Fru-Lala celebrates the healthier side of dessert by arranging marriages between a selection of four frozen yogurts and a plethora of flavor-enhancing toppings. A small cup of the classic California tart flavor ($2.99) should be enough to convince your paranoid palate to lower its jawbridge and let in an invasion of French vanilla, espresso, and pomegranate flavors. From there, advance to more-adventurous flavor concoctions by nose-diving into a large cup of pomegranate yogurt ($5.49) garnished with a pleasant sprinkling of toppings ($0.35 each) such as kiwi, lychee, and grapefruit. Or go a little crazy by adorning a coneful of French vanilla with gummi bears, blueberries, and mochi and then smearing it over a tinfoil hat while making bird noises. Crumbling bits of graham cracker over an espresso scoop, on the other hoof, will bring back nostalgic memories of cooking coffee s'mores over your computer's heat vent during long cubicle campouts.
Though inspired by the northern California caf?s of the early 1980s, Espresso Royale fits right in with Michigan?s modern coffee drinkers?in 2014 readers of The Michigan Daily voted it Best Coffee Shop for the fifth year in a row. Their coffees include a house blend developed in 1987, which has since been joined by a seasonally appropriate autumn spice blend and a southern Italian-style espresso called Napoli. Royale's customers also clamor to the counter for favorites such as raspberry mochas, mint hot chocolates, and ginger dragon, a tea layered with fresh lemon and steeped ginger root that can be served iced or heated by a dragon named Ginger.
Although Jamba Juice is serious about using wholesome, natural ingredients, the company is a little more playful when it comes to the palate. In addition to their extensive juice menu, their commitment to simplifying healthy eating can be found throughout the Jamba Juice menu, from its Fruit and Veggie smoothies to its Artisan Flatbreads. Customers can also kick-start their days with six varieties of Energy Bowls?antioxidant-packed blends of fresh fruit, Greek yogurt or soy milk, and an assortment of dry toppings and fresh fruits like acai berries and strawberries?all made to order and packaged in a convenient portable bowl.
In addition to providing healthy options to customers, Jamba Juice sponsors Team Up for a Healthy America. The initiative is focused on improving childhood nutrition and fitness by encouraging fans to join the Team Up community of celebrities, athletes and other leaders committed to helping the nation stay fit?which you can do by visiting the main Jamba Juice website.
With nearly 600 stores serving Energy Bowls, Jamba Juice is the perfect way to blend in the good.
Two beady eyes stare up at you from a cocoa-brown complexion. The same color shades the creature's body, from its horns all the way to its spiked, yellow-tipped tail. With anticipation tingling through your fingertips, you stab it?with a chopstick. The beast is actually Mango Factory's dragon roll, a specialty sushi roll also known as Capricorn Island.
It's just one of many specialty rolls named for and modeled after Zodiac signs, like most driver's licenses. For instance, the signature Taurus Treasure bears the horns of the Taurus around a "head" of yellowtail, tuna, and rice with shrimp tempura. In addition to the whimsical sushi, chefs also create kitchen entrees (think teriyaki and seafood soup) and Asian tea and desserts.
Steps away from the University of Minnesota Campus, Mapps Coffee permeates rich local culture and the aroma of fresh, house-roasted coffee. Each cup of flavorful java and tea is sourced from the shop's direct-trade partnerships, which award farmers a fair price for their labor and goods without interference from middlemen, huge conglomerates, or monocle-wearing robber barons. Surrounded by colorful canvases painted by local artists, live musicians strum and sing as their audience sips sweet apple cider, chai, and rich Turkish coffee and espresso. Iced lattes and warm mugs of hot chocolate triumphantly arrive wearing a crown of whipped cream.
Born in Vietnam and raised in the United States by Chinese parents, chef Nina Wong has always infused her dishes with a variety of Asian tastes. After marrying Thomas Gnanapragasam—a third-generation Malaysian of Indian descent—Wong discovered more unique flavors to integrate into her signature sauces and syrups. Originally opened in 2005, Chin Dian Café channels the pair's unique backgrounds through Asian soups, salads, and noodle and rice dishes, even offering some gluten-free options. Popular dishes, such as chow mai fun and chicken-and-chive dumplings, keep patrons rolling in and have earned the restaurant media acclaim from the Star Tribune, Minnesota Monthly, and the dictionary.