Before they scoop ice cream into a waffle cone, whip it into a smooth chocolate shake, or pack it in pints, quarts, or half-gallons to carry home, the dessert masters at Ashby's Sterling Ice Cream Parlor have to craft the ice cream from a 14% butter fat ice cream mix. This mix is what gives the old-fashioned ice cream its smooth and creamy texture—an ideal canvas to cover with whole nuts, real fruit chunks, and fudge caramel, much like any canvas hanging in a museum. The scoop-wielders dole out 44 flavors in all, including exotic recipes such as Majestic Milky Way and maple-walnut alongside the old standbys of chocolate, vanilla, and butter pecan.
Drizzled Café's dessert mavens handcraft one-bite treats, including miniaturized portable cakes and delectable truffles made from top-notch Belgian chocolate. Dabbling in classic flavors such as chocolate, yellow cake, and white cake, bakers balance decadent globes of dough on hand-holdable sticks, perfect for sweet teeth on the go or baby teeth on the run. Groupon holders can opt for specialty incarnations such as lemon, marble, or strawberry for an extra charge of $2 per pop. Dispense with decorum, and candy-grab a fistful of truffles made with Belgian chocolate, arranged in an assorted box of eight rotating flavors.
As an art gallery, concert venue, and meeting place, The Kewl Beans Cafe provides locals with a place for creativity and conversation over cups of hot coffee. Baristas grind up organic, fair-trade beans daily, transforming the bitter confetti into traditional beverages and uncommon drinks such as frozen mocha madness. Fresh slices of bread from Knickerbocker Baking Co bookend meats and cheeses for made-to-order sandwiches, and Hershey’s premium ice cream piles into sundaes and shakes. During weekend concerts, live musicians play acoustic guitar or accordion as patrons snuggle into comfy chairs and auto-tune performances on free WiFi.
It's likely that when walking into a Big Apple Bagels, people won't just see baskets overflowing with fresh bagels, but they'll be able to smell fresh dough baking in the air. That's because bagels are both made and sold at each location, giving customers the chance to order up warm, chewy bagels in gourmet flavors such as blueberry cobbler and quiche lorraine. The cream cheeses are similarly diverse in flavor, as people can smear their bagels with onion chive, cheddar jalapeno, or whipped brown-sugar cinnamon. The menu also features New York-style deli sandwiches served on bagels and freshly tossed salads.
BAB serves products from their two sister brands, Brewster's Coffee and My Favorite Muffin, the latter of which uses soybean oil to keep their muffins moist yet low in cholesterol. Many locations also serve Freshëns smoothies, whose ripe-fruit blends are rich with healthy vitamins because unhealthy vitamins don't exist.
The Leason family, which first opened the doors to its vintage diner four decades ago, serves up a menu of made-to-order frozen and grilled classics marinated in friendly service. Live life on the edge of an arctic avalanche and start meals with a frosty dessert churned from real dairy products, such as a frozen yogurt sundae ($2.19–$3.85), or a glacier blended with soft-serve ice cream and customized with a bevy of toppings that range from Oreos to apple crisps ($3.36–$5.46). The large soft-serve banana split ($5.39) encourages couples to share their goods and face their fear of random monkey attacks head on.
Insalata owner Mickey Mardirosian is no stranger to the local restaurant industry, having spent more than a decade running eateries in Detroit. As he told the Oakland Press, it was his reminiscences of seeing health-conscious diners ordering salads at another restaurant that sparked his desire to open Insalata.
Offering self-serve salads with made-to-order paninis and sandwiches, Insalata marries customization with healthy food, like a smartphone carved out of an apple. At the salad bar, patrons choose from four types of greens before making selections from more than 40 toppings and 15 dressings. Guests can also clasp fingers around the panini Insalata, with salami, ham, capicola, and pesto mayo, or sweetly cap off meals as they dig spoons or straws into frozen yogurt or fresh-fruit smoothies.