Founder Michelle began with a Scooby-Doo-shaped pan and 3-year-old patron, a humble operation that has since grown to proffer specialty cakes, desserts, and deli fare to customers from around Evansville and Mount Vernon. Lunch patrons delight in the reuben’s distinctively punchy sauerkraut and savory corned beef, served with chips and a crisp pickle ($6.45). Snack-inclined guests indulge in giant gooey cinnamon rolls ($2) and moist, bite-sized cake balls ($8.50/dozen; prices vary by design), which curb the shame and discomfort that follow eating an entire cake. Dessert pervades the atmosphere at Michelle’s Icing on the Cake, thickening the air and triggering a precipitation of brownie sundaes that mix smooth, rich ice cream with dolloped droplets of peanut butter and drizzled chocolate ($3.50). Michelle’s original passion for fresh-baked creations remains a consistent theme that unifies her imaginative cakes ($27. 50/8 in, $38.00/10 in), well-suited to birthday parties, bridal showers, and temporary driving permit-issuance celebrations.
At Lebanon's community-centric DQ Grill & Chill, the signature Blizzard attracts a loyal following with its mingling of classic candies and other toppings blended with ice cream. The friendly, family-run staff loads real fruit into premium fruit smoothies and piles scrumptious toppings and confections onto soft-serve Royal treat sundaes. An array of predecorated cakes is encapsulated within the in-store freezer case, and DQ staffers can also design custom slogans for cakes, such as “Happy Birthday!” or "No Pets Allowed." In addition to its diverse population of creamy desserts, several of which are dairy-free, the treatery doles out savory bites such as chicken-strip baskets and hamburgers.
At Peachy Yogurt Bar, dairy mavens procure milk from St Louis-area farms, which they then transform into 10 flavors of low-fat, nonfat, and indulgent yogurt. Many flavors spotlight local ingredients such as Goshen Bona Fide espresso, which can be tasted in the cappuccino blend. The yogurt aficionados’ emphasis on local roots extends to the shop itself: patrons tread or leapfrog across floors made of Missouri white oak, dine on tables manufactured nearby, and enjoy local artwork and photography on the walls.
Myriad coffee and tea options pair with breakfast, lunch, and dinner options galore inside Miscellanea House. In this relaxing cafe, guests can satisfy sweet teeth with gourmet chocolates, scones, and waffles piled high with fruit. But not everything here is sweet, the cooks also whip up gourmet sandwiches and thin-crust pizzas. In the evening, guests can soak in local music as they grab a bite to eat, read while sipping a cup of tea, or just relax in a place that isn't home, where the mail man knows where to find you.
A love of their community inspires Laura and Quincy Land, owners of The CoffeeHouse and Salon Systems. At their cozy café, they serve up piping-hot beverages culled from imported, fair-trade beans. Putting her expert barista skills to use, Laura meticulously brews drinks such as chai tea and cappuccino that tastily complement the freshly baked desserts she crafts daily. Adjoined to the coffeehouse is a quaint salon, where guests can enter to get milk mustaches trimmed after their meal.
Treat generators at The Bakery Shoppe craft each bakery item and customized cake from scratch with natural ingredients. Hearty loaves of country-white ($2.88) and black-olive tomato bread ($4.48) sit juxtaposed against appetite teasers such as single turnovers ($1.49 each) and filled donuts ($0.85 each). Cookies on sticks ($2 each) serve as swords against hungry birds and as essential elements in birthday bouquets. Giant Elvis Presley cupcakes ($3 each) lull frosting eaters to sleep with their immense size and gentle ballads, and nonalcoholic chocolate-martini cocktail cupcakes (two for $6) induce visions of happy hours. Sink sweet teeth into french pastries such as Napoleons ($2.19 each) and crème puffs ($1.99 each) or an all-American caramel apple pie ($8.98 each).