Serving cupcakes to your guests cuts down on dirty dishes and eliminates the shame of being the first one to cut into the cake. The cupcake selection at Gigi's upgrades handmade sweets to gallery status with swirling farm-fresh creamy butter, well-placed fruit and nut selections, and decadent chocolate sauces that look inviting enough to swim in if they weren't gummie-shark infested. Well-prepared customers can check the daily menu for currently available eats.
Because of a chance encounter with a Jersey girl named Emily, Boise-born brothers Teak and Charlie learned the techniques for crafting authentic East Coast-style pizza. But even Emily's lessons didn't foretell the creative culinary leaps the brothers would eventually make at Teak & Charlie's Jersey Girl Pizza. To wit: the Big Awesome Pizza, a 30-inch pie that starts by tossing mounds of housemade dough by hand. From there, the massive pizza can accommodate any of the eatery's 30-plus toppings, which range from classics, such as pineapple and pepperoni, to more unorthodox fixings, such as pastrami and green chilies. The duo also whips up more than 10 specialty pies such as the Hoboken, a medley of chicken, spinach, and feta cheese.
But don't think that Teak and Charlie's creativity is totally exhausted on pizza. Their other pizzeria staples range from wings tossed in pesto-parmesan sauce to cheesesteaks made with Amoroso's bread—which is delivered from Philadelphia by Rocky Balboa himself. The BYOB eatery invites diners to swing by with their favorite libations, although they can also slurp decadent smoothies blended with fruit or ice cream.
Using knives, scalpels, and adamantium claws, Twisted Ice's talented ice whisperers transform frozen blocks of filtered Culligan water into snowy swans that easily soak up generous spritzes of aftershave syrup in more than 50 flavors. Orally embrace local legends such as tiger’s blood, pickle juice, and salty lemon ices ($1.50/small, $2.25/medium, $3/large), or eschew old-fashioned sugar with a Splenda-kissed drift of Maui Wowee. Gustatory adventurers can befuddle their senses with the vegetal crunches of a frozen pickle ($1). Crown a shaved-ice concoction queen with drizzles of cream and a garland of ice cream ($0.50 each), or follow the Milky Way to Gandy's ice cream, which can either be enthroned in a cone ($1) or buoyed in frosted root-beer floats ($2.50). Twisted Ice plies its toothsome trade Monday–Saturday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Armed with just a single, generations-old cookie recipe, Great American Cookies opened its first store in 1977, and the rest is history. Today, the franchise boasts locations in malls across the country and nabbed a coveted spot on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2012 Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. As the shop’s reputation grew, so did its menu as chefs churned out a mouthwatering roster of gourmet-cookie recipes, each created and carefully tested in Atlanta. The tempting options now include snickerdoodle, peanut butter with M&Ms, and chewy pecan supreme, as well as freshly baked fudge and cheesecake brownies, and cookie sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real show-stoppers, however, are the giant chocolate-chip cookie cakes, which can be customized with sweet, celebratory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.
The warm aroma of freshly baked waffle cones envelops every nook and cranny of Marble Slab Creamery, revving up guests’ senses with the promise of impending decadence. As the hand-rolled cones tan in their ovens, the store’s staff bustles about the premises whipping up fresh batches of super-premium ice cream in the on-site creamery and helping patrons select a flavor from a list of more than 50 options. This chef-driven dedication to gourmet ice cream began in 1983 with the company’s founding in Houston, Texas, when two French chefs were enlisted to create a recipe for Marble Slab Creamery’s signature sweet-cream ice cream using their culinary expertise.
Today, staffers utilize the frozen-slab technique of ice-cream architecture, scooping each customer’s choice of ice cream and mixins onto a chilled marble slab to mix the separate elements into one customized mélange. Though specializing in cone-based ice-cream treats, Marble Slab Creamery also offers a menu full of other scream-worthy confections including cakes, shakes, and ice cream cupcakes.
Founded by ice-cream enthusiasts Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone Creamery has grown to more than 1,400 locations across North America. Each day, the shop's scoopers mix up fresh batches of ice cream and sorbet, which are served by the scoop, piled high in sundaes, and blended into shakes. After customers choose their desired flavor, the staffers toss the chilly sustenance upon a slab of frozen granite and fold in a smorgasbord of candy and nuts to achieve the ideal ice-cream-to-add-in ratio. Customers can dream up their own creations or opt for a signature masterpiece, sampling one of more than 11.5 million possible flavor combinations, which still await a brave conqueror to unlock them all. To accommodate sweets cravings at celebrations, staff members also dish out premade treats, such as ice-cream cakes and baked goods.