Songs from the 1940s drift through the air inside Taste, a café whose hip, inviting interior is illuminated by lights salvaged from old factories and whose exterior is adorned with a steaming coffee cup statue. At a counter crafted from a repurposed bowling lane, baristas take orders for fragrant ciders and teas, steamy mochas, and dishes such as tiramisu french toast with mascarpone-espresso cream. Guests can also munch on gourmet sandwiches layered with smoked meats and cheeses or fresh tuna salad or order s'mores to prepare at their own tables.
Babycakes Cupcakery turns out made-from-scratch cupcakes that are pleasant to look at as they are tasty to eat. Eye-catching designs, mouthwatering flavor combinations, and creative cupcake flavors distinguish these sweet snacks from the pack. Signature cupcakes include a chai-tea cupcake, caramel apple streusel made with cinnamon vanilla-bean buttercream, and tiramisu cupcakes brushed with espresso and topped with mascarpone frosting. The menu also features rotating cupcakes made with seasonal fruits.
Two classic American dessert institutions join dulcet forces at Dairy Queen and Orange Julius, where frozen treats, and fruit drinks attack palates with a one-two punch of comforting delight. Classic Blizzards swirl in all manner of candy combinations, whereas the Orange Julius revels in the decadent simplicity of citrus.
Riley Greider is the mind, hands, and sweet teeth behind Sugar Mountain Bake Shoppe, a gourmet bakery specializing in cupcakes. More than 128 flavors rotate across the shop’s menu in groups of 13 to 20 each day, baked daily in small batches from fresh ingredients.
With such an enormous repertoire of recipes, the cupcake case has room for classics such as carrot cake alongside fancier flavors such as cinnamon french toast and cherry crème brûlée—not to mention the decidedly outlandish, such as loaded baked potato and Game Day Chili. While retaining a home-baked look, many of the cakelets wear elaborate toppers of sprinkles, frosting swirls, or fruit. All this creativity won the shop the title of Best Cupcakes in City Newspaper’s 2011 Readers’ Choice poll.
When Nord Brue and Mike Dressell began perfecting their bagel recipe with the help of a professional NYC bagel maker in 1983, the bagel was still an anomaly in the food world—it was geographically and culturally still isolated in New York City. Fueled by a desire to change that, the duo opened up the first Bruegger's deli with the hope of eventually introducing the rest of the country to the bagel. Brue and Dressell have since realized their dream, sharing their distinctive recipes and culinary traditions at 300 locations spread across 26 states. To this day, they oven-bake their centerless bread rolls every morning and afternoon, populating counter displays that also brim with daily made breads, Vermont cream cheese, and custom-roasted coffee.
Executive Chef Phillip Smith and his network of chefs still use the original five-ingredient recipe for their dough, which they shape into more than 20 bagel varieties. Because they draw from each region's local recipes and from dialogue and Pictionary games with local consumers, certain menu items may vary from store to store across the country. The bagels are often served with Bruegger's eclectic cream cheeses such as bacon scallion or pumpkin, or as sandwiches with meats, cheeses, and veggies often sourced from local or organic produce. Coffe gets just as much attention, with house blends of 100% arabica coffee.
On Valentine’s Day, 2012, Mattie’s Restaurant & Bakery first opened its doors to the public, supplying visitors with authentic international recipes and comforting soul food made by a team of five chefs. From its cozy, wood-paneled location in the historic Susan B. Anthony neighborhood, Mattie’s kitchen singles out a different world cuisine six nights a week: Tuesday night means Italian recipes, Wednesday night is Caribbean night, and Sunday is vegetarian night, honoring the cuisine of the legendary Vegetaria. Customers can also place catering orders, sustaining get-togethers of any type with platters of hearty entrees as well as assortments of cookies and desserts, such as chocolate-truffle cheesecake and bread pudding.