Alfred Coffee Beverly Hills

Exterior

Breakfast burrito Rico Suave

Interior

**** (4 stars)

This is a nice little privately run coffee shop with all the usual offerings, plus they make a breakfast burrito, which is what drew me in.

My decaf latte with almond milk was excellent.

The breakfast burrito is made in a sandwich press, which imparts a crispy crust. There are a couple of options. I selected the Rico Suave with bacon. $10 seemed a bit steep, but on the other hand I could only finish half of it, so I guess that’s cheap for two meals. It came with two interesting sauces, although I would have liked something a bit spicier.

Service was friendly.

Alfred Coffee Beverly Hills
490 N Beverly Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(424) 335-0170
https://www.yelp.com/biz/alfred-coffee-beverly-hills-beverly-hills

Fat One’s Hot Dogs & Italian Ice

NY Dog

Exterior

Interior

*** (3 stars)

This was a perfectly fine hot dog, but I guess I was expecting something more, having been to many gourmet hot dog places in other cities. The dogs and buns are split in two for grilled. I tried the New York dog, which had mustard and sauerkraut, but was somewhat overwhelmed by the cloying red onion sauce. I was glad I didn’t get the foot-long version, as the small size was plenty, although at $5 I didn’t feel it was worth it.

Fat One’s Hot Dogs & Italian Ice
8001 S Orange Blossom Trl
FC16
Orlando, FL 32809
(407) 634-0205
http://www.yelp.com/biz/fat-ones-hot-dogs-and-italian-ice-orlando-2

Jeremiahs Italian Ice

Exterior

Salted caramel and vanilla

**** (4 stars)

A wide range of flavors, plus the ability to interleave them with vanilla (the result is strangely called gelato, but it isn’t) is the draw here.

I really liked the combination of salted caramel and vanilla, and it was a very generous serving for the price.

Jeremiahs Italian Ice
3150 S Orange Ave
Orlando, FL 32806
(407) 757-0427
https://www.yelp.com/biz/jeremiahs-italian-ice-orlando-4

Scoops Old Fashioned Ice Cream

Exterior

Interior

Cappuccino Crunch

***** (5 stars)

I’m old enough to remember ice cream parlors in the 1960s, which I suppose were a lot like those from the 1920s, and Scoops certainly captures that feeling. The historic building, retro furniture, and decor all contribute to the feeling of stepping back to 1927. The friendly service also harkens back to a bygone era.

But of course, it’s all about the ice cream, and that will not disappoint. There are dozens of interesting flavors such as birthday cake, plus classics like butter pecan and pistachio. I chose the Cappucino Crunch, and it was superb.

I’d never heard of Hershey’s Ice Cream, but they’ve been around since 1894 (no relation to the candy company). I wish more places served it, as it is fantastic.

You can also get soft serve with mix-ins, but I urge you to go for the real thing, and get a scoop at Scoops.

Scoops Old Fashioned Ice Cream
99 W Plant St
Winter Garden, FL 34787
(407) 656-3369
https://www.yelp.com/biz/scoops-old-fashioned-ice-cream-winter-garden

Shake Shack

*** (3 stars)

This is a perfectly fine spot for fast food, but after all the hype that preceded it I must admit I was expecting more.

The space is light and airy, and the ordering process is super-efficient. The speed of preparation is surprisingly slow, though, and I went on a not particularly busy day.

The French fries are excellent–very crisp on the crinkly outside, tender in the center. The coffee shake is also great, and worthy of naming the place after.

The weak element turned out to be the burger. I had the SmokeShack, a completely average cheeseburger except for the addition of fairly flavorless bacon and some pickled red peppers. The meat patty was unremarkable, but the bun was the real weakness, a large mushy hunk of bread that quickly turned soggy.

The price of these three items was a bit shocking, coming in at just over $16. And they aren’t even particularly large. I’m somewhat insensitive to restaurant pricing, but even to me that seems a lot for what was on my tray.

I would go back to Shake Shack if I was in the area and wanted a shake, but I’d probably eat lunch someplace else first.

Shake Shack
8359 International Dr
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 205-0362
http://www.yelp.com/biz/shake-shack-orlando-3

Linz and Vail on Central

**** (4 stars)

This place has the atmosphere I’m looking for in a coffee house, and also makes some excellent coffee. The Macchiato is perfect, not a trace of bitterness. Also some great gelato. Ignore that Starbucks down the street; this is the real deal.

Linz and Vail on Central
2012 Central St
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 475-1381
http://www.yelp.com/biz/linz-and-vail-on-central-evanston

Forever Yogurt

*** (3 stars)

This is a pretty prototypical serve yourself frozen yogurt place with the usual toppings. The space is long and deep, and you start at the rear, which creates some challenges when the place is busy.

There is a fairly large selection of yogurts. The flavors I had were fine, although nothing really wowed me. The toppings were very fresh. Definitely more healthful than the nearby frozen custard place.

Forever Yogurt
1739 Sherman Ave
Evanston, IL 60201
(224) 999-7903
http://www.yelp.com/biz/forever-yogurt-evanston-2

Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt

*** (3 stars)

This is a small serve yourself frozen yogurt shop with the usual toppings bar. I was glad to see they offered some non-tart flavors, as I’m not a fan of sour yogurt. I’m not sure what the business plan is here, though, since there are fewer offerings than the larger competitor just a couple blocks north, and the defunct Red Mango already tried in this spot. If you’re in this immediate area and they have a flavor you like it’s worth a try.

Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt
809 Davis St
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 859-6225
http://www.yelp.com/biz/tutti-frutti-frozen-yogurt-evanston

Andy’s Frozen Custard

**** (4 stars)

This place is incredibly popular, rain or shine there is always a line, and always people eating on the tables out front. The custard is tasty, especially the concretes, which are mixtures of custard with interesting debris thrown in, like cookies pieces or fruit.

The only problem is that if ice cream isn’t exactly health food, I don’t know what to call frozen custard. The best plan is to order a small, eat half (or less) and then take the rest home and put it in the freezer. This works great, because the custard won’t get rock hard, due to the incredibly high fat content. So save the other half for a later–much later–date.

Andy’s Frozen Custard
719 Church St
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 864-8009
http://www.yelp.com/biz/andys-frozen-custard-evanston