Hy Tea's experienced beverage brewers invite pairs to relax in their teahouse for Hy-Tea Time, an experience based on British High Tea that blends hot beverages with a variety of edibles. Light flickers across patrons' faces as they chat by the main room's fireplace, where hands warm around cups filled with gourmet blends of tea or the rich flavours of strong americano coffee. Blooming tea, a 100% natural green tea, warms esophagi; chocolate-mint tea is reminiscent of an after-dinner-duel mint. Between sips, couples share buttery scones paired with cheeses, jam, and cream. Digits delight at the sight of finger sandwiches, and teeth sink like a defeated battleship into various sweets and fruits. Customers can venture outside during warm weather to sip drinks on the patio, which offers views of Frenchman's Bay Village and the sun's daily strobe-light shows. Call to make reservations for Hy Tea Time, which is offered at any time.
The Great Canadian Bagel stuffs sandwiches with nutritious ingredients and embraces each mouthwatering mound with freshly sliced wheels of dough. The extensive sandwich menu reflects gourmet deli concoctions such as barbecue beef with onions ($5.59), asiago swiss supreme ($4.99), and the Monte Cristo ($4.99), which is garnished with toasted ham and sweet revenge. Pizza bagels ($2.19) and bagel dogs ($3.09) grant sandwiches a much-needed rest until a sausage-egg-and-cheese ($4.19) or nova-lox-and-cream-cheese sandwich ($6.29) scrumptiously breaks dawn. Rumbling stomachs can embellish meals with a spring-greens salad ($3.69) and a bowl of Klondike chili ($4.29) or simply snack on a brownie ($1.99) and raise a pinky while sipping a large chocolate milk ($2.39).
Little nuggets of pearl sugar caramelize during baking, making Wanda's made-to-order Liège-style waffles different from the typical Belgian style. The dough is infused with vanilla, maple, or strawberry flavour, and the waffles can be crowned with toppings such as Nutella, strawberries, or caramel. Toasted sandwiches, such as the croque monsieur and the signature chicken with thai sauce, sate savoury teeth, whereas espresso and coffee drinks brewed with beans from Illy wash it all down with more refinement than sucking on a garden hose.
Jennifer Best couldn't sleep. A bout of fibromyalgia was keeping her wide awake, and though she experimented with allopathic and naturopathic sleep remedies, it was no use. Then she tried something new: a tea blend called Sweet Dreams. The brew was so effective that not only did it give Jennifer some much-needed shut-eye, but by morning it had inspired her to change careers. She explored the local loose-leaf-tea market and was amazed to find how many good varietals were out there, varietals she thought others might appreciate the way she had appreciated Sweet Dreams.
Jennifer started small, founding Steeped and Infused in 2007 as an online store that sold 20 different teas. But her fan base blossomed, and today the website—which now sells roughly 70 varieties—gains support from two brick-and-mortar retail stores. Like the queen's childhood toy box, her inventory includes everyday black, green, and rooibos teas, but also features yerba mate and pu-erh—a centuries old Chinese blend made from high-quality large leaves. She complements these with a small selection of accessories, such as tea filters and mesh steeping balls.
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If comfort food is supposed to evoke a sense of ease and familiarity, the Impossible Double Hank burger breaks rather severely with tradition. With its intimidating name and heaps of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, bacon, and cheddar, the burger forces the brave patrons of Hank’s Tavern & Eats to confront their most delicious fears. Though less overwhelming than the double-portioned hamburgers, the tavern’s shrimp po’ boys, baby back ribs, and fish burritos are made with similarly fresh ingredients and prove just as tasty. While digging into these and other hearty eats, patrons can follow local sports on 20 TV screens and guesstimate their height by lying facedown on the 50-foot bar.
Home to more than 100 varieties of tea, Herbal Infusions Tea Co. immerses visitors in all things tea. Knowledgeable staffers stock the shelves with their own popular blends, including eucalyptus-grapefruit tea and organic cacao tea alongside a fleet of white, green, oolong, and black teas. They also sell tea-making accessories such as teapots and filters. In addition to offering advice on steeping the perfect cup to any customer who asks, they hold tea-themed workshops that range from pairing cheeses to developing pinkie-finger fitness regimens.