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.
On a warm August day in 1938, a father and son unveiled the first sample of what was to become Dairy Queen, selling 1,600 samples on the first day, a feat as unheard of as a dragon that breathes ice. Its ensuing prolific expansion was fueled by its frozen treats, which propelled the dessert shop from 100 stores in 1947 to 1,446 in 1950. Today, their dessert recipes remain largely unchanged, and Dairy Queen has added hearty grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, and fried chicken to its menu. Dairy Queen's enormous dessert menu boasts treats ranging from soft-serve cones and blizzards filled with cookies to takeaway ice-cream sandwiches and cakes.
Atcha Bakery & Cafe began in 1995 as an in-home business producing pastries and breads for friends and neighbors. It eventually evolved outside of the house and into a café, which today serves a full menu of Greek and Lebanese fare, from gyro sandwiches to plates of chicken shawarma. Ample vegetarian options include falafel sandwiches, homemade hummus, and platters of baba ghannouj, falafel, and grape leaves. Just because the café has expanded doesn’t mean it’s left behind its bakery roots, however. Homemade baklava crisps in its ovens, and its freshly baked pita bread supplies several other restaurants around Baton Rouge.
Guided by their insatiable sweet teeth, founders Danna and Adam outfit Menchie's with a rotating menu of more than 65 eclectic frozen-yogurt and sorbet flavors alongside 40 delectable toppings. Guests can fill a 12-ounce dessert chalice with live active cultures in flavors such as Reese's peanut-butter cup, watermelon tart, and coconut, or opt for low-carb flavors such as butter pecan, pistachio, or whole-wheat toast. A buffet overflowing with toppings, which include locally grown fruit, embellishes frozen-yogurt peaks with heapings of mini caramel cups, cookie dough, and fresh blackberries.
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.