One day, on a family vacation to California, Charlie and Zach Navar made their first stop at a frozen-yogurt shop. It was quickly followed, that same day, by their second stop, and then their third. Enamored with the self-serve frozen-yogurt business, the brothers dedicated the next two years to researching the concept by traveling to shops in other cities and even analyzing El Paso traffic patterns before choosing the ideal location for their own brand.
At Craze Yogurt, the Navars fill their self-serve dispensers with flavors such as apple pie, chocolate hazelnut, dairy-free Hawaiian pineapple, and electro lime, a cooler alternative to eating limes left in a light socket. After crowning their fro-yo with toppings, guests can feast at leather couches in Craze Yogurt's spacious, high-ceiling lounge, where coffee and tea drinks such as peppermint mochas and spiced chai lattes are also available.
Ron and Tameria Russell, a U.S. Army soldier and baker respectively, joined forces behind the counter at DirtyMouth Cupcakes with a shared mission to sully pristine mouths with decadent flavor. Tameria brings previous experience as the owner of Cupcakes and Cookies by T to DirtyMouth's kitchen, whipping up daily and rotating cupcake flavors from scratch that range from classic red velvet to french toast with bacon. Besides these handheld treats, DirtyMouth churns out specialty cakes filled with sweet ganache and caramel, as well as a variety of other confections such as brownies and cookies, perfect as midday snacks or doorstops in an enormous gingerbread house.
Peter's Brats & Breads takes visitors on a quick hop to Berlin with its menu of German pastries and sausages. Entrees such as bratwurst—pork sausage—and schnitzel—breaded pork cutlet—can be topped by sauerkraut and other garnishes from a condiment bar. Chefs also coat cakes in blueberry, peach, and banana cream or decorate them with coconut, éclairs, or another, larger cake.
At Healthy Bite, patrons can retreat to the café for a menu of grilled sandwiches, refreshing salads, and fresh juices. Fluffy slices of ciabatta bread carry bounties such as turkey and Monterey jack cheese, or fresh tomatoes, pesto, and mozzarella. Salads set beds of romaine lettuce or baby spinach for fresh fruits, slivered almonds, and feta cheeses. Meanwhile, fresh juice blends include papaya, orange, and celery, alongside daily soups and fruit smoothies.
The hum of live performances echoes across The Percolator, where guests meet over mugs of organic coffee and plates of gourmet sandwiches and sushi. Chefs usher in the day with eggs, meat, and vegetarian breakfast wraps before moving on to lunch and dinner to assemble chicken pesto or herbed goat–cheese sandwiches along with seven specialty sushi rolls. Lattes, mochas, and creamy coffee frappés start days or cap off meals, and a selection of beer and wine rinses off incisors. As customers sip and dine, they lounge at the cafe's numerous tabletops beneath local artwork and vibrant murals on the crimson walls. A stage hosts a rotating schedule of live music, poetry slams, and theater nearly every day, offering visitors a welcome reprieve from frustrating evenings of teaching a pet tortoise to roll over.
Though the fruity, all-natural smoothies at Keva Juice may taste like an indulgence, they're all brimming with healthy antioxidants and vitamins. Staffers pack blenders with a healthy mix of fresh fruits and juices—including guava, mango, and raspberry juice—amped up with nonfat yogurts and low-fat sherbets. Each tempting smoothie can be supercharged with whey protein for an extra healthful boost or spiked with Red Bull to recharge each disposable cup's batteries.