confections also include ice-cream cakes, cupcakes, and dessert pizzas bedecked with sweet-cream ice cream and flavorful toppings.
Sweets Galore's cone-topping confectioners scoop and slice helpings of velvety Ashby's products into myriad ice creams, cakes, and drinkable treats. Surprising scoops ($1.95+) such as cherry-lemon cake and country-apple pie cozy up to palates and await chances to share a cone ($1.95 per scoop, up to $5.95 for five scoops) or comingle in a thick, blended milkshake ($4).