Before Paul and Jared Smith came onboard, the company that became Great Lakes Chocolate & Coffee Co. had no coffee to speak of: it only sold chocolate by the bag, box, or individual morsel. But the brothers recognized how well their rich chocolates complemented a hot cup of joe, and by 2004 they started roasting their own beans. Today, those yield coffees such as the Black & Tan, a combination of dark and light roasts, and the Honduran High Grown, which is harvested on the wings of airplanes.
The coffees add a jolt to Great Lakes’ hot drinks, including seasonal selections such as the egg nog latte. Organic and decaf teas, as well as cold beverages such as frozen lemonade and fruit smoothies, round out the shop’s drinkable options, all of which complement this family owned and run business’ stock of sweet treats.
The drinksmiths at Kaukauna Coffee and Tea please the inside of mouths and mugs with fresh organic coffees, flavored lattes, teas, and specialty drinks. Start the day by savoring the rich aromas of a 16-ounce white-chocolate mocha ($3.75), or sip a 16-ounce cup of fresh organic coffee ($1.95) to energize before a morning commute or recreational space-shuttle launch. With the punch card, sippers can sample five different flavors from the menu, comparing the chocolaty tastes of the seven-layer mocha ($3.75/16 oz.) to the taste bud–tantalizing riches of the caramel royale ($3.75/16 oz.). Like the bar in the basement of the Smithsonian's warehouse, the café's inviting interior welcomes patrons to lounge on comfy couches amid an eclectic collection of antique lamps and artwork.
Serving up piping-hot sandwiches and pizzas alongside deli classics and frozen treats, Paradise Island sates uncontrollable appetites with a wide selection of menu items. Warm winter-chilled bellies with hot delectables such as the shredded barbecue-pork sandwich ($3.49), grilled-cheese sandwich ($2.59), or chili dog with cheese and onions lounging on a pillowy bun ($2.69). Similarly tame lion-sized hungers with the chair-and-whip combination of the honey-mesquite turkey-and-ham deli sandwich ($3.69). Sample an Islander pizza, which fuses together ham, bacon, and pineapple with delicious centrifugal motion ($5.49 for a 7"), or enjoy a poured bowlful of a daily special soup ($2.49) and chili ($2.99), after mouth crunching a fresh salad ($3.79–$5.19). Give hard-working kids a break from the after-school real-estate seminar circuit with a kid's meal, such as the sloppy joe or ham-and-cheese sandwich, which includes chips, soda, and a kid’s cone ($3.99).
Since 1977, the cookie craftsmen at Great American Cookies have shared edible sentiments via freshly baked cookies, brownies, and hand-decorated cookie cakes. The shop’s website caters to sweet requests with an online store full of preconceived designs searchable by occasion, recipient gender, and theme, including birthdays and holidays. Alternatively, nibblers can orchestrate specific decoration cravings and create unique designs to celebrate special events, such as baby’s first hedge fund.
At each Tropical Smoothie Cafe location, healthy choices abound with drinks composed of fresh fruit and snacks loaded with veggies and premium meats and cheeses. The café’s colorful repertoire of smoothies runs the gamut from creamy, dessert-based indulgent creations to light and refreshing low-fat fruit options or frosty drinks boosted with supplements. Strawberries, bananas, and peaches mingle with exotic açaí and goji berries to form mouthwatering concoctions designed to deliver health-boosting antioxidants, essential nutrients and laser vision–inducing vitamins. Drinks pair with ciabatta and griddled flatbread during breakfast and lunch, as well as with made-to-order salads and a host of wraps and sandwiches.