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Food Trends in the Big City

Experts describe hip and healthy food trends in some major U.S. cities.
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What's Cooking in New York? continued...

Upscale Fro Yo.  A low-fat frozen yogurt chain popular in Southern California is now helping residents of New York's Chelsea neighborhood to chill out. Pinkberry frozen yogurt has become a local obsession, says Shari Forman, senior account supervisor for Edelman Public Relations in Times Square. Pinkberry frozen yogurt is delicious and virtuous, made without preservatives, additives, or excess sugar. A 5-ounce serving adds up to 125 calories, with 5 grams of protein and 0 grams fat, cholesterol, trans and saturated fat, and 30 grams of carbohydrates. Each 5-ounce serving also offers about 20% of the Daily Value for calcium and vitamin C.

Salad Sells. City dwellers do seem to love their salads, but can a restaurant survive on salad alone? At least two New York City chains are hoping so. Tossed and Chop't -- both fast-casual eateries specializing in salad -- have sprung up all over town. Besides healthy greens and toppings, Tossed also offers two fat-free salad dressings (cucumber dill and honey dijon) and a nice basic vinaigrette made with extra-virgin olive oil and fresh-squeezed lemon juice.

Savvy Shopping. Many locals I spoke with, including Anthony Starpoli, MD, a well-known New York City gastroenterologist, named the newly opened Whole Foods Market among the biggest food crazes to hit the Big Apple recently. A quick visit to the store quickly confirmed that even in the middle of a sweltering weekday, this hip new supermarket is hopping. Whole Foods offers city dwellers variety in food and meal options, says Forman.

Mini Desserts Make Headlines in Atlanta

The stylish southern city of Atlanta has a few food trends of its own. Minidesserts are big in all sorts of restaurants across town, says Susan Puckett, food editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. When it comes to dessert, the first few bites are usually the best, and this way you don't get too far into the triple-digits in calories. One restaurant chain in Atlanta has made "mini-indulgences" a cornerstone of their casually sophisticated menu. From red velvet cake to pecan pie with vanilla bean mousse, at Seasons 52 restaurants, $2 will buy you dessert in moderation. At just 40 calories, the fresh fruit mini is the most virtuous choice. Strawberry shortcake clocks in at just 154 calories, and even a more decadent dessert -- the 283-calorie tiramisu, for instance -- is still low-cal by most restaurant standards.

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