Sugar artist and pastry chef Cherry Duran has been turning whole eggs and pure vanilla extract into edible works of art for 20 years. Simple sheet cakes can be transformed into favorite animals, popular cartoon characters, and beloved bank tellers at the bidding of her capable hands as she carves three-dimensional, icing-covered likenesses and uses photo-scan technology to imprint images onto frosting. She also whips up bunches of delectable cupcakes, cookies, and brownies to suit any type of get-together and helps home bakers to hone their batter-wrangling form in cake-decorating classes for differing skill levels.
Everyone knows tacos are a Mexican food. Right? Not so at First Floor Cafe, where tacos have taken on an Italian identity. It starts with a sizeable 10-inch tortilla, which gets heated on the grill. Inside that, chefs pack classic Italian ingredients: ham, pepperoni, cheese, banana peppers, and red wine vinegar. Lunchtime diners can pair the finished product with sides, such as chips and fresh-baked cookies. Or, they can retreat back to the café's menu for other afternoon favorites, including deli subs and burgers.
Lamenting the lack of European baked goods in the Norman community, the Jazzar and Khouri families united to open a bakery filled with flaky French pastries, three-layered Bavarian cakes, and freshly baked European breads. As La Baguette Bakery & Café's popularity grew, the families opened two more locations and began supplying their breads, desserts, and twirled moustaches to more than 200 hotels and restaurants. The Jazzars and Khouris also added a menu of lunch and dinner fare, purveying such café-style eats as quiche lorraine, croque monsieur, and italian pasta dishes.
At t, an urban tea house, the owner cultivates an atmosphere that reflects the loose-leaf tea that is sold: light, clean, and rich with texture. Local art hangs against white walls above sleek, modern tables and chairs. A recycled-glass concrete bar sits in front of a wall of freshness-preserving metal tins filled with aromatic leaves of chai, green, oolong, black, and herbal teas. They also host tastings so that visitors can sample any of their more than 100 teas and talk mad smack about coffee beans.