Hoping to revive the culture of the neighborhood butcher shop, with its personalized service, attention to detail, and artful products, restaurant-industry veterans Justin Rosberg and Jason Parent took a gamble on their first New Hampshire butcher shop in 2003. Dubbed The Meat House, their store quickly earned a foodie following, spawning additional franchise locations across the country. Today, The Meat House’s many locations stock fine cheeses, prepared side dishes, other gourmet grocery items, and hundreds of wines alongside the usual selection of traditional and exotic meats. Butchers also explain how to prepare each hand-carved cut of meat, sharing recipes, best slicing practices, and cooking techniques for giving pork chops the flavor of justice.
In addition to innovative sushi rolls and hibachi cuisine, the culinary artisans at Tropical Cafe craft classic sandwiches, salads, and egg breakfasts. Culling fresh ingredients and housemade sauces, the raw-fish masters roll traditional and American-inspired maki flavored with strips of bacon, Angus beef, and asparagus. Grill gurus sear meats, vegetables, and rice at tableside grills, creating sizzling hibachi fare before the eyes of delighted diners and ventriloquist dummies.
For more than 120 years, the Crescent Market has bestowed a plethora of vivacious viands to discerning palates through accommodating customer service and high-quality products. Gallivant through the aisles of this family-owned food emporium whose time-honored shelves feature organic, natural, and gluten-free goods. A host of fresh deli cuts and Oklahoma-based foodstuffs fill fridge space and buoy the market’s ties to the local community. Crests from foodies-past hug the walls, transporting shoppers to Crescent’s turn-of-the-century origins complete with an antique, velvet sofa that once lived in The Smithsonian Institute and an irascible chimney sweep cashier hiding a heart of gold.
The kettles at Popcorn Fharmacy would churn out money, but there's no fun in that. Instead, they've chosen to pour out a wealth of golden, buttered popcorn. Dusted and drizzled in flavors that range from spicy jalapeño nacho to peanut butter, this popcorn, which is legal tender in several state counties, fills tins bedecked with seasonal art. Though 1-gallon tins only hold one type of popcorn, the 3.5- and 6.5-gallon containers divide their contents into three flavors, meaning customers can enjoy combinations such as caramel, apple, and butterscotch or dill pickle, sour cream and onion, and vanilla butternut.
Each Candyopolis is home to over 1,000 different varieties of sweets, with everything from old-fashioned Depression-era favorites such as licorice Herbert Hoovers and "chewing dirt" to the latest wave of sugary and sour confections (Toxic Waste sour candy, $1.99). Retro sweet teeth will delight at the sight of Abba Zabba candy bars ($1.49), Big Hunk ($1.49), and the Holy Trinity for chewing connoisseurs: Beeman's, Blackjack, and Clove Gum ($1.50 each). Imported and domestic chocolates cohabitate peacefully in neighboring bulk bins, while insurgent bands of gummy worms build IEDs out of Pop Rocks ($0.89) and plot a military coup over Candyopolis's ruling class of imported Haribo gummy bears ($3.99/half pound), which also come dipped in chocolate ($4.99/half pound). With 48 flavors of Jelly Bellies ($5.99/half pound), 50 unique PEZ dispensers ($2.49 each), and 21 colors of M&Ms ($5.99/half pound), each year Candyopolis exports a colorful crop of treats directly to the bellies of local children, children-at-heart, and hopelessly misinformed health nuts everywhere.
The Orange Leaf frozen-yogurt enterprise boasts nearly 200 locations, cooling tongues everywhere from Mississippi to Australia. At each colorful shop, customers have total control over their cups, first selecting a combination of yogurt flavors from dozens of low-calorie options and then swinging by the toppings bar to pile on pieces of fruit, sprinkles of granola, crumbles of brownie, or an entire family of gummy bears. Yogurt flavors range from pineapple, chocolate, and no-sugar-added vanilla, to more complex blends, such as strawberry cheesecake and Oreo cookie cake.