For more than three decades, Ann Byrd has been lending her artistic flair to traditional European cakes and pastries. She has a true penchant for creating stunning wedding cakes––a talent that remains a cornerstone of her business, Bridal Cakes by Ann. Aside from these tiered masterpieces, Ann creates cupcakes and cake pops in an ever-changing array of flavors that includes red velvet, chocolate, and carrot cake. Her skewered desserts are a hit at celebrations, as they come ready to dip into a chocolate fountain or fight with like swords.
At The Original K-9 Cafe, chefs mold fresh, natural ingredients into dishes fit for humans, but specifically crafted for their canine friends. With an eye on nutrition, they whip up tasty Muttloaf, stuffed manicotti, and even “Yappy Hour” drinks such as the Muttini, which boosts digestive health. The menu also includes fresh marrow bones and other deli eats, desserts such as mini peanut-butter bars, and Bowser Beer, a brew concocted from beef broth. Pups can chow down on healthful meals every day thanks to weekly meal plans, or unwind after frustrating weeks of building oubliettes for mailmen with brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
At the spa, relaxation comes in the form of paw massages, nail clipping, and conditioning fur butter treatments that undo damage done to pooches’ coats. The boutique also helps owners dote on doggies with gifts including college jerseys, toys, and treats.
Carolyn’s talented baristas transform beans, leaves, and other ingredients into an array of carefully crafted drinks, which can be enjoyed solo or paired with a selection from a menu of cafe classics. Rely on a bombardment of fresh-brewed Intelligentsia coffee ($2.10 for a medium) or a coffee drink such as a cappuccino, macchiato, or latte ($3.64 each for a medium) to perk you up after a long night of stargazing, asteroid hunting, or moon taunting. Unbeaned beverages include green tea lattes ($3.18 for a medium), chai ($4.12 for a medium), and cold mocha frappes and fruit smoothies ($5.40 each for a medium). To celebrate its role as the most important and least candle-lit meal, breakfast is served all day, halting hunger with filling fare such as a quiche Lorraine, whose eggs, bacon, gruyere cheese, seasoning, and cream are transported mouthward on an all-butter crust ($4.50). Midday munchers can choose from hot sandwiches such as the roast beef and cheddar or cold classics such as smoked turkey, each served with chips and a choice of side ($6.95 each). Guests in search of greener fare can dive mouth-first into the spinach salad bursting with raisins, red onion, feta cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette ($6.95).
Pub 22, a Kenosha watering hole that opened in early 2012, serves up classic pub snacks paired with cold drinks. The spot's cooks toss chicken wings with piquant sauces, fry fresh potato chips for pub nachos, and grill burgers to serve with helpings of fries or tater tots. Local bands frequently take the stage for live shows.
Infini-tea's proprietors pour steaming pots of specialty teas, tisanes, and coffees, coupling them with the cuisine famed in Europe during traditional high-tea ceremonies. They possess a particular affinity for baking scones and make them from scratch each day, and also serve gourmet soups, fresh salads, and finger sandwiches—life's one opportunity to bite the hand that feeds you. Once guests are done, they can take a stroll by neighboring antique shops and quaint Antioch establishments.
Long-time friends Peter Rauser and pastry chef Jordan Rappaport list cupcakes, custard, and coffee as their specialties at Baker Boys, but their cheesecake reigns supreme. “I have the best cheesecake in the world. Hands down,” Rappaport told a reporter from [Chicago Magazine]http://gr.pn/sNUQ6S) in 2010. The reporter, though reluctant at first, wholeheartedly agreed at the end of a two week trial. “I’m addicted…Rappaport’s coffee cheesecake—perfect flavor combo, perfect texture—put me over the top.” The rest of their menu will not disappoint sweets seekers, either. The aforementioned cupcakes are hand-frosted, and a rotating selection of flavors may include blueberry pancake, caramel mocha, peppermint candy cane, or cookie dough—which features a half-baked chocolate cookie in its center. Meanwhile, a chilled display case holds custards that are equally as decadent: flavors include malted milk balls, hot cocoa n’ marshmallows, Irish coffee, and nutella. They also blend cake shakes, a sippable blend of custard and a mini cupcake.