Located just across the street from Florida International University's south campus, Smoothie King blends fresh frozen drinks, offering patrons a healthy alternative to other types of on-the-go snacks. Baristas begin with fruit-filled base concoctions and customize each one by adding and subtracting items according to customers' preferences. The staff can also add enhancers that jam-pack beverages with probiotics, antioxidants, or protein. Smoothie King's drinks are healthier than other types of frozen treats, including ice cream, cakes, and chocolate-covered snow globes.
Founded in 2000 by college buddies Don McKinney and James Clary, Freckles Frozen Custard crafts its creamy creations using milk and eggs chosen from Midwest farms. Starting with some vanilla custard blended with Tahitian and Madagascar vanilla beans, customers can take control of their own dessert destinies, mixing up custom concoctions with toppings such as hot fudge, bananas, and Twinkies. The shop?which has moved from 71st and Mingo to a new location at 81st and Sheridan?offers a chilly cornucopia of specialty treats such as the Brown Derby, a fusion of custard, brownie, and fudge intended to be worn atop the head. Elsewhere on the menu, colorful scoops of Italian shaved ice form summery frozen rainbows atop their cones, cooling off overheated tongues with fruit flavors and no-sugar-added options. The custard's smooth consistency pairs well with over 25 fruit and candy add-on options, and customers can further personalize their sweet treats with a cream or sour taste. Freckles Frozen Custard also stocks a full spread of creamy standards, calling back to a simpler era with creamy malts, shakes, floats, and custard pies in the shape of Dwight Eisenhower.
As delicious as frozen yogurt is, Mike and Patty D'Onofrio knew that its tastiness, in and of itself, wasn't enough to build an entire restaurant chain from. Until they considered self-service?letting customers choose their flavor and customize it with toppings that range from indulgent candy to fresh fruit. This became the cornerstone of Yolotti Frozen Yogurt.
But they didn't stop there; they also opted for more health-conscious recipes, such as kosher yogurt free of gluten, fat, and added sugar, as well as dairy-free sorbet. The Yolotti yogurt is also infused with six live and active cultures that promote digestive health.
People can marvel over their creations in a cafe spilling over with free WiFi and board games such as Risk and Trivial Pursuit?both of which are traditionally used to determine the outcome of presidential debates in the event of a tie.
Every day of the summer, the backdoor of Anner's Pantry swings open to accept boxes of fresh, fragrant vegetables from organic farms. Out front, an herb garden has overtaken the lawn. Inside, the staff sorts organic produce, meats, poultry, fish, and dairy products. To help their members streamline shopping trips, they organize products into market bags. Available in produce and meat options, the bags' contents change based on what's in season. Fruit and veggie sacks may include watermelon, corn, bananas, broccoli, avocados, and pamphlets from the Tomato is a Vegetable League. The Meat and More bag brims with refrigerator staples such as organic butter and free range, antibiotic- and hormone-free eggs and meats. Alongside the bags, staffers include simple, wholesome recipes and tips on washing, cutting, and preparing more eclectic items.
Whirring and banging, whirring and banging—these mechanical sounds could come from a factory churning out machine-made pastries by the hundreds. At Kupcakz, though, a slower, more organic chorus fills the air as Doreen Durano blends, chops, and stirs ingredients for small batches of cupcakes by hand. Drawing upon studies in baking and pastry at San Francisco's California Culinary Institute, Doreen works with her team to craft each and every cake from scratch, armed with the items found in gourmet kitchens, such as creamy Plugra butter, much-revered Valrhona chocolate, and booster seats for stout kings. Each creation gets a whimsical name: the Morning Buzz's moniker comes from a base soaked in rich espresso, and the Sooner Than Later hints at a general timeframe for biting into cream-cheese frosting and red-velvet cake.
At each Tropical Smoothie Cafe location, healthy choices abound with drinks composed of fresh fruit and snacks loaded with veggies and premium meats and cheeses. The café’s colorful repertoire of smoothies runs the gamut from creamy, dessert-based indulgent creations to light and refreshing low-fat fruit options or frosty drinks boosted with supplements. Strawberries, bananas, and peaches mingle with exotic açaí and goji berries to form mouthwatering concoctions designed to deliver health-boosting antioxidants, essential nutrients, and laser vision–inducing vitamins. Drinks pair with ciabatta and griddled flatbread during breakfast and lunch, as well as with made-to-order salads and a host of wraps and sandwiches.