Prudence Manolov is an artist. But you don't have to stand at a distance when viewing her work. Not even for the pieces that take her up to 20 hours to create.
She wants you to eat them.
Manolov's most-prized works of art are her specialty cakes, whose sculptural, airbrushed designs and unusual flavors have earned her feature spots on Fox-35 News and at events celebrating everything from marriage to a baby's first insulin spike. She initially honed her sugar-sculpting skills at a cake-decorating class at Michaels, where she discovered fondant and an outlet for her artistic talents. Along with elaborate cake creations, which have taken shapes ranging from footballs to seated mermaids, she and her bakery staff create gourmet cupcakes, cream puffs, cannolis, brownies, and other pastries.
One of the largest locally owned gourmet coffee and tea shops in the U.S., Barnie's offers more than 50 different gourmet coffees with 15 delectable flavors. Barnie's typically brews four different fresh coffees each day, and a ballroom of smoothies and lattes waltzes alongside mochas, espressos, and cappuccinos. Sit and sip a freshly brewed cup ($1.59+) or begin hoarding bags of pre-ground or whole-bean specialties such as Santa's White Christmas ($9.49/12 oz.)—a combination of Barnie's blended coffee with hints of coconut, sweet caramel, and vanilla guaranteed to keep you alert during the season when homes are most vulnerable to invasion by diabolically generous bearded elves. Recently unfrozen British cavemen can warm up with signature teas such as organic raspberry truffle and white-ginger peach, while all others can hose down tongue gardens with summer specials such as the Barnie Palmer ($2.29–$2.59), a blend of strawberry iced tea and mango lemonade.
Planet Smoothie isn't just a cute name. The smoothie shop actually does cover a significant portion of the planet, with locations all over the east coast and as far west as Hawaii. In their expansive geographical quest, they seek to change diets for the better with their products. The team behind this fruit haven lays down exactly what their smoothies are made of. What's more, they're up front about what the smoothies will do for your body so that clients can make informed decisions about their smoothie choices.
Their full menu catalogs fruit-filled drinks, with options to add protein powder for speedier muscle growth. They also mix in fat-burning blasts to suppress appetites and immune-system blasts to keep bodies healthy. The shop accommodates clients’ food allergies and dietary restrictions with gluten-free and dairy-free options as well. In addition, they only use natural, low-calorie sweeteners composed of agave and stevia that offer a healthy alternative to chemical sweeteners while avoiding the excess calories associated with traditional sugar.
At each Tropical Smoothie Cafe location, healthy choices abound with drinks consisting of fresh fruit and snacks loaded with veggies and premium meats and cheeses. The café’s colorful repertoire of smoothies runs the gamut from creamy, dessert-based indulgent creations to light and refreshing low-fat fruit options or frosty drinks boosted with supplements. Strawberries, bananas, and peaches mingle with exotic açaí and goji berries to form mouthwatering concoctions designed to deliver health-boosting antioxidants, essential nutrients and laser-vision-inducing vitamins. Drinks pair with ciabatta and griddled flatbread during breakfast and lunch, as well as with made-to-order salads and a host of wraps and sandwiches.
Though many fro-yo shops have sprung up in recent years, TCBY is no newcomer to the scene. Since 1981, its shops have been scooping, swirling, and topping their lower-fat treat in crunchy candy and fruity sprinkles—but that doesn't mean they've been coasting. They're still innovating, whether it's tweaking standby flavors or developing their signature honey-vanilla Greek frozen yogurt that dishes out protein and fiber without any fat. Fro-yo artisans blend up Beriyo smoothies in flavors such as mangolada and purely peach or infuse Shivers with a choice of sweet topping options. To celebrate a birthday or a jury-duty-selection-pool reunion, you can opt for frozen yogurt cakes and pies. The piece-accommodating treats are layered with frozen yogurt and rich toppings to forge flavors such as chocolate decadence and peanut-buttery fudge pie.
Italian Ice Paradise’s staff showcases its specialty for customers by heaping spoonfuls of the shop’s 12 flavors of italian ice. A row of picnic-style tables outside presents al fresco enjoyment of cups of Italian ice or, alternatively, scoops of Hershey's ice cream topped with hot fudge or sprinkles. In all, the haven for dessert serves 17 flavors of that Hershey’s treat, including strawberry and moose tracks—which are what moose trains run on.