At three local donut shops, bakers frost fresh batches of long johns, cake donuts, and sundry other sweets every morning, augmenting sugary starts with savory breakfast croissants and biscuits. Pastries such as glazed donuts ($0.59), éclairs ($0.80), and bear claws ($1) take a swipe at hunger, and cinnamon rolls ($1.15) unravel into sweet, flaky layers. Customers can ponder the perplexing solidity of donut holes ($0.12 each; $1.25/dozen) while waiting for a steamy croissant sandwich packed with ham and cheese ($3.25). While prepping hot kolaches or pigs in a blanket ($1 small; $2 large), bakers tuck hot dogs into a pillowy dough blanket before telling them "I love you" one final time.
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 list of Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. The shop’s reputation grew, and 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&M’s, and chewy pecan supreme, as well as freshly baked fudge and cheesecake brownies and cookie sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real showstoppers, however, are the giant chocolate-chip cookie cakes, which can be customized with sweet, celebratory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.
What sets Millie D's apart from other frozen yogurt shops is what comes out of those self-serve yogurt dispensers. At Honey Hill Farms in Arkansas, the milk goes straight from cow to yogurt for a supremely fresh taste. This yogurt is blended with real ingredients?peanut butter, fruit, cheesecake?and absolutely nothing artificial or made from Play-Doh. Most of these flavors are low fat or fat free, making each cup a delicious and guilt-free treat.
Unlike jerk-chicken pudding or fried-tuna Twinkies, ice cream makes for a delectable dessert that properly caps off any meal. At Maggie Moo’s Ice Cream and Treatery, patrons can sample a huge menu of ice cream and other treats that are sure to slap a smile on any face and massage taste buds with sugary strokes. Try ice cream in flavor combinations such as Strawberry Skateboard with sprinkles, gummy bears, and marshmallows, or Cotton Candy Ski Jump with M&Ms and mini-marshmallows. Prices range from $4.14 to $5.89 for a cup or cone. Dream cakes ($20.95+), on the other hand, come in appropriately oneiric flavors such as Maggie's S'mores and Chocolate Heaven, and are available in 6-inch, 8-inch, and sheet-cake sizes. Health-conscious hedonists can indulge in strawberry-banana, creamy mango, and mocha coffee smoothies (starting at $4.05). Straw-equipped sweet teeth interested in more luscious liquids can slurp a milkshake or malt (starting at $4.49) in flavors like Caramel Cowpuccino and Peanut Butter S'Moo.
Beagle Bagel Cafe turns farm-fresh ingredients into a bevy of confectionary treats and scrumptious café fare. Refreshingly cool smears of cream cheese in flavors such as garlic and herb, lotta lox, and cinnamon swirl alight upon more than 20 types of bagels, including blueberry blitz and sun-dried tomato. Early risers can catapult themselves mouth-first into a new day with gourmet coffee ($1.25–$1.65) partnered with breakfast-menu scarfables such as bagel sandwiches ($1.99–$3.95) and wraps stuffed with eggs, cheese, and a choice of meat ($6.80). Hot paninis ($7.50) and deli-meat bagel sandwiches ($5.65+) from the lunch and dinner menu pacify postbreakfast hunger pangs. A rotating assortment of cupcakes silences the griping of whiny sweet teeth, providing nearby molars with the silence they need to study for the GRE.
Tampico Mexican Grill’s expert chefs sizzle fresh meats and veggies to forge a variety of traditional dishes, served with homemade salsa. Culinary expeditions or temporary sculptures begin with fresh guacamole, prepared to taste with diner-selected ingredients such as cilantro and jalapeños ($4.99). The pollo Tampico’s marinated grilled chicken breast cozies beneath a melted cheese blanket ($10.99), and breaded and deep-fried chicken or steak pair ably with a single roasted jalapeño and hearty helping of fries in the Milanesa Tampico ($9.99). Five fajita offerings sail sizzling to plates in portions for either solo diners or dynamic duos, with fresh scallops, shrimp, or steak filling a choice of flour or corn tortillas ($10.99+). Midday munchers can fill plates or fanny packs with 1 of 19 lunch specials, including meat-centric and vegetarian options. Several beers and wines wash down meals, while frozen or rocks margaritas quench thirsts in several sizes, including regular ($4.25+), jumbo ($6.99+), and monster ($10.99+).