The shelves of Legendary Doughnuts are lined each day with an ever-changing variety of hand-rolled, fresh fried treats topped with unconventional frostings and toppings. Shoppers can sink their teeth into the extra-large glazed Homer Simpson or try the George Washington, a chocolate-cake donut with chocolate-cherry ganache and almond slices. Old-fashioned varieties include the lemon-coconut donut with a lemon glaze and a crown of coconut, and specialties include the Fluff-A-Nutter stuffed with banana, peanut butter, and marshmallow. Legendary Doughnuts fills custom orders, too, whether customers would like an assortment of seasonal donuts, a tower of 25 donut balls, or a special plate of three donuts stacked and decorated to look like a hamburger.
In 1988, Auntie Anne's founders Anne and Jonas Beiler purchased a Pennsylvania farmers'-market stand, where they experimented with dough until they created a pretzel that seemed to strike the perfect chord with their customers. Today, at their more than 1,150 locations worldwide, the pretzel makers still hand roll the original recipe but have added to the menu with inventive options, such as the pepperoni pretzel and eight signature dipping sauces. The team constantly explores new uses for the pretzel dough, such as wrapping it around hot dogs, slicing it into bite-size nuggets, or using it to build historically accurate Austrian villages. To transform the snack into a meal, they accompany it with specialty drinks, including frozen-lemonade desserts.
When not twisting dough, Auntie Anne's team partners with the national charitable organization Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which raises funds to fight childhood cancer. Auntie Anne's also reaches out to the community through fundraising opportunities.
A backlit sign inside Trotters Family Restaurant depicts glowing images of ice cream scooped into ornamental glass dishes and decorated with chocolate syrup and cherries. Although the sign and the eatery's 1950s-style decor suggest an old-fashioned ice-cream parlor, not everything that comes from the kitchen is a dessert.
In the mornings, cooks griddle omelets with ingredients such as bay shrimp or italian sausage. Later in the day, they simmer made-from-scratch soups, charbroil new york strip steaks, and grill burgers made from beef, salmon, or veggies. With a spacious and welcoming ambiance, Trotters Family Restaurant is well suited for large groups such as sports teams or rogue conga lines wandering through town.
Though the baking endeavors of Emerald City Cake Balls owner Roni Sanders include tiny treats, she strives to pack each bite-size morsel with a potent blend of flavors. The skilled baker mixes moist cake and brownies with frosting, fruit fillings, and puddings, swathes the bite-size morsels in a chocolate shell, and adorns them by hand with stripes of chocolate and dustings of sprinkles, earning her treats the spotlight on King 5’s New Day. She strives to match her treats’ lavish exteriors with equally uncommon flavor combinations: in addition to vanilla and chocolate, customers can bite into flavors such as maple pancake and caramel macchiato.
Before teaming up in 1953, Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins were seasoned business owners with their own ice-cream shops. The words “unusual varieties” shone high above each shop, signaling their respective owners’ passion for anything but an ordinary dessert experience. When the two got together, it was natural that they’d adopt the theme of “31 flavors,” one for each day of the month. Since then, Baskin-Robbins has introduced more than 1,000 flavors and opened shops with more than 5,800 franchise owners worldwide. Even their little pink tasting spoon has become a staple as a way to make flavor browsing an event by allowing guests to try specialties without paying cash or chicken-based trade for the privilege.
Athens Pizza & Pasta is still going strong after 34 years. In 2013, its pizza was voted Best Pizza by readers of the Auburn Reporter. And although the praise for the eatery's pies are warranted?whether it's the Athens Special with three types of meat or the Spartan Special with feta cheese and black olives?the kitchen staff doesn't only toss together pizzas. They also make foot-long grinders, baked pastas, and hearty salads. In fact, the menu also includes barbecue chicken, spareribs, and other BBQ offerings.