Ben & Jerry's came from humble beginnings?in 1978, its eponymous founders served ice cream out of a renovated Burlington gas station, and delivered pints of their now-classic flavors to grocery stores out of the back of Ben's VW Squareback wagon. Today, its myriad shops dispense cups, cones, shakes, and smoothies brimming with a variety of quirky flavors, including Phish Food and Cherry Garcia, named for famous revolutionary Cherry Garcia. Ben & Jerry's also offers Greek frozen yogurt in flavors such as banana peanut butter, raspberry fudge chunk, and blueberry vanilla graham. The duo is famous for their social responsibility, which is evident in their community activism and in their use of fair-trade products, such as cage-free eggs and sustainable, growth-hormone-free dairy.
Soro Chill and Grille's glass-lined door stands as a gateway to creative drinks, contemporary Southern cooking, and the sounds of local bands strumming familiar tunes. The menu unfolds to reveal appetizers brimming with seafood and creole sauces meant to be sopped up with crusty french bread or unusually absorbent mustaches. Entrees of pasta, steaks, and roast chicken follow the same Southern traditions by donning Cajun blackened spices or piquant barbecue sauce, inspiring diners to finger paint plates with love letters to the chef. Soro's commitment to supporting the community extends past menu ingredients to locally made furniture and live music performed by Roanoke artists. The welcoming stone fireplace warms guests, and a large communal table encourages mingling or 30-person games of patty-cake.
Like a good book, the frozen-yogurt flavors at Frogurt can transport you to another time and place: there are flavors from exotic locales, such as Hawaiian pineapple and Tahitian vanilla. There?s a hint of summertime in their pink-lemonade sorbet, too, and it?d be easy to imagine celebrating your birthday in a cryogenic chamber with the birthday-cake-flavored frozen yogurt. Every day, 10 of these flavors occupy self-serve machines set against Frogurt's colorfully tiled walls. Many of them are sugar-free, low-fat, nonfat, or dairy-free and provide a healthy boost of probiotics. Feel free to personalize each serving with any of 95 kinds of toppings, such as peanuts, fruit boba, berries, and even breakfast cereals; at the register, you?ll be charged by the ounce.
The quality products at Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op do more than nourish bodies?they also nourish the local community. The store's shelves and coolers feature vegetables grown without synthetic insecticides, humanely raised meats, organic dairy products, and farm-fresh eggs. It's all in keeping with the co-op's original mission (now in its fourth decade): provide the public with high-quality, nutritious foods, many of which are sourced from nearby farms.
Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op holds itself to the same strict standards as the farms it buys from, with an emphasis on sustainable farming practices such as efficient water usage and recycling. They even chose to invest their own time and overalls by purchasing Heritage Point Farm. The farm's 25 acres of land provides co-op shoppers with fresh salad greens, herbs, and all natural eggs.
So Unique Candy Apples satisfies sweet teeth with a selection of more than 60 different flavors of candy apples, made by hand in Roanoke, Virginia. Clients delight loved ones or treat themselves to fruits smothered in rich chocolate, chewy brownies, birthday cake, or colorful hard candy.
At First & Sixth, inside the historic Patrick Henry building, chefs take a fusion approach to their food. Strip steaks, blackened catfish, and crab cakes are dressed up with southern flourishes such as cheese grits, tasso gravy, and collard greens. The chefs also design southern-style Dr. Pepper glazes for pork, bourbon marinades for steak, and a corn-liquor barbecue glaze for salmon.
Servers ferry these dishes to tables and booths nestled beside cream-colored walls hung with decorative branches. In the Penny Deux Lounge, patrons at the bar, a replica of the Patrick Henry Hotel front desk, sip cocktails while bobbing their heads to live music on weekends. Both the restaurant and the lounge take their names from local history: the restaurant gets its moniker from Patrick Henry, the first and sixth post-Colonial governor of Virginia. The lounge gets its name from Henry’s famous court case, the Two Penny Act, which stipulated that businesses must always give two pennies as change and never four ha’pennies.