The confectionary wizards at Sugar Blossom Treats bake fresh, small batches of treats that shun preservatives and hydrogenated oils in favor of local, Texas dairy products, Madagascar bourbon vanilla, and European chocolate. Each day, the eatery creates 12 regular flavors and two–four specials, often announced on its Facebook page or via hungry skywriters. Classic flavors include Karat Carrot, a carrot cake with pecans covered in cream-cheese frosting, and the Old-Fashioned Vanilla, which pairs yellowcake with vanilla buttercream. Flavors grow increasingly eclectic with rotating specials such as the Thin Mint, which mixes chocolate and mint-chocolate ganache, or the Campfire, a blend of chocolate, graham crackers, and white cake, topped with marshmallow frosting and cautionary advice about being a vigilant babysitter written in sprinkles. Grouponers can go after custom orders (minimum of 12), and are advised to call ahead to set aside select flavors.
Central Market cooking schools enlighten the epicurean masters of tomorrow with instruction from the gourmet gurus of today, having previously hosted guest instructors such as the renowned Cat Cora and Mario Batali. Meal mentors post classes in both Dallas and Plano every four to six weeks, usually providing 26–30 options per month. Whether it's your first time holding a skillet or you're looking to polish your sushi skills after finally discovering how to uncook fish, Central Market provides coaching for every experience level. Curious foodies can peruse an array of informative options, including sharpening your knife skills ($55), making indulgent desserts ($50), creating one-dish dinners ($55), and fine-tuning a soufflé filled with an event horizon. Running roughly 2.5 hours each, sessions are offered most days of the week. Most hands-on classes can accommodate about 18, while demonstration classes can accommodate up to 48, depending on location. See Central Market's frequently asked questions pages (click here for Dallas, here for Plano) for more information.
Chocolate Pizazz placates palates with a cornucopia of creative, gourmet chocolate treats. Like a kid locked up in a candy store, customers can giddily bag a dipped MoonPie ($4.75), a 5-ounce chocolate popcorn ($7.75), or marshmallow Pizazz ($4.75) while making a list of people not to share with. Add flavor to the year by nailing cookies to the calendar for each holiday, such as Easter, Dad's Tie Day, or Halloween ($16.95+). Dipped Twinkies keep teeth properly coated in sweetness ($4.75), and a twisting turn through a forest of colorful, crunchy pretzels or a thick thicket of popcorn eventually leads you to Grandma's house or to doubt your sense of direction.
Ali Bahramian wanted to combine the casual atmosphere and quick service of a coffee shop, a diner, and a fast-food eatery, so he decided to start his own from scratch. He developed his own menu built on sandwich, salad, and soup recipes he created himself, enlisted the help of his architect wife Mariam to design a space, and selected soothing jazz and blues music as a backdrop for his eatery.
Within the fully realized Orange Lunch Box, Ali and his staff bake fresh sandwich bread in-house each day and chocolate-chip cookies each hour to pair with cups of coffee. The culinary crew serves salads and sandwiches topped with a range of meats and cheeses, Italian-inspired spreads, and local produce. Orange Lunch Box's interior eschews the presence of television and instead captures diners' attention with a color palette of warm orange, cool green, and room-temperature purple.
Tucked away under a flight of stairs lies a family-owned eatery where meaty sandwiches and wraps reign supreme. Yorktown Deli's chefs layer grilled chicken, fresh avocado, lettuce, tomato, and pesto in the italian chicken sandwich, which arrives fresh from the kitchen in the shape of Italy. Other sandwiches include tuna melts and the Avocado Heaven, a colorful portrait of avocado, lettuce, tomato, red pepper, and cheese. To create each of the deli's eight wraps, chefs roll meats such as grilled chicken, turkey, and salami with veggies, condiments, and cheese, and diners can wash down meals with iced coffee, lattes, and espresso.