The heart-shaped sugar cookies that rise in the ovens at Abeeya's Bakery have been bundled up and shipped to destinations across the globe. Head decorator Dana Tucker and her team of bakers paint each of their signature cookies by hand—artisanship at its best. They also painstakingly add icing to customized birthday and wedding cakes with imaginative designs using their signature housemade frosting. Each day, the bakery display cases are stocked with freshly baked cookies, pies, cupcakes, and specialty desserts, creating a kaleidoscope of color beneath the playful movie posters that adorn the walls, a scene that conjures daydreams about which Baldwin would play Shakespeare in a modern biopic.
Though many fro-yo shops have sprung up in recent years, TCBY is no newcomer to the scene. Since 1981, its shops have been scooping, swirling, and topping their lower-fat treat in crunchy candy and fruity sprinkles—but that doesn't mean they've been coasting. They're still innovating, whether it's tweaking standby flavors or developing their signature honey-vanilla Greek frozen yogurt that dishes out protein and fiber without any fat. Fro-yo artisans blend up Beriyo smoothies in flavors such as mangolada and purely peach or infuse Shivers with a choice of sweet topping options. To celebrate a birthday or a jury-duty-selection-pool reunion, you can opt for frozen yogurt cakes and pies. The piece-accommodating treats are layered with frozen yogurt and rich toppings to forge flavors such as chocolate decadence and peanut-buttery fudge pie.
Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt satiates health-conscious sugar fixes through self-serve frozen-yogurt stations supplying any of the more than 100 rotating flavors into the cups of culinary creators. Tasty foundations ($0.44/oz.) such as new york cheesecake, Heath bar, and low-carb pumpkin can speed date with any combination of 70 rotating toppings such as old-fashioned granola and fat-free brownies. Options for kosher and gluten-free dining abound on Menchie’s menu, as do no-sugar-added spins on boysenberry and french vanilla along with four dairy-free sorbets. Each culinary creation is crafted by the patron that devours it, allowing for a sweet treat more personalized than dark-chocolate business cards.
There are countless gelato shops in Rome, yet Bacio di Roma managed to snag the Best Gelato in the City title by the prominent Italian food magazine, Gambero Ross. Now relocated to Baton Rouge, Roma’s talent for handcrafting decadent treats has not ceased; the owners' also operate Bacio di Roma—or Kiss from Rome—where they have earned local praise from publications such as Dig and the Daily Reveille.
Inside the Baton Rouge gelateria, staff prepare a range of flavors from all-natural ingredients. As Kendra Chamberlain of Dig learned, gelato must be created in small batches. This means that staff work up to 10 hours a day to create each batch by hand —just like in Italy, where Keebler Elves are illegal. Icy treats are paired with Lavazza coffee drinks, from espresso served straight up to lattes and chocolaty mochas. Shop successor Mario Lozanov takes pride in preserving the quality of traditional gelato flavors but welcomes new flavors such as birthday cake as well as a variety of hand-crafted desserts such as cannoli, tiramisu, and panna cotta, alongside an expanded menu featuring Italian panini sandwiches, sweet and savory crepes, soups, and salads. The shop is open during current remodeling to enhance the store's cozy and warm ambiance.
Red Mango's frozen yogurt has been garnering national attention for more than five years, unlike that musician strumming away next to the foosball table in his basement. The shop earned a place atop Zagat's 2011 lists for Best Smoothie and Frozen Yogurt Chain and Best Healthy Options Among Quick Refreshment Chains. Red Mango showcases its award-winning reputation by dishing up all-natural and gluten-free yogurts—all of which are either low-fat or nonfat—that promote healthy digestive and immune systems with natural probiotics. Friendly staff members are always on hand to whip Ghirardelli dark chocolate, POM pomegranate juice, and seasonal pumpkin spice frozen yogurts into stevia-sweetened smoothies or parfaits layered with organic granola and fruit. The toppings bar brims with crunchy cereal, cheesecake bits, and nuts, allowing creative customization.
Tropical Smoothie Café's wholesome smoothies are filled to the gills with fresh fruit, juices, yogurt, chocolate, nuts, and healthful supplements, minimizing the guilt of dessert consumption while maximizing the taste. Flavors such as Pomegranate Plunge (pomegranate, banana, strawberries, cranberry) are stuffed with superfruits, while low-fat options such as Mango Magic (mango, pineapples, non-fat yogurt) provide even healthier variations. Supercharged smoothies are stocked with a healthy dose of supplements, such as the Kiwi Citrus Green Tea's antioxidant-laden matcha charge or the Muscle Blaster's whey or soy protein. Food options include toasted buffalo chicken wraps, ultimate club sandwiches, and Baja chicken flatbreads.