A lifetime proponent of good health and nutrition practices, Julie Pech heard a knock of opportunity the moment she heard of the health benefits of dark chocolate. She decided to approach her long-ignored dream of becoming a published author head on, and she quickly penned The Chocolate Therapist: A User’s Guide to the Extraordinary Health Benefits of Chocolate. Motivated to further share the healthy way to enjoy great chocolate, Pech then opened a storefront in 2008 where expert chocolatiers craft a host of healthy sweets each day from all-natural ingredients. While Julie has turned her attention to expanding the brand and opening new stores, new owners Jeff and Libby Nordeen are committed to continuing the mission of offering high-quality, hand-made chocolates. They have also expanded into gourmet beverages and now the staff also mix up hot lattes and cappuccinos from fresh-roasted coffee and farm-fresh, hormone-free milk, and pour cups of rich sipping chocolate that offer a liquid alternative to inhaling chocolate from your at-home vaporizer.
Each morning, My Favorite Muffin's bakery wizards twirl spatulas through gentle clouds of flour to craft more than 20 varieties of massive muffins. Forged from wholesome soybean oil and egg whites, these cake-like delicacies tumble sweetly across tongues like candy-coated Olympic gymnasts, and the menu showcases a delectable parade of cherry cheesecake, lemon poppy-seed, and cinnamon-crumb sweet-teeth bait served in a welcoming atmosphere. The delectable banana-nut megastar delights diners without resorting to slapstick peel-slides, and, like all of the eatery's confections, it substitutes the pride and care of tender doughsmiths for added preservatives.
For many, maintaining a healthy fitness regimen is an off-putting chore on par with cleaning the garage or assembling that backyard roller coaster for the kids. The folks behind Snap Fitness, who now boast locations all over the world, are of the opinion that this doesn't have to be the case. They believe 24-hour access to premium cardio and strength-training equipment, innovative easyFIT monitors to track personal progress, and perpetual guidance from certified professionals can help transform physical fitness into an accessible activity that yields measurable and tangible results. In addition to providing online workout rubrics and meal plans, they work to keep sweat glands up and running by offering work out rewards programs, making regular check-in calls, and measuring bodies—sans padded muscle suits—every 30 days.
Parry's ardently flaunts its affinity with New York–style pizzerias, from the Syracuse University memorabilia festooning the walls to its rich, thin-crust pies. Catch the nail-biting season finale of Antique Roadshow on a 42" plasma while enjoying 10 golden buffalo wings ($7.49) or an order of crispy fried mozzarella sticks ($5.99). Individual eaters can sate their singularly hungry belly with a calzone loaded with a trio of cheeses ($6.99) or meats ($8.99), or tackle a sandwich such as the meatball parmesan, carefully propped between a toasted roll ($5.99). Families, competitive eaters, and disgruntled discus throwers may be drawn to the 18" specialty pies, including Parry's combo of pepperoni, sausage, bacon, mushrooms, green peppers, black olives, and red onions ($18.99), or the supremely Big Apple–inspired Lil Avery's pie with a delicate blend of herbs, spices, and parmesan cheese ($15.99). Doughy dishes can also be constructed to individual clients' demands ($11.99+) with toppings such as anchovies, fresh basil, pickles, spicy italian sausage, and more ($0.25–$1 each). A suite of sumptuous wines and frosty suds accompany the zesty eats.
Steaming cups of english breakfast, chocolate-coconut, and masala chai tea tantalize taste buds alongside earl grey tea bread and hearty sandwiches on croissant rolls. Visitors to Moon Kats pair these nibbles, which include vegetarian and gluten-free options, with a variety of flavorful loose teas and tea bags that arrive by the cup or pot, as well as with an assortment of Amazing Origins coffee and tea ciders. Guests can mix and match teas and treats at their leisure or partake in prix fixe afternoon teatimes named Hansel and Gretel in honor of the tearoom's gingerbread walls. In between bites, visitors surf the net with free WiFi or stock up on brand-name teas and accessories from the shop.
The walls at Yogurt Yuphoria are as colorful as their selection of fruity frozen yogurts—green like the kiwi and red like the strawberry. You can browse through a row of 7 self-serve machines, which swirl with a rotating menu of flavors. There are even nutritional varieties including ones that are gluten-free, non-fat, have no sugar added, or served inside a food pyramid. Top off your treat with a scoop of candies and cookies or fresh-cut fruit.