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.
Inside its modern, brightly colored boutiques, bluberi dispenses swirls of natural, nonfat yogurt and frozen greek yogurt before guests pile on spoonfuls of fresh, fun toppings. Confections in signature handcrafted flavors such as rich matcha green tea (seasonal), bluberi, mango, pomegranate, and original, form sweet peaks in cups, dappled with toppings such as fresh kiwi, chewy cheesecake bites, and coconut flakes. Guests can also opt for custom smoothies with plentiful fruit and yogurt options, or steam-clean eyeglasses with the aromatic vapors of organic, healthful loose-leaf Tavalon teas.
Yogen Fr?z has an interesting answer for yogurt shops that simply top their swirls with fruit?it mixes mango, bananas, watermelon, and kiwis right in with the yogurt. These colorful, fresh creations boast low or no fat as well as a heaping helping of digestion-friendly probiotics. Of course, customers of the shop?which has more than 1,400 locations in more than 47 countries?can still opt for a traditionally topped cup of yogurt, as well as for smoothies or cups topped with fruit, granola, and yogurt, that have similar nutritional benefits.
Though rooted in Korean culinary traditions, the dishes at Red Holic might feel familiar even to those foreign to that gustatory language. Seven types of kimbap—a translation of the maki roll—enfold everything from spicy squid to Spam within a soft blanket of white rice and sweetened radish. Similar to blood sausage, soondae encases noodles and veggies within pig intestine, toppoki dishes pair rice cake with egg or dumplings, and Holic meals frame sautéed beef or Korean-style pork as the centerpiece. As if the flavor profiles and colorful ingredient weren’t enough to entice the senses, Red Holic stays true to its name, surrounding guests in a crimson wonderland speckled with white-topped tables and solid black chairs. To fill the wall space, reliefs feature domestic themes, including clotheslines laden with pins and a watering can hanging over flowers, constantly suspended by the cooks’ telekinesis.
Tropical Smoothie Café's wholesome smoothies are filled to the gills with fresh fruit, juices, yogurt, chocolate, nuts, and healthful supplements, minimizing the crushing guilt of dessert consumption to a soft heartbeat emanating from the floorboards. Puréed potions ($4.59−$4.79) such as Pomegranate Plunge (pomegranate, banana, strawberries, cranberry) are stuffed with super fruit, and low-fat options, such as Mango Magic (mango, pineapple, non-fat yogurt), trick gullible taste buds into believing that they are traversing a candy factory full of whipped-cream lollipops. Supercharged smoothies are stocked with a healthy dose of supplements, such as the Kiwi Citrus Green Tea's antioxidant-laden matcha charge or the Muscle Blaster's whey or soy protein. Individual supplements can also be added to any other smoothie ($0.79 extra), boosting its magic points by +10.