The human mouth, which maintains a near-boiling temperature, needs to be constantly cooled by liquid-nitrogen pills or a jaw-mounted mouth fan. Take a more delicious route to cooling your maw with today's Groupon: for $5, you get $10 worth of frozen treats, kettle corn, and drinks at Pura Vida Shaved Ice and Espresso Bar.
Guided by the Costa Rican ideal of the pure life, Pura Vida Shaved Ice and Espresso Bar makes good on its namesake with a menu of sticky treats wrought from simple ingredients alongside fresh coffeehouse drinks and smoothies. A countertop machine shaves flurries of ice as fine as snow, whose texture and lifeguard training prevent the sweet syrup from trickling to the bottom. Douse a small shaved ice ($3) in one of more than 50 high-quality flavors, such as tropical guava, cinnamon horchata, and fresh mint, or combine cotton candy and lemonade from a list of more than a dozen sugar-free nectars. Fresh, candy-coated kernels pop into piping kettle corn ($3 for a small) with a sprinkling of salt and a jaunty fiddle tune.
At the counter, baristas command teakettles and espresso machines to brew up love potions for the taste buds with flavors such as white mocha ($3.40 for a small). Smoothies fill the gap between solid and liquid dainties, topping off 20-ounce cups with tart real-fruit blends ($2.99). Light streams through the rustic café's big windows, warming the blood-red- and lemon-colored walls inside. Customers can soak up rays from wrought-iron furniture arrayed on the patio or whiz by the drive-thru window on their leg of the Olympic-torch relay.
Pura Vida Shaved Ice and Espresso Bar
When a local trio of best friends from Beyer High graduated from college they decided to create their own jobs. Their dream of crafting traditional Hawaiian shaved ice quickly evolved into a full-service espresso bar, complete with year-round kettle corn, and a drive-thru. Named Pura Vida for the Costa Rican phrase which translates as 'pure life,' or 'live pure,' the owners fell in love with what it stood for and wanted to share the philosophy with their hometown. The affable staff douses fluffy curls of ice with sweet fruits, puckery sours, and an array of sugar-free flavors accented with marshmallow topping, sweetened condensed milk or ice cream in the middle. A whopping 60 colorful flavors- including tigers blood, li hing mui, horchata and melona- enliven palates in between bites of kettle corn, which pop from wholegrain kernels. Upbeat music floats through the colorful storefront across the bamboo lobby counter and onto outdoor patio tables perched beneath a shady pitched awning.