Visual Utopia bistro offers an upscale dining experience with panoramic views of the Mesa. Let peckish peepers eat up the scenery while the bruschetta platter with melted brie, candied pecans, and apple primes the palate ($7). Or, tantalize your tummy with a mountain of spinach salad drizzled with pineapple-bacon dressing and topped with hard-boiled egg and goat cheese ($10.95). The hand-tossed barbecue-chicken pizza introduces chicken and barbecue sauce to mozzarella, red onions, and cilantro, facilitating a friendship as satisfying as a Tom and Jerry reunion ($12.50). Just like ambition to pursue guinea-pig rodeo clowning, dinner specials fluctuate weekly, but in the past have included options such as the grilled trout with tomato-cilantro chutney ($16.95) and the 14 oz. New York strip steak ($18.95).
At more than 2,600 stores in more than 30 countries, Dunkin' Donuts serves coffee and iced beverages, fresh-baked donuts and desserts, and savory breakfast sandwiches. Since Bill Rosenberg opened the first location in Quincy, MA, in 1950, the donut shop has blossomed into a one-stop coffee and breakfast restaurant familiar to millions of morning rushers and afternoon sippers.
Behind the counter of each location, glazed french crullers twist and curve like Parisian city streets, and Bavarian Kreme donuts are filled with a sweet, golden custard. A cavalcade of meats is available for piling onto breakfast sandwiches, such as sausage, cherrywood-smoked bacon, or ham enveloped with fluffy eggs and melty cheese between a choice of crisp crusts. Health-conscious risers can fuel strenuous bouts of lifting cars in the drive-thru line with a Wake-Up wrap, which offers options such as egg whites with turkey sausage or veggies that add up to as few as 150 calories. Both sweet and savory selections pair well with a freshly brewed cup of coffee or a creamy, frozen Coolatta drink.
Though commuters can snag a quick pick-me-up within minutes, the wafting aromas of baking confections invite patrons to sit inside and embark on nostalgic reminiscences of syrup-coated playground slides. Beyond the bakery walls, the company aims for social responsibility with its support of community volunteer efforts and use of 100% fair-trade-certified espresso beans.
Owner Carolyn Redendo and Chef Anthony Redendo make sharing and sampling easy at their Puerto Rican restaurant with an extensive selection of tapas. Operating out of a one-stove kitchen, Chef Redendo crafts Sofrita’s bite-size, shareable plates along with traditional Puerto Rican entrees such as 12-hour cooked pork, grilled salmon, and beef pot roast. Breadboards emerge from the kitchen carrying bruschetta laden with sweet cream cheese, roasted eggplant, or a host of other topping options. In all his dishes, Chef Redondo relies on family recipes and influences of Spanish-Latin flavors and street foods. The Redendos invite guests to share plates in a dining room bursting with warm, bright colors, or out on the lively patio, which features views of one of the world’s tallest fountains. During the week, the restaurant’s Puerto Rican spirit is enhanced by live guitarists, singers, and flamenco shows.
Most menus avoid making outright suggestions about what to order. The author of Mountainview Coffee’s menu, however, couldn’t resist the urge to talk up the scones. It’s fair to say that these scones would draw crowds even without such an overt endorsement. They are baked daily in the shop, and you never know what flavors or variations will be available on a given day. The other items on Mountainview’s menu also emphasize freshness above all else. There’s a chicken salad loaded with cranberries, celery, and apples and a breakfast sandwich made with eggs plucked straight from the tree. It should go without saying, but the coffee that gives the shop its name is also remarkably fresh. Roasted beans lend their complex flavor profiles to lattes, frappes, and cappuccinos served hot or iced. All told, the coffees, teas, Italian sodas, and smoothies present 40 different flavors to choose from.
With more than 700 locations, Jamba Juice proves to the masses that nutrition can be speedy and delicious. Since the beginning, the company's product philosophy has revolved around choosing whole fruits and other natural ingredients over artificial flavorings, sweeteners, and preservatives. The menu is completely free of high-fructose corn syrup and trans fats, and it offers additional accommodations for vegan and gluten-free diets.
Blended drinks dominate the menu, with options including fruit refreshers?made with naturally hydrating, electrolytic coconut water?and pre-boosted smoothies that can fill nutritional gaps with infusions of protein, immunity boosters, or antioxidants that neutralize accidentally swallowed pool water. The drink list also includes organic house-blend coffee and Talbot Teas, including Paris Breakfast and SOHO Earl.
For those with heartier appetites, steel-cut oats steep in soymilk before being enhanced with toppings such as apples, cinnamon, and brown-sugar crumble. The lunch hour presents protein-packed mini wraps, toasted bistro sandwiches and California Flatbreads that pack only about 320?420 calories each.
Something about ice skating can make you hungry. Whether it is the cold or the surprising amount of energy that goes into gliding across the ice, it's a good thing that 18 Degrees is tucked into the Ice Den, where the Phoenix Coyotes train.
The menu there focuses appropriately on warm comfort food, from burgers and pork chops to cheese curds and burritos. The ambiance is about right, too, given the eatery's athletic surroundings. A forest of hockey sticks hangs from the ceilings, and the walls are covered with flat-screen TVs, which broadcast hockey and football games. A lounge with a crackling fireplace looks out over the rink, but it is easy enough to sneak out to a quiet patio as well. There, glass of beer click together as patrons toast important anniversaries or the discovery that separating laundry isn't really that important.