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The result for her kosher-cookie-craving customers is a wide variety of premium treats, made with imported chocolate, real vanilla and butter (non-dairy types are available, too). They're baked daily; there is no freezer.
There's a favorite for everyone: chocolate chip, milk chocolate chip with pecans, oatmeal spice, apricot shortbread bars, classic peanut butter, raspberry shortbread bars, chocolate decadence and much more.
Oh yeah. We finally got out there to try it, and now, just try keeping us away. Angel Sweet makes its divine gelatos fresh every day, and is this stuff a knockout. Somehow, it manages to be low-fat, but you'd never know to taste the thick, rich Italian ice cream. One glance at the more than two dozen flavors on display, and our heads are spinning.
Angel Sweet's recipes, and many of its ingredients, come straight from Italy. Fruits are in high form, intense and arrogant, partnered with classic concoctions like tiramisu, panna cotta with caramel, and stracciatella (Italian chocolate chip).
Which reminds us: We really should give that friend a call back and thank him. But we can do that later, after we finish our dessert.
What's magical? How about merza farangee (grilled eggplant with sautéed onion, garlic, tomato, fresh herbs, feta and olive oil, dipped with toasted garlic pita and cucumber-yogurt sauce), hummus-tabbouleh pita, or tofu portobello (sautéed silken tofu, spinach, onion, garlic, ginger root, tomato, feta, olive oil, lemon and soy sauce with brown rice, toasted almond-saffron-raisin)? When we crave chicken, we get it spicy with mushroom, bell pepper, onion, scallion, ginger root, celery, garlic, tomatoes, fresh herbs, Persian spices, feta and soy sauce. And while there's no beef, we can get shrimp (scampi) and lamb (gyros).
Even dessert is delicious, with velvety vegan creations including pumpkin pie, carrot and cheese cakes, or Persian saffron rice pudding. It's all a dream, capped with a hot cup of Persian chai tea with rose water, rose petals and cardamom.
It's as good for us as it tastes. Ices are made with real fruit, and custards are 90 percent fat free. Ice flavors are bright and refreshing, like cherry, lemon, mango, watermelon, pia colada, blueberry, grape, prickly pear and cotton candy. Custard comes in chocolate or swirl. And though we had to wonder when we heard about it, we're now devoted fans of the Island Breeze, a gelato combination of Italian ice scooped between two layers of custard. How cool is that?
It could be the two free "super nutrients" blended into each smoothie. And these options are tangible substances -- bee pollen, oat bran, soy protein -- rather than chemical cocktails with vague, fancy names (a bowlful of "Femme Booste," anyone?).
It could be the immense variety. Fruit n' Tea Freezes of juice, fruit, green tea, vitamin C and folic acid. Vegetable blends of beet, carrot and celery juices. Cappuccino served hot, cold, flavored, in yogurt shakes. Non-dairy smoothies for the lactose-intolerant. MET-Rx shakes for the flab-intolerant.
Truth be told, the reason we love Fresh Blenders is this: Smoothies contain the only fruit our intestines ever see, and with flavors such as Orange Creamsicle Delight and Banana-Peanut Butter Yum Yum, this place makes nutritional noshing more score than chore. Plus the counter is piled with 98 percent fat-free cookies and brownies.
We can feel our thighs shrinking already.
About a half-dozen tartes usually are on the menu, and they may change with the seasons (rustic peach in the summer). Yet whatever the selection, there's something that never changes about these desserts: They're divine.
While numbers never were our strong point, we can appreciate a simple mathematical formula now and again. Here's one: Gooey fondue plus swanky lounge plus tiny pitchforks plus sticky fingers equals sexy with a capital SEX. No matter the flavor -- Grand Marnier-Chocolate, Godiva White Chocolate or Butterscotch-Caramel -- this fondue formula liquefies first-date tension.
Like the mixed messages that make our dates so very frustrating, the nibbles are both nourishing (strawberries, raspberries, bananas) and naughty (cubes of cheesecake, bites of brownie, squares of sponge cake). And how enticing that, once the morsels are gone, there's no way to get to the remaining chocolate without plunging our fat fingers right into the pot. Sure, the room is filled with Scottsdale's thinnest and most beautiful. All the better to parade around with chocolate smeared across our ever-loving faces.
No one's looking -- just fondue it.
It's fun to wander the shop and see what's new and exciting. If we want exotic game, we can ask for, and get, pretty much anything on special order. But we're captivated by that succulent steak, so thick and firm, blood red and singing with juices.
Smokey O's marinates its porkers in special seasonings, then roasts them for 27 hours over applewood smoke. The poor pig is then defiled with an apple in its mouth and a lei around its neck, but it sure tastes good. It's not even all that expensive -- $7.95 a pound for a big cooked pig, $3.50 raw. Poor pig, lucky us.