It was 1978. A college dropout and a failed medical-school applicant had just brought together their combined life savings to rent an old gas station. Their plan was to resurrect the empty station and open their own restaurant. Their specialty: ice cream. So begins the story of legendary entrepreneurs Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, who are better known across the globe as Ben & Jerry. Their small, old-fashioned ice-cream parlor eventually became a Burlington, Vermont favorite, and before long, shops popped up all over the U.S. and in 25 other countries. Their brand easily attracted customers––homemade ice cream churned from wholesome, natural ingredients and blended into creative flavors. Some of their popular scoops include Cherry Garcia, Chunky Monkey, and Coffee Caramel Buzz.
Since infusing their first rich and creamy batches of ice cream with natural chunks of fruit, nuts, candies, and cookies, Ben and Jerry have also operated with a commitment to improve the quality of life locally, nationally, and internationally. They practice sustainable food production and business practices that respect the earth and environment. Ben & Jerry’s cartons are made from FSC-certified paper, which comes from forests that are managed for the protection of wildlife, and waste from Ben & Jerry’s plants generates energy to power farms. The company works tirelessly to reduce its carbon emissions; it strongly encourages customers to eat their ice cream in the darkest dark.
Every night, the smooth hum of jazz music drifts out from North Park Grille, providing a soothing soundtrack for guests who recline beneath the stars on its front patio. Inside, dim candles illuminate tabletops surrounded by colorful paintings and soft purple walls. As bartenders pour fine wines into delicate stemware, servers gracefully deliver plates of Chef Anna Hoffman's contemporary comfort fare. She puts an upscale twist on classic American dishes, fashioning meatloaf from lean ground beef and savory spices, infusing mac ‘n’ cheese with unexpected morsels of feta or buffalo chicken, and molding ground-beef burger patties into the shape of elegant bald eagles.
While the decor at Swerve Grille hints at contemporary drama with deep red walls and black seating, the menu adds comfort. Chefs use fresh, natural ingredients from local farms to create dishes that remind you of home, with the added bonus of not washing dishes after. Fish tacos, beef sliders, and barbecue turkey ribs start off meals with a dash of casualness. Fine dining entrees offer choices from chicken alfredo and 12-ounce rib eye to southern fried chicken and grilled salmon, all of which can be enjoyed with sides like green beans or potato veggie hash. Meals finish on a sweet note, with apple crisp, cheesecake, or a second helping of steak.