Emack & Bolio’s reinvents classic soda fountain traditions by slinging a selection of gourmet ice cream and hearty hot dogs in a range of innovative forms. Staffers dig scoops into ice-cream tubs filled with flavors such as vanilla-bean speck, creamy chocolate, and mint chocolate chip to outfit cones, smoothies, brownie sandwiches, and dunce caps on undercover missions. Meanwhile, chefs toil at the grill to cook up 12 types of Nathan’s quarter-pound hot dogs and fashion a full menu of salads and sandwiches from old family recipes. Outside, a shaded patio beckons guests to cool off and enjoy the scenery of nearby Sequiota Park.:m]]
Named both for the bakery's 21 flavors and as a nod to the owners' son, who has Down syndrome—a disorder stemming from an extra copy of the 21st chromosome—TwentyOne Cakes crafts confections of every size within its sky-and-toffee-hued café. The lineup of seasonal flavors, such as german chocolate, gingerbread, and maple bacon, takes on colorful frosting and chatty personalities as it transforms into full cakes, three sizes of cupcakes, and bite-size cake balls. The eatery's brigade of tables mingles with a pair of comfy armchairs to give patrons respite during sugar comas, and free WiFi keeps brains busy in between sips of coffee or tea. As part of the company's mission to bring acceptance and awareness of individuals with Down syndrome, 10 percent of each purchase at TwentyOne Cakes goes to benefit Down Syndrome Group of the Ozarks.
The bakers at The Cupcake Express blend fresh eggs, sugar, and cream to whip up moist, flavorful cakes topped with puffs of velvety frosting. Their cupcakes and mini cupcakes tempt sweet teeth with 14 epicurean flavors—including strawberry lemonade and chocolate with raspberry cream cheese—and icings that range from fluffy meringues to sweetened cream cheese. In addition, they dole out cheesecake bites that would be a hit at any Lilliputian birthday bash.
A varnished wood bench gleams near the entrance of Panther Grill, formerly known as the Panther Inn, made from rough-hewn logs by the owner's father. The food inside is similarly homespun. In the morning, cooks toss omelets in pans and serve up platters of steak and eggs. Later in the day, they prepare hand-breaded pork tenderloin, freshly made cheeseburgers, or brown beans and ham served with cornbread. A rotating line-up of made-from-scratch desserts, such as layered Smores push pops and cinnamon rolls, beckon from a pastry case.
Head baker Lisa Cothran crafts frosting-topped confections and custom pies and cakes from scratch using top-secret recipes garnered during a lifelong love of baking. Inside the pale-blue shop, silver serving trays set off the colorful frosting of signature cupcakes. The shop always supplies a core menu of client favorites alongside a rotating selection of unique flavor combinations, seasonal varieties, and preemie cakes needing special attention. Lisa intersperses her selection of classic and miniature cupcakes with cookies and a listing of cakes and pies she can craft upon request. The shop also connects with clients by hosting a variety of events, allowing patrons to get their hands sugary while decorating cupcakes or convincing gingerbread men of the fashionableness of frosted cravats.
Seven days a week, the soft hum of bees can be heard buzzing around Honey Heaven, a boutique lined with decorative tea sets, children's toys, and a multitude of honey products. The sound isn’t coming from outside. Rather, it echoes from right inside the shop, where a swarm of bees scurry inside a glass-paned observation hive. This secured structure gives guests a chance to admire the bees, working hard as they extract honey from their combs and knit their Queen a sweater. Knowledgeable guides are on hand to walk guests through informative bee tours and explain the shop's vast selection of nectars, beauty products, and gourmet foods, all infused with the local, raw honey.
The shop's adjoining restaurant, Bee-stro Cafe—which offers free WiFi—lets diners taste the fruits of the bees’ labor in the form of honey-infused entrees such as nitrate-free turkey breast and grilled antibiotic-free chicken. Honey can also be found in the shop’s sweet lemonade drink and signature cake. The rest of the menu is dedicated to homemade meals, from hearty meatball and crisp salads topped with mandarin oranges to both a soup and quiche of the day.