Every day, Rita's serves up fresh, fruitified Italian ice (around $1.89–$2.89) in more than 30 flavors (several are sugar-free), including strawberry, root beer, Swedish Fish, chocolate chocolate chip, piña colada, vanilla, key lime, and the unearthly RitaBerrious (formerly Mystery Ice). Along with creamy ice, Rita's also sells icy cream. Case in point: Rita's famously frozen old-fashioned custard (around $2.49–$3.59), a robust dish that—like revenge—is best served cold in a cup, cone, or overflowing El Camino truck bed. Rita's custard involves a different freezing process than ice cream and boasts a higher egg to yolk ratio, for a creamy texture that makes regular ice cream feel like gravel sprinkled with sandpaper shreds. Rita's most popular frozen treat, gelati (around $3.45–$4.39), takes its cue from brunch, twilight, and sporks and blends two great things to create an even greater thing—in this case, the flavorful variety of Italian ice with the smoothitude of frozen custard. Rita's also offers an assortment of specialty Misto shakes ($3.49–$3.99), fat-free soft-serve Slenderitas ($2.49–$3.49), and frozen-coffee Ritaccinos ($4.25), all of which make for a tasty treat as well as a deliciously soothing topical treatment for chicken pox.
Something Delightful bakes up custom cakes, cupcakes, and more, welcoming confectionary devotees to linger over a sugary snack in its café area. Sugar seekers can follow the lead of a cupcake-hunting daschund or look for the bakery in its slightly hidden locale behind Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers. Successful sweet-questers will be rewarded upon arrival with their choice of a dozen original cupcakes—available in flavors such as red velvet, chocolate or strawberry cream-filled, raspberry delight, and more—or a fancier, sometimes shmancier, Top-Shelf variety. These embellished cupcakes delight the senses with a little extra flavor punch, such as the Black Forest variety, which tempts even the most focused red-hooded travelers with its pastry cream and cherry insides buried within a chocolate cake exterior and sealed off with a vanilla buttercream chapeau.
Planet Smoothie’s menu of custom-made smoothies are made from fresh fruit and hearty protein-rich ingredients. Patrons trying to add bulk via lifting weights or wrestling forklifts can sip on a Big Bang protein smoothie, a concoction of strawberries, bananas, and vanilla boosted with a protein Blast. Imbued with the salubrious plant extracts and essential amino acids of the fat-burner Blast, weight-loss smoothies help quicken metabolisms while suppressing food cravings, and cool-blended smoothies harness the simple flavors and nutritional benefits of fresh fruits. Planet Smoothie meticulously outlines its ingredients for those with food allergies, and one can study the nutritional facts for insight into which slurpable potion will best satisfy a ravenous craving for dietary fiber.
The husband-and-wife team at Sister's Sweet Creations collaborates with fresh ingredients to hand-make cakes, pies, and confectionary specialties in dozens of gourmet flavors. The shop’s cake pops make mobile cake consumption a manageable undertaking, as each bouquet of frosted orbs arrives gift-wrapped and placed into a bag or box for easy carrying or pulling from a top hat. In addition to cookies and brownies, the team crafts gourmet cupcakes that display rotating flavor possibilities such as chocolate mint truffle or hot fudge sundae. Tiered and sheet cakes let hosts customize desserts to match any situation, from a five-level wedding cake to a full-sheet cake that conveys messages such as "Happy birthday" or "Sorry for trying to cut your other birthday cake with a blow-torch." To craft similarly imaginative baked gifts and edible works of art at home, patrons may inquire about upcoming classes.
For many vegans, eliminating animal products is a decision made in young adulthood, a break from the traditions they were raised with. Not so for Plum Bistro head chef Makini Howard—she was brought up eating vegan from infancy, but it hasn't changed her welcoming, flavor-first approach to her food. As she explained to Eco Stiletto (who caught her catering a dinner party thrown by Casey Affleck and Joaquin Phoenix), “We want to make sure you don’t miss the meat.”
Seattle Weekly has concurred that the restaurant "sets an inspired and flavorful table for all," naming Plum the city's Best Vegan Restaurant of 2012. Its philosophy of accessibility means that the huge array of organic produce on the menu—root vegetables, purple cauliflower, trumpet mushrooms, seasonal fruit—takes forms that will be familiar to foodies of all stripes. There are gourmet burgers that pack their protein punch via jerk tofu and oven-broiled lentils; steaks of breaded portobello and herb-grilled seitan; and handmade pastas with sauces as rich and creamy as any made with dairy. A local favorite is the Spicy Cajun Mac ‘n’ Yease, a piquant take on a classic nutritional yeast–based cheesy sauce.
Servers bear the generously proportioned dishes—accompanied by beer, wine, and cocktails made from gin and even kombucha—into a dining room fronted by floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto the sidewalk in the summer. Its rustic hardwood floors and tables fit right in with the gorgeously repurposed Piston & Ring Building, an automotive manufacturing building constructed in 1926. Once they leave, diners dazzled by their meals can replicate the dishes with help from Makini’s cookbook, with pages of innovative vegan dishes that provide an alternative to casseroles made from all the lunches left behind in the office fridge.