Truly Free Bakery and Deli provides customers with a wide-ranging menu full of healthy eats crafted to accommodate dietary restrictions. Flouting most of the laws of culinary physics, every item the store dishes out is entirely devoid of the ingestible irritation of wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, and egg, allowing allergy sufferers to close their eyes, feel around for the nearest plate, and eat without consequence. Treat your taste buds to the meatless magic of an avocado and grilled-eggplant panini ($6.75), or discover what Italians do when life hands them delicious citrus with a lemon Mamma Mia pizza, topped with lemon chicken, fresh thyme, eggplant, and tomatoes ($8.99 for an 8 in.). Breakfast and kids’ menus cater to the needs of early risers and tiny tummies, and a selection of smoothies, such as the deliciously danceable Mango Mambo ($5.75 for a 20 oz.), provides hands-free refreshment when paired with a straw.
The bakers at Sweet Wishes use their sweets expertise to transform high-quality ingredients into a full menu of flavorful cupcakes bearing a layer of the shop’s signature frosting. The store's open layout draws eyes to the cupcake counter, where guests can peer through the glass to discern each cake’s flavor by its frosted artwork or not-so-casually placed pedigree certificate. Cupcakes flaunt both sweet and savory sides, with breakfast cupcakes enticing early risers with varieties such as sausage and cheese. The sweetery complements its cake menu with warm drinks, individually scooped ice cream, and specialty cakes for canine companions. Guests can enjoy their treats on the go, or they can stay and enjoy free WiFi, warmed by a cozy fireplace and hot-chocolate geysers.
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.
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.
Sweet Frog?s frozen-yogurt flavors go beyond the norm. In addition to cookies ?n? cream and original tart, the lineup of 75 varieties includes maple-bacon donut, cake batter, and dulce de leche. Patrons can sprinkle on toppings such as fresh fruit and candies, then savor their confetti?d confections in the lime-green-and-pink restaurant. Smiling frogs and funky white hanging lamps give the stores an air of fun, but founder Derek Cha is interested in giving more than that to the community; through Sweet Frog, he sponsors children in need and dispatches frog mascots to those who need encouragement.
Great gelato comes down to ingredients and process. City Gelato's Mario Lozanov has it mastered on both fronts. He sources directly from Louisiana suppliers such as Main Street Market and incorporates whichever fresh, local fruits happen to be in season. With these ingredients?plus a few scoops of pure cane sugar?he uses a combination of traditional Italian techniques and his own recipes to craft creamy gelato. The result is a dessert with less fat and more flavor than other varieties of ice cream.