Maggie Moo’s preps its premium super-soft ice cream daily. Each location churns its own batches, eliminating the risk of freezer burn and motion sickness in the delicately structured compound. The Dream Cake for Two starts with a molten base of rich chocolate cake, with a heaping cylinder of strawberry ice cream perched upon it. Chocolate ganache covers the peak and runs down the sides like the springs of a magic chocolate mountain. A dipped strawberry perches at the summit, the lonely monarch of a fleeting empire. Spoon a couple of soft globs of champagne sorbet into a glass slipper to join the dessert foray. The quart will likely outlast your feast, leaving you extras for the next day.
Outside of swimming laps in chocolate syrup, smoothies at Smoothie King are the tastiest way to improve your health. Smoothie King smoothies combine fresh fruit, natural juices, and special nutritional enhancers into more than 90 flavors (you can customize, add, and subtract the extras), all of which focus on achieving one of seven nutritional goals. Try an antioxidant-rich Pomegranate Punch with pomegranate, bananas, blueberries, apple juice, soy protein, and Turbinado sweetener to stay healthy. Weight-conscious en-smuthiasts can trim down and float away with the Celestial Cherry High, packed with bananas, black cherry, papaya, Turbinado, and honey, and unpacked with fat. You can also customize any smoothie by adding enhancers or “make it skinny” by cutting out the honey and Turbinado.
In a world filled with loveless industrial snack patties, the baked goods at Ricki's Cookie Corner and Bakery go above and beyond normal cookie protocol to provide just enough sweetness to heal psychic wounds. The cookie that sparked the Ricki revolution, the world-famous chipsticks ($6.85 per pound), are a wallet-shaped slice of chewy excellence stuffed with chocolate chips and optional walnuts, also available in peanut butter for George Washington Carver fans. The chocolate marshmallow brownie ($6.85 per pound) is a gooier endeavor ideal for negating awkward silences. Sweet and soft cinnamon buns ($5.70 for six) provide an excellent option for those looking to indulge their sweet tooth before lunchtime without getting judged by a counsel of their peers.
In 1997, friends Dena Tripp and Debra Shwetz set out to create a luscious, melt-in-your-mouth bundt cake. What began as an endeavor in their own home kitchens soon blossomed into a bustling business with bakeries in 21 states. Rich cocoa browns and soft pastels lend a nostalgic feel to each bakery, where every day ovens warm up cake batter made from fresh eggs, real butter, and cream cheese. Flavors such as chocolate chocolate chip, red velvet, and white-chocolate raspberry are favorite staples, and a new seasonal flavor makes a guest appearance each month. Cakes come in several sizes, from the standard 8- or 10-inch bundt to the single-serving bundtlet and the bite-size bundtini, all crowned with signature cream cheese frosting.
Smoothie King's blended-brew tycoon, Steve Kuhnau, reigns over more than 600 locations, mixing up a menu of nutritious sips since the 1960s. A waist-conscious trio of papaya, bananas, and strawberries casts a slender shadow as it leaps into the Caribbean Way, a drink that can be further slenderized by removing its turbinado sweetener or by enrolling it in boot camp ($4.49/20 oz.; $6.49/32 oz.; $7.99/44 oz.). Customers can slurp on the Angel Food's heavenly swirl of low-fat banana, strawberry, and vanilla flavors, contained within a frosty fusion that's less than 400 calories. The coffee smoothie mocha revivifies sluggish souls with a velvety java elixir that packs an energizing punch powerful enough to transform any sleepyhead into a fast-talking auctioneer. Meanwhile, whey and egg whites team up in the Gladiator, a low-carb, high-protein meal replacement designed to beef up physiques with a choice of two fruits.
At City East Bagel and Grille, cooks craft New-York-style bagels from scratch right in the restaurant kitchen. The doughy rings come in 16 flavors, ranging from banana nut to sun-dried tomato, and visitors can choose from eight toppings—including butter, jelly, and four flavored cream cheeses. In the dining room—decorated with black-and-white photos of old Memphis—they can also tuck into hearty breakfast and lunch dishes, from a piping-hot pastrami sandwich to breakfast skillets brimming with eggs, grilled potatoes, and peppers.