The fudge confectioners at Nutz About Fudge create locally made, sacchariferous treats that bloom into radiant smiles once planted into eager mouths. While customers peruse a selection of 20–30 flavors, they are encouraged to taste as many as they like. Swirls of creamy vanilla, peanut-butter, and chocolate fudge surround visitors as they tell stories over imaginary campfires while eating s'mores brimming with chocolate fudge, graham cracker crumbs, and marshmallows. Walnuts dive into chocolate nut fudge and spicy jalapeño flavors heat up cocoa-imbued morsels and the mouths of recently thawed-out cavemen. Chunks of oreo cookies swim through gooey crème rivers while blocks of chocolate fudge attempt to hedge in the decadent chaos. Should clients desire a flavor unavailable in-store, fudge smiths will gladly forge it within 48 hours. Nutz About Fudge also ships their wares for an additional fee.
Black Mountain Bakery sates savory and sweet cravings with a lunch menu of soups and sandwiches and an array of tasty baked goods and elaborately decorated cakes. Billowy slices of fresh-baked bread cushion mouth stalagmites as they sink into ham, turkey, or roast-beef sandwiches ($3.95), and meaty chicken salad ($7.25) sits in silent judgment of its fruit salad plate mate. Rich and flaky chocolate-almond brioche and soft cinnamon rolls ($2.25–$2.50) flow from within the bakery's on-site ovens, as do delicate almond horn cookies ($1.50 each). Made-to-order cakes ($17+) come in myriad flavors and sizes to brighten birthday parties and lure frightened birthday clowns out of hiding.
Voted one of the top three bakeries in Western North Carolina by Mountain Xpress in 2009, Short Street dishes out down-home desserts alongside slices of refreshing Southern hospitality. Sink an ethically minded sweet tooth into a vegan mexican chocolate cupcake, sparked with fragrant cinnamon and a hint of cayenne ($2). Or, sate a carnivorous cuspid with the 6-inch bacon apple cake–a pound cake baked with bacon drippings, crowned with fried-apple cream cheese icing, and sprinkled with crumbled bacon and Richard Simmons's tears ($24). Indulgers who hold a moral opposition to forks can score Short Street's decadent delights in cupcake form ($2–$3 each for full sized), and the cakery will transform most of their creations into a gluten-free form for a small fee and your promise to never dress it in doll clothes. Check out the full bakery menu before calling to place an order.
Owned and operated by expert pastry chef Melinda Vetro, who learned the trade as an apprentice to her cinnamon-dispensing grandmother, Old Europe treats sweet teeth to authentic Hungarian delectables, baked daily. Sample the Ricardo, a rich chocolate nut cake with raspberry cream garnished with ganache, fresh raspberry topping, and a slick hairdo ($3.50), or mop up an espresso drink ($1.50) with an absorbent viennese shortbread ($1.29). Traditionalists may err on the side of biscotti ($1.29) or the dobos torte, a five-layer sponge cake accented with dark-chocolate buttercream that infuses its eater with confectionary confidence.
A shadowy figure looms on Blue Ridge Bear Yogurt & Espresso's logo, ready to pounce on the delicious treat placed in front of him. Fortunately, this is just one of the shop's bear mascots, who, like all bears in the Blue Ridge Mountains, subsists on a diet comprised solely of yogurt and coffee. Treats like these are in abundance at this cozy shop, where colorful menu boards stand out against stone walls and dark-wood tones. Across those boards, the staff has scrawled the cozy café's diverse array of pick-me-ups, including fresh coffees from the local mavens at Mountain City Roasters that come in Cub (12 oz.), Mama Bear (16 oz.), and Papa Bear (20 oz.) sizes. Guests can cut these steaming cups with an array of specialty milks, ranging from organic cow's milk to alternatives including almond, coconut, and soy. Ghiradelli chocolate sauce adds refined flavor to mochas, and even lends its signature sweetness to the shop's scratch-baked cupcakes. On warmer days, perhaps, cold and frozen drinks seem more appealing, such as iced tea and iced coffee made with iced coffee cubes to prevent dilution. Likewise, frozen yogurt cools off tongues, and additional baked good such as Guinness cake topple the munchies and sweets cravings all at once.
After retrieving their treats, guests often get comfortable in Blue Ridge Bear Yogurt & Espresso inviting themed seating areas. There, after snagging a table, they can peruse the shop's library of books and board games, scrutinize the Art Room's paintings by local artists, or settle in for browsing via free WiFi. On colder days, guests can warm themselves in front of the Patriot Room's fireplace, where a flag flown during Operation Iraqi Freedom New Dawn 2010 honors the country's fallen heroes and the owners' fellow veterans. Once warm weather returns, an outdoor deck with seating and plenty of green space entices parents, kids, and pets into some much-needed frolicking. If the rains roll in, kids can also entertain themselves with the shop's ample selection of storybooks, puzzles, and coloring books.
For larger parties, Blue Ridge Bear Yogurt & Espresso offers a private meeting room. There, groups ranging from book clubs to business meetings can chat in comfortable seclusion over some of the shop's signature eats and drinks.
On a stick, in a glass, rolled up, or stuck together. These are a few of the creative ways that bakers at Ruth & Ranshaw serve their handcrafted desserts. The on-a-stick category covers cake and marshmallow pops, caramel apples, and chocolate apples, whereas trifles, banana pudding, and mousse display their sweet layers in tall glasses. Pumpkin rolls and coffee roulades come rolled up, and whoopie pies stick together.
Bakers also create more traditional sweets, such as pecan pies and chocolate chip cookies, as well as specializing in custom cakes for weddings, birthdays, or other occasions. These cakes are beautiful both inside and out, filled with flavors such as pumpkin spice or red velvet and fillings including citrus curd and Kahl?a.