Founded by ice-cream enthusiasts Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone Creamery has grown to more than 1,400 locations across North America. Each day, the shop's scoopers mix up fresh batches of ice cream, yogurt, and sorbet, which are served by the scoop, piled high in sundaes, and blended into shakes. After customers choose their desired flavor, the staffers toss the chilly sustenance upon a slab of frozen granite and fold in a smorgasbord of candy and nuts to achieve the ideal ice-cream-to-add-in ratio. Customers can dream up their own creations or opt for a signature masterpiece, sampling one of more than 11.5 million possible flavor combinations, which still await a brave conqueror to unlock them all. To accommodate sweets cravings at celebrations, staff members also dish out ready-made treats, such as ice-cream cakes, cupcakes, and cookies.
Culling flavors from Austria, Germany, France, Italy, and Switzerland, Alpenrose Restaurant treats tongues to dishes from a menu bursting with diverse Alpine cuisine. Weiner schnitzel and tuscan lamb rub elbows on the dinner menu, which ensures freshness by leveraging seasonal ingredients and local harvests, including duck from nearby Maple Leaf Farms. A glass or bottle selected from the extensive wine menu can help lubricate talk tubes, and a broad selection of pastries, including nine flavors of cheesecakes and tarts, supplies patrons with extensive options for indulging sweet teeth. The restaurant, which opened in 1991, beckons visitors to enter through a green, wrought-iron gate before traipsing down a birch-tree-lined cobblestone path. Inside, the dining rooms' massive windows, wood-paneled walls, and carved-wood columns evoke a warm, ski-lodge ambiance. The restaurant also boasts an enviable location; it's just minutes from Holland's famous Tulip Time Festival, whose 2013 edition welcomes the springtime sun May 4-11.
Blue House Bistro's menu masters a multitude of innovative small plates, gourmet sandwiches, and homemade desserts. Salute the crab bruschetta, sautéed in a cream sauce, then served with spinach and artichokes on a crispy baguette ($8.99), or fete the eggplant parmesan sandwich's fluffy flour handles, packed with fresh mozzarella, garlic, marinara, and toasted pine nuts ($7.99). Nautical noshers can navigate through a sea of herb-cream sauce dotted with sautéed chicken, hickory-smoked bacon, and sweet onions, or shiver the timbers of a 14-inch Creole pizza—masts mounded with shrimp, crawfish, and a boatload of fixings ($11.49). The bistro's menu changes regularly, so call ahead to confirm favorites or roll the dice on delectable discoveries.
Rice & Spice compiles a greatest hits menu of classic fare from a host of Asian countries, and the restaurant specializes in Thai dishes. Rev up digestive engines with an order of crispy crab rangoon ($3.95) or spring rolls ($3.25) before attuning taught jaws to a mountain of phad thai ($8.95 with beef, chicken, pork, or tofu; $9.95 with shrimp; $11.75 with seafood). The phad phed squelches the temper tantrums of hunger pangs with a spicy red curry and constellations of bamboo shoots, long beans, carrots, lemongrass, and eggplant swirling in a coconut Milky Way ($8.95 with beef or chicken; $10.95 with shrimp). Like ornately decorated cauldrons, bowls of pho noodle soup and lemongrass-laden tom yum soup ($7.95+) billow steam, doubling as an effective smoke screen for aspiring ninjas.
All-wooden decor and warm crimson walls invite families to fill their stomachs with seafood and classic American dishes in Beechwood Inn Restaurant's comfortable atmosphere. The Dutch broaster chicken tempts taste buds with secret seasoned De Zwaan windmill flour, the wood-grilled certified angus beef steaks tempt tastebuds, and the perch fillets come crispy and golden brown.