Between the Elmo and Kermit characters suctioned onto the glass door entrance and the crop of stuffed animals crowding the front windowsills, Tom and Wendee's appears more like a daycare center than a dairy-free sweet shop.
But don't judge this store by its decor (the interior doesn't get much better, with turquoise walls, plastic lawn chairs and fake, potted sunflowers aplenty). More than 15 years old, this husband-and-wife-owned Italian ice shop entices patrons of all ages with 15 flavors of homemade ice prepared on-site daily.
Non-fat and all natural, choice flavors include black raspberry, mango and lemon; chocoholics can get their guilt-free fix with chocolate toffee or cappuccino crunch. Sizes range from toddler ($2.50) to a half-gallon ($17). If you've never tried Italian ice before, ask for a taste of whatever looks appealing; the staff will happily accommodate you. Don't expect the creamy texture of gelato, this stuff is more like sorbet, and it's as refreshing and yummy as anything you've ever had.
For those who crave a little salt with their sweet, the store sells bags of chips, pretzels and popcorn. Wash down that dessert with can of cold Fresca or root beer and call it a summer's day.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Jessica Herman