At Sweet Ecstasy Bakery, mother-daughters trio Tonisha, Carla, and Jean whip up personalized sweet treats for all occasions. Scones, seasonal cookies, and quick breads fulfill day-to-day sugar needs, and more than a dozen varieties of miniature cakes and cheesecakes fit handily into mouths and slingshots. The confectionery conquistadors also aim their spatulas at multilayered cakes for special occasions. Though requesting a full-scale fondant replica of the Hubble telescope is not advisable, bakers are happy to customize desserts to suit gluten-free and sugar-free palates.
Perkins Restaurant & Bakery fills rumbly tummies with American breakfast, lunch, and dinner classics all day long. Break fasts and pocket watches stuck on 6:42 a.m. with a plate of buttermilk pancakes made according to a secret recipe ($5.99 for five) or a signature omelet filled with a bevy of toothsome ingredients and served with two sides ($8.19–$9.19). Burger lovers can chew their way through a variety of ground-chuck patties, including the Tangler burger, piled high with cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, crunchy fried onions, lettuce, and tomato, and slathered in a Grey Poupon bistro sauce ($8.99). The hearty Down Home meatloaf ($8.99) subdues substantial appetites with two beef-gravy-covered slices and two sides, surpassing pimento and lazy stepbrothers for the title of America’s favorite loaf. Diners can slake their thirst with a full selection of Coca-Cola sodas ($2.59), regular or decaffeinated coffee ($1.99), and hand-dipped shakes or malts ($4.79) while perusing the capacious bakery menu, loaded with fresh pies and tarts.
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.
The staff at Sweet Melody's Authentic Italian Gelateria is largely made up of college students studying music or voice who are apt to leap from behind the counter and serenade patrons at any moment. Sweet Melody's also makes tasty music with its menu. Fresh mozzarella and fire-roasted tomatoes sing without amplification in the A Cappella Panino ($6.95). The Stacatto Panino ($6.95) attacks each note with a fervor, powered by dijon mustard and then supplemented by ham, asiago cheese, and basil leaves. Play the small-size gelato—the piccolo ($3.25)—with your choice of Sweet Melody's two-dozen weekly flavors. Bigger sizes range from $3.95–$4.95.
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.