Reaching for fresh fruits and high-quality ingredients, the pastry chefs at Moonlight Cakes create sweet, moist morsels in a variety of forms for all occasions. Beautiful wedding cakes tower skyward, dressed in decorative layers of smooth fondant, while bite-size cake balls make a tasteful addition to any sweets table or ping-pong game. Dressed in a variety of flavors, cakes appear in combos such as peanut-butter fudge, milk and cookies, and Almond Joy, though the bakery is always happy to try and meet special requests.
Jessica Dixon is big on using fruit. The Baker's Delights maestro bakes bananas and strawberries into miniature loaves of sweet bread. Peaches and apples are the main ingredients in pies, caramelizing as they cook beneath buttery crusts. Many of her treats, such as pumpkin bread or sweet-potato pie, are particularly well-suited for autumn weather or food fights that don't allow sharpened asparagus. Though many of her recipes are rich in traditional ingredients, Dixon also accommodates special diets with dairy- or egg-free baked goods.
Mother and Daughter Cindy and Harley Merrill have been baking together since Harley was old enough to sit on the countertop and help her mother. At C & H Sweet Shop they continue their tradition by baking brownies, cookies, cupcakes, and pies.
Don't be fooled by Hot Chocolates' name—the bakery focuses on more than one flavor. In fact, even the handcrafted chocolate candies come in more than 40 varieties, such as dipped Oreos, peanut-butter creams, and 12 types of truffles made from imported ingredients. The staff also bakes custom cakes in 35 flavors, including piña colada and devil's food. To personalize these desserts for special occasions such as parties, weddings, or breakfast, bakers top them with assorted icings and buttercreams. These creations once caused a customer to describe the patisserie as a place “where everything tastes as good as it looks,” which the business uses as its motivation to create new eye-catching delicacies. Hot Chocolates' bakers also teach the secrets behind many of their treats in group classes, during which students learn to decorate cookies and bake desserts.
The Marble Slab Creamery sensory experience begins by just walking past the storefront, where the buttery scent of fresh-baked waffle cones drifts out into the air. Once inside, cans of gourmet ice cream, crafted on site from Marble Slab’s original French recipe, entice the eyes with a rainbow of colors. Once clients have made a flavor selection, they choose from a smorgasbord of mix-ins, from fresh fruit to nuts to candy and crumbled cookies, which an ice cream chef then hand-folds in atop a frosty marble slab before packing the finished custom-designed flavor masterpiece into a house-made waffle cone.
In addition to procuring hand-held treats, Marble Slab Creamery can send creations home in a variety of other formats, such as ice cream cakes, cupcakes, and hand-packed quarts, or in the capable hands of a catering team that arrives at events with portable marble slabs or sundae bars in tow.
Trio Café's executive chef, Jason Harper, a seasoned culinarian with a passion for global cuisine, shellacs taste buds with dishes outlined on a tightly constructed menu. The Mediterranean trio—a starter of oven-heated pita, garlic hummus, and greek salad ($7.95)—muffles the impatient moans of abdominal food sacks pining for gut-satiating sandwiches, all of which arrive tableside with kettle chips or a side house salad. Sandwich selections include the ham-and-brie panini ($7.95) and the beef tenderloin melt, which wraps a succulent hoagie around caramelized onions and portabellas soused in creamy horseradish sauce ($10.95). Veggie-seeking diners can also satiate their leaf-lust by forking through a salad, such as the rustic caesar—a lush amalgamation of yellow tomatoes, sourdough croutons, and parmesan crisps ($7.95)—or by tilting back a tall, energizing, meat-free cup of coffee or iced tea ($1.75).