Jamba Juice blenders whirl together fresh fruit for healthy smoothies liberated from artificial flavors, preservatives, and high-fructose corn syrup. From the classic menu, the Aloha Pineapple thickens straws with pineapple sherbet and bananas or, with a different inflection, bananas and pineapple sherbet. All Fruit smoothies invite just 250 calories of Peach Perfection or Pomegranate Paradise into a fruit-exclusive clubhouse, while Pre-Boosted creations introduce natural supplements. The immune-boosting Açai Super-Antioxidant. Light smoothies bear fewer than one-third of the calories and half of the sugar of a Jamba classic, so mango-, orange-, and peach-infused sips of Mango Mantra cause less guilt than forgetting your mailman's birthday.
Tapping into the storied tradition of Lebanese baking, Zen Bakeries lets customers sample the fruits of a wood-fired brick oven in the form of artisanal flatbread and pita treats. Patrons can choose from either white or whole wheat for nearly all of the baked morsels. The shop's kitchen wizards mix and knead both varieties daily, ensuring that outdated dough such as yesterday's pita and two-dollar bills have no place in this world. Early risers can stop by for a freshly baked egg-and-cheese pita pie ($3.50) or side with sweet in its epic battle against savory by ordering an eye-opening Nutella-and-banana pita pie ($1.50–$3.50).
It takes but fresh fruit and a bit of ice to make many of Rita?s of West Haven signature treats, whose ingredients are made daily. More than 50 rotating flavors?such as Swedish Fish and mango peach?come in standard and sugar-free varieties to cool down most any craving. Customers can order their ices straight up or blend or layer them with decadent frozen custard in seven flavors, such as strawberry, coffee, and light vanilla. The custards come Italian ice-free as well, spiraled into cones or cups with sprinkles and hot fudge or blended with candy mix-ins.
When not serving the masses, Rita?s tends to the needs of local groups and organizations with fundraising opportunities. Sports teams and schools can organize money-raising ?scoop nights,? sell quarts of custard around town, or purchase gift cards.
At HSC, the bread-hugged, gourmet menu items earned the 2010 Best Sandwich vote from the Fairfield County Weekly —a victory achieved through a blend of fresh ingredients and fill-up portions. Positioned front and center on the café menu, the aged Vermont cheddar cheeseburger scores savory points by featuring all-natural patties made from unfussed-with beef. The rest of the menu reads like a musical playlist for diverse tastes. The China Girl jazzes up a chicken wrap with Asian elements such as the ginger-pineapple glaze ($7.95), and the Magnificent Seven tops tomato and mozzarella with pesto and red peppers ($8.50). The smear of Cajun mayo adds spice to the turkey- and ham-stuffed Fire on the Bayou, which is served warm ($7.95). The rest of the options include salads, breakfast food, and an extensive specialty café drink menu packed with sips that sound more like desserts; the Snickers or candy-cane lattes should satisfy a snappy sweet tooth.
Stockbridge's Gourmet Cheesecakes & Café's more than 45 varieties of cheesecake have won Connecticut Magazine's Best Cheesecake in Connecticut award for nine consecutive years and been featured in The New York Times. But even though its vast number of cheesecake and its selection of scones, cookies, and pastries would suggest otherwise, Stockbridge's is not just a bakery. The eatery also offers dishes to sate appetites for every meal, such as omelets, sandwiches, salads, and burgers. And unlike traditional bakeries and DMVs, Stockbridge's has a BYOB policy.