Qdoba's burrito baristas handcraft a catering menu of Mexican-inspired cuisine, customizable with a panoply of fresh ingredients for a taco, nacho, or burrito bar. Qdoba's culinary crafters craft succulent fillings for burritos, tacos, nachos, and quesadillas, including protein-packing choices, such as slow-roasted pulled pork, adobo-marinated grilled steak or chicken, and spiced shredded or ground beef, with vegetarian options also available. Taste the gooey flavor accents of the signature queso sauce, a three-cheese blend with roasted poblanos, tomatoes, and jalapeños, the pinto or black beans simmered in cumin and onion, or the creamy, hand-smashed guacamole that's ideal for filling up Queen Elizabeth's diamond-studded guacamole chalice. Tortilla chips with salsa bar and desserts complete each catered event, and customers can opt for burrito-boxed lunches and any add-ons.
At Nubi Yogurt, customers decorate blends of self-serve frozen yogurt with seasonal fruit slices and slivers of chopped-up candy. Georgia-peach- or pineapple-flavored yogurt waits for a complimentary showering of kiwi slices and mocha beads, while café-latte yogurt perks up customers with caffeinating chunks of Snickers or Kit-Kat. Most of the shops’ smooth, sinful flavors are fat-free, and are made with live-cultured probiotics that can help improve digestion. Each Nubi location boasts a bright, contemporary atmosphere with wireless internet, satellite radio tunes, and sleek tables polished enough to admire your new fro-yo moustache in.
Although it now has more than 430 locations in 28 countries, Hooters wasn’t always welcomed by the public. In fact, when it opened in October 1983 in Clearwater, Florida, the founders of the restaurant were “quickly detained for impersonating restaurateurs,” according to the company's website. But the restaurant was able to prove it was more than just a pretty face—that it was serious about serving tasty American food and frosty brews—and its popularity exploded in the decades to follow.
Amid its beach-themed vibe and flat-screen TVs, Hooters still fuels appetites with original chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, and fresh salads. Of course, nobody carries those casual eats and icy pitchers better than the Hooters girls. To complement their friendly smiles, their uniforms harken back to the ones the original waitresses wore in 1983: orange hot shorts and white tank tops with the emblematic owl on the front—though that owl has lost its Lionel Richie perm.
Juicy tidbits of chocolate-dunked fruit arrive on the doorsteps of family and friends, done up in colorful bouquets and candy boxes by the skilled fruit arrangers at Edible Arrangements' more than 1,100 franchises worldwide. The company's in-house chocolatiers drizzle albion strawberries and daisy pineapples in a trio of chocolate flavors. Once properly chocolated, the workers organize the preservative-free sweets into lush arrangements that resemble flowers in bloom. Customers can choose to plop their bouquets in a variety of vessels, including vases, mugs, and sports- or holiday-themed containers that add a personal touch to the edible gifts. Alternatively, customers can opt to adorn gifts with the cheery, red lids of candy boxes, nestling 12 chocolate-dipped morsels inside to build anticipation and determine if loved ones have x-ray vision as they guess whether fruit will come dusted in shredded coconut or drizzled in white chocolate.
Painted berry pink, tangerine orange, and mint green, even the walls at Sweet Tart Frozen Yogurt look good enough to eat. Along a glass-tiled wall, customers pull levers to fill their cups with their choice of sweet or tart yogurt flavors, inspired by fresh fruits or popular desserts. Next, they move to the gleaming-white toppings bar, where silver basins overflow with fruits, candies, and nuts waiting to be sprinkled atop peaks of yogurt so they can slide down them on tiny little skis. There are no rules here, so patrons can come up with their own combinations, whether they top cake-batter yogurt with peanut-butter cups and chocolate sauce or blueberry-açaí-banana yogurt with brownie bites and butterscotch.
A fourth-generation California grocer, Martin Goodwin has focused his new store on supplying fresh fruits and vegetables and preparing meals free of the chemicals, sugars, and fats rampant in processed foods. Inside the store, shoppers can explore grocery aisles or check the deli counter for organic salads, sandwiches, pizza, sushi, or soups. A juice bar serves up cool, healthy drinks, as well as Goodwin's own line of locally roasted Vitalita coffee. Baristas make each cup with a rare Clover machine, an $11,000 device that the New York Times called “standard equipment at some of the country’s most progressive cafes.”
With healthy, fast fare and drink in hand, guests can slide into one of Goodwin's lounge seats and plug in electronics at nearby outlets, which let students focus on their work rather than spurring on the hamster jogging inside their laptop’s charging wheel.