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Beat the Heat with Something Sweet

by | Jan 27, 2016 | Brunswick County, Food & Drink, North Brunswick, Restaurants, See

There is nothing like a North Carolina summer. The sky is blue. The air is fragrant with blooming flowers. Everything is green and lush. Kiddos splash in big blue pools, while bikes are dusted off for the first time in months. Everywhere you look there are people — walking, running and playing in the sun and coastal breezes. Oh. And it’s HOT, ya’ll. The kind of hot that makes you gasp when you walk outside. The kind that makes you want to melt into the pavement. Whew. I don’t know about you, but this time of year makes me long for something sweet, icy and chilly. Something to take the edge off the hot Carolina sun and cool my tongue with deliciousness. And — gasp — sweet tea just isn’t going to cut it. So just in time for summer, I have gone searching for some of the yummiest treats our area has to offer.

The Place:

Port City Java

Port City JavaThe Sweet Treat:

Smoothies. Best known for their rich, strong coffee, Port City Java also offers a wide variety of all-fruit smoothies. These are the perfect post-workout treat, easy breakfast, or figure-friendly pick me up. If you are inclined to share, they are perfectly suited to little ones’ tastes and will help fill the gaps when they need a good serving of fruit. And, can I just say, yum?

My Top Pick:

Hang 10 Smoothie. People, let me tell you, it is a little bit of heaven in a plastic cup. Featuring fresh pineapple, banana, orange, strawberry and a hint of coconut, this drink is tantalizing. The taste is tropical and light, with just enough sweetness to make it feel decadent and dessert-like. It is dense with fruit goodness, because PCJ uses no ice as filler in their smoothies, just pure fruit goodness. So are you out and about in the heat? Sitting in carpool? Headed to the pool to wear the kiddos out? Going grocery shopping and dreading the task? Running errands? Stop and pick up a Hang 10 Smoothie, and take a little bit of vacation with you. One taste and you are sitting beachside in Hawaii, with nowhere to go and nothing to do but enjoy the sunshine. Aloha.

Where to Find It:

Port City Java, 511 Olde Waterford Way, Suite 100, Leland, (910) 383-2429; 1112 E. Cutlar Crossing, Suite 100, Leland, (910) 383-1238

The Place:

Cafe Sebastiano

Cafe Sebastiano gelatoThe Sweet Treat:

Gelato. Just the word calls to mind creamy dreamy decadence. And Cafe Sebastiano has it to offer in abundance. On average they offer 14 choices of flavors every day, all made fresh in house. That’s right. Made fresh in house. Now if you have never had gelato, it is much different than ice cream. Made with only egg yolk, heavy cream, milk, and sugar, it much more dense and much less sugary than ice cream. There is a depth to gelato that cannot be found in other cream-based desserts. It is at once complicated and simple on the tongue but delightful all the same. And they have flavors for every taste — Nutella, panna cotta, canolli and pistachio, to name just a few. Are you drooling yet? Just me?

My Top Pick:

The biggest seller by far is the Zabaione. With a distinctly Italian flavor, and hints of egg and sweetness, it is rich and complex. Cool, refreshing and decadent. So if you are out for date night, craving an authentic panini or just wanting to add a bit of decadence to an ordinary day, stop by Sebastiano and enjoy.

Where to Find It:

Café Sebastiano 2029 Olde Regent Way, Suite 140 Waterford, Leland, (910) 523-5249

The Place:

Honeybees Frozen Yogurt

Honeybees YogurtThis beautiful and spanking new little shop is sure to be a hit!

The Sweet Treat:

Frozen yogurt. Frozen yogurt is, for me, a passion. It combines the creamy coolness of ice cream with a lower fat content, and in the case of Honeybees’, several no-sugar-added options as well. This is essential to anyone watching their sugars or anyone attempting to make better dessert choices. And it helps that Honeybees has absolutely delicious options for anyone.

My Top Pick:

The blueberry no sugar added is phenomenal. It’s sweet and creamy with an authentic blueberry flavor, but with no artificially sweetened options. Topped with fresh strawberries it is a healthy and delicious choice. The regular yogurt options are fantastic as well. My daughter truly and emphatically enjoyed the vanilla topped with gummy bears, sprinkles and marshmallows.

Where to Find It:

Honeybees Frozen Yogurt, 2013 Old Regent Way #220, Leland, (910) 409-7984.

The Place:

HWY 55 Burgers, Shakes and Fries

Hwy 55 ShakeOne step into HWY 55 (formerly named Andy’s) and you feel like you have stepped into the ’50s. With its décor of black and white tile, cherry red booths and chrome chairs to complete the effect, it is charming and delightful to the eye. The food is typical American diner — burgers, hot dogs, chicken and fries. All are prepared at their open grill, and all are delicious. But who are we kidding? This mama is here to beat the heat with something sweet.

The Sweet Treat:

Old-fashioned custard

My Top Pick:

HWY 55’s Brownie sundae. Made with their famous old-fashioned custard, it is a rich treat for the eyes and taste buds. Creamy, eggy custard, hot fudge, warm chewy brownie. And, of course, the whipped cream and cherry on top. All of it combined is, in a word, divine. It is a treat to be shared and enjoyed by everyone in the family — from toddlers to grandma. Whether you are headed home from a hot day at the beach, or popping in after picking up necessities at Walmart, make sure to give the brownie sundae a whirl. You will be very glad you did!

Where to Find It:

HWY 55 Burgers, Shakes and Fries, 1114-20 Newpointe Blvd., Leland, (910) 371-2707

The Place:

Hannah’s Gourmet Bakery

Set back from the road in a nondescript strip mall, you might be tempted to pass Hannah’s by in favor of picking up a cake or pastry at the local grocery store. Don’t. Trust me. This traditional bakery has a wide array of offerings, from crusty, fresh-baked breads to a huge variety of cheesecakes. Inspired by her mother’s love for cooking and desire to own a bakery, Angel opened Hannah’s last November. Hannah herself passed away 20 years ago, but Angel still made her dream come true by opening her shop and giving it her beloved mother’s name. The story is almost as sweet as the cakes made from her mother’s recipes.

The Sweet Treat:

The biggest mover by far is the Red Velvet cake, so liberally frosted with cream cheese icing that the frosting is as thick as the cake itself. Cookies, brownies, gooey cake, chocolate-covered strawberries and a variety of Danish are just a few of the other delicacies to be had. The owner, Angel, makes everything in house.

My Top Pick:

Mango Kiwi Parfait. Angel had something special waiting for me when I arrived — a sampler of four different confections — part parfait, part cake, part sweet cream. All of them, from the strawberry shortcake to the banana parfait, were beautiful and delicious. But my favorite by far was the Mango Kiwi Parfait. Delectable and tart kiwi, deep rich mango and sweet whipped cream are liberally laced with honey in this dreamy dessert. It is not to be missed. If you are in need of a birthday cake, warm crusty bread or a beautiful pastry, stop by Hannah’s and fall in love with this traditional gourmet bakery.

Where to Find It:

Hannah’s Gourmet Bakery, 103-B Village Road, Leland, (910) 371-0440

Sponsored by ATMC
Sponsored by The Sunset Inn

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