From behind a frozen granite slab, the staff of Cold Stone Creamery uses twin spatulas to blend custom servings of ice cream and creative mix-ins to fit customers? exact specifications. Founded by Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone began under the hot Arizona sun, eventually spreading its frosty fingers to encompass more than 1,400 locations worldwide. Despite the size of the company, each location?s staff keeps up the handcrafted quality, making ice cream onsite every day and using those signature spatulas to create delicious pointillist art against the freezer wall.
The Carolina Kitchen is the most amazing and popular southern cuisine restaurant chain in the nation. It was created to offer its guest taste buds an amazing journey through the South. From the moment One enters, they are transported to another world; designed to stimulate the soul and indulge the senses.
Chef Timothy Dean, a former contestant on Bravo's Top Chef Season 7, builds gourmet burgers with certified grass-fed Angus beef free from hormones and antibiotics. Even though Dean honed his culinary skills under chef Jean-Louis Palladin at the Watergate Hotel and later at Paladin in New York City, he chose to focus on more casual cuisine for his own restaurant. According to a 2012 article in the Washington Post, Dean says, "I've always been in fine dining but I realized that people are just not spending that kind of money anymore." So he decided to pair his gourmet finesse with food that is accessible to everyone.
That decision paid off because his burgers earned him a rave review in the Baltimore Sun, which proclaimed, "The vibe is fast food, but the food – burgers, fries and gourmet pizzas – is worthy of white tablecloths." His burgers come crowned with classic toppings such as american cheese, vine ripe tomatoes, and bibb lettuce as well as inventive combinations such as The Baker burger with housemade jalapeño aioli and fried onions.
Along with signature burgers, Dean also features hand-tossed pizzas topped with jerk chicken and thai basil and sides of sweet potato fries with honey. For dessert, patrons may sip thick, handcrafted milk shakes in flavors including dark chocolate, vanilla bean, or strawberry. Sweets include red velvet cupcakes, Belgium chocolate-chip cookies, and Kahlua chocolate-chip brownies.
After more than 20 years of delighting family and friends with her decorated cakes, owner and head cake designer Sharon White decided to turn her love of all things sweet into a full-time cake-design business. Following the success of her 1950s-inspired shop, Nostalgia Cupcakes, Sharon was ready to test her sugar-sculpting skills on more opulent sweets, and so she left the retro-theme desserts in the past and forged a more sophisticated future with a custom couture-cake boutique, The Cake Courtesan. After just one year in business, the shop had already earned a spot on the 2012 Platinum List from luxury wedding source Grace Ormonde thanks in part to the detail of Sharon's designs, which have been known to include everything from giant handmade sugar flowers to frosting-based lacework. Her boutique crafts its gourmet treats in fresh, limited amounts every day, offering a long list of rotating flavors as well as daily favorites that prefer to sit still.
MOM's Organic Market helps customers live healthier lifestyles, both at the dinner table and out in the world. Each store’s stock of nourishing eats avoids additives and preservatives—and cartoon packaging that markets to children—helping shoppers fill up on treats while eschewing unnatural chemicals. The store’s practices also encourage healthy living with green initiatives such as offering used-light-bulb recycling and hosting holiday-light recycling events. MOM's also helps offset the CO2 created by customers driving to and from their stores by purchasing TerraPass credits that help fund carbon-dioxide-reduction projects. Additionally, select stores house electric-car-charging stations that enable eco-conscious shoppers to fill up their batteries, reducing their need to hire cyclists to pedal their in-trunk generators.
After admiring the lush gardens and historical exhibits of the stately and new renovated Riversdale House, sightseers often stroll the few blocks down to Calvert House Inn for fine dining. Built to pay homage to the hospitality and finery that the Riversdale House was renowned for, the elegant eatery now celebrates its 50th anniversary serving fine seafood to locals and tourists and has garnered praise from local news outlets. Pots bubble and hiss within the kitchen, where chefs fold oysters, shrimp, and scallops into a variety of classic dishes and craft their signature Maryland-style crab cakes from seasoned jumbo lump crab. The versatile chefs also extend their culinary expertise to a variety of land-grown specialties, including freshly ground burgers and premium steaks.
Out in the cheerful dining rooms, diners clink glasses of white wine in intimate booths, their faces illuminated by the glimmer of chandeliers. And to keep the mood convivial, these rooms play host to special events, including karaoke parties, Caribbean music nights, and performances from live bands. On Sundays, brunch diners raise glasses of OJ while live jazz music mingles through the air.