Ebonie Hughes has had an affinity for baking since she was a child, making cakes in her Easy Bake Oven and longing to help make cakes at her mother's bakery. After years of honing her talent decorating and baking cakes—even doing it to earn extra income while in college, instead of selling lesson plans to unprepared teachers like the other students—she decided to open her own business, Scrumptious Cakery.
Using recipes perfected over generations, Ebonie creates cakes in a variety of flavors, including red velvet, key lime, and classic butter swirled with chocolate. She then swirls buttercream-cream-based icings on top of the sweets. Her classic butter cake with vanilla buttercream icing is the cakery's most popular pick.
Craft a rope made of straws and climb the food pyramid with Planet Smoothie's menu as a trusty, yet tasty Sherpa. Thirst quenchers are grouped according to blasts, which range from the protein-rich workout blast to the vitamin-C-loaded immunity blast. For post-gym Planet Smoothie consumption, wrap your muscled eyebrows around a Big Bang, loaded with strawberries, bananas, vanilla, and your choice of protein or workout blast. If you catch a tickle in your throat, breeze through an anti-sick sampling of the Screamsicle, a pineapple-peach concoction with orange juice, yogurt, orange sherbet, and 230 percent of your daily vitamin C. To simultaneously support breast-cancer research and taste buds, sip on the Pink Promise smoothie, a blend high in antioxidants. Smoothies range in size from the after-jog-appropriate 22-ounce ($4.49) to the meal-substituting 44-ounce large ($6.55), and all drinks may be customized or supplemented upon request (try a Merlin's Mix—a protein-packed powder that turns your smoothie into a meal replacement, $2.99 additional). Planet Smoothie uses Pro-Yo, a frozen yogurt that is naturally fat free, low calorie, a friend to the digestive system, and sweetened with Stevia. The Vinings and Midtown locations also offer wheatgrass shots ($1.75–$3.25 for a 1- to 2-ounce shot).
Cafe at Pharr has been serving a menu of fresh, delicious, healthy cafe fare since the early 90s, and, despite its steady ascent toward universal acclaim, remains committed to meeting individual customers’ discerning edible druthers. The freshness of the teriyaki chicken sandwich ($7.50) or salad plate ($9) explodes on diners' tongues. Cafe at Pharr's celebrated walnut chicken-salad sandwich ($7.50) or salad plate ($9) is a walnut and golden raisin-dotted dish, while the vegetarian sandwich ($7.50) mingles avocado, swiss and american cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and mustard. Rice plates like the curry chicken ($9), served with white rice and bread, wage subtle yet effective war on standard sandwich shop fare. Coffee is available for body warming when the entire state cools in the afternoon, after unleashing a giant, statewide umbrella.
Drinking tea is more than just imbibing a delicious beverage made by infusing hot water with dried, tasty herbs and leaves. For many, it is a social engagement that eventually leads to common-law marriage and an excuse to nosh on mouthwatering sweets and tiny sandwiches. Get today's Groupon to tahCha Tea House, where you'll get $25 worth of tea, pastries, and more for just $10. Click here to discuss Groupon the Cat.
A cozy, red-brick neighborhood hotspot, Grant Park Coffeehouse serves up piping-hot or frosty iced cups of java alongside a packed menu of savory breakfast turnovers, healthy wraps, and freshly baked pastries. Stamp taste-bud passports with the piquant punch of European-inspired brews such as the espresso ($1.95–$2.25), or perform daring high dives into a frothy cappuccino ($2.75–$4.50). The homebrew ($1.50–$3.50) brims with classic flavors, and the pumpkin-spice latte ($3.50–$4.50) puts palates in mind of autumnal romps through raked leaves. Turn punches into lunch fare like a wizard during a boxing match with the three-cheese grilled-cheese sandwich ($4), welling with cheddar, swiss, and provolone, or keep lunch fare company with a chips and large drink combo for $2.
The Chocolate Bar's menu contains a veritable cornucopia of house-made chocolates, dessert plates, small bites, specialty cocktails, and expertly chosen wines. If you opt for the prix-fixe wine flight, you'll get three wines ($12) and your choice of three truffles ($5), three assorted popcorns ($12), or three cheeses ($13) to sample this chocolate cabin's wares. Otherwise, you can branch outward like a curious and hungry poltergeist tree with $25 worth of treats. Turn your palate to a culinary cocktail such as a summery beer float ($6), Leinenkugel's sunset wheat poured over a scoop of orange sherbet. Offset a liquid treat with some solid comestibles, such as smoked sockeye salmon ($10) in truffle and shallot vinaigrette. If you stopped by with a gaggle of friends, sweet-feast on a large dessert plate of peach melba ($8), a treasure trove of almond-vanilla sponge cake, peach sorbet, and raspberry mousse.