From behind a frozen granite slab, the staff of Cold Stone Creamery uses twin spatulas to blend custom servings of ice cream and creative mix-ins to fit customers? exact specifications. Founded by Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone began under the hot Arizona sun, eventually spreading its frosty fingers to encompass more than 1,400 locations worldwide. Despite the size of the company, each location?s staff keeps up the handcrafted quality, making ice cream onsite every day and using those signature spatulas to create delicious pointillist art against the freezer wall.
With a commitment to serving fresh food, every day the kitchen staff kneads a new batch of pizza dough as pasta sauce simmers on the stove. At 2 Cousins Pizza & Pasta, all food is made upon ordering, rather than according to the chef's psychic premonitions. The kitchen staff also procures the produce that graces the tops of pizzas and gets tossed in pasta dishes and salads every week from the local farmers’ market.
Layers of colorful jellybeans stripe a curvy jar, chocolate-covered pretzels fill a glass bowl, and rows of rock candy line up neatly within rectangular vases. Artistic displays such as these are the hallmark of Candyland Buffet’s custom services, which can reflect the theme or color scheme of a special event such as a wedding or bat mitzvah. For every buffet, a team member meticulously arranges treats in an array of distinct jars and sets out scoops and bags so guests may easily serve themselves. Patrons can sweeten their buffets with special touches such as a designated service attendant and luxury chocolates from Ghirardelli or Godiva. Because sweets, like bathroom attendants, should also be enjoyed at home, customers can order shipments of fresh-baked cookies or sign up for six-month Candy of the Month Club memberships.
Every dish at Showside Grill & Bakery passes through the gaping mouth of a four-eyed beast. The playfully painted service window is one of the many quirky design elements of the eatery's lime-green 75-seat dining room, a fitting backdrop for its eclectic cuisine and variety of live shows. Chefs Michael and Art Ward whip up burgers and hot dogs, seafood, and classic comfort-food favorites such as the open-face hot turkey on texas toast with gravy. The Monday-night Breakfast at Dinner event flip-flops the usual routine with a spread of eggs, hash browns, and pancakes. The prodigious dessert menu, like a slow-loris telethon, seems to stretch on interminably, running the toothsome gamut from truffles to mousse to classic cobblers and cakes as well as a long list of pies both traditional and inventive. Weekends add live entertainment to the mix, kicking off with Thursday-night karaoke followed by the beats of live local bands on Friday and Saturday.