The sweet-tangy taste of organic cranberry-orange black tea; the fruity flavor of peach white tea; the rich, chocolaty undercurrent of organic red rooibos Mint Kiss tea. No matter the shade or flavor, TeaBuds Brewing Co.'s loose-leaf teas deliver health benefits, such as digestion-easing agents or disease-fighting antioxidants. The shop also sells some tea infusers and mugs so you can sip on the go. If you'd rather stick around and savor a cup, the café menu spans the entire colorful spectrum of teas and offers pastries as well.
An 1872 Victorian home sets the stage for Simply Sweet Shoppe's misty, nostalgic world of handmade chocolate truffles, bulk bins full of colorful candies, and the smell of freshly baked cookies, muffins, and scones. Displays of ten-cent candies and retro sweets evoke the image of a simpler time, when men still wore hats and "horse chestnuts" was still considered a curseword. Guests dine on savory panini sandwiches on the sunny patio, or sip cups of Hubbard & Cravens coffee as they admire the gift baskets and confectioneries from local candysmiths such as Indiana Artisans. The array of goodies satisfies any sweet tooth, whether it desires the cold creamy texture of gelato and sorbets, the frozen fruitiness of smoothies, or the wholesome sweetness of fresh baked goods.
The talented pastry chefs at Holy Cow consistently create batches of bliss-inducing indulgences for the cupped-cake-loving public. The menu changes constantly, but perennial flavors, such as a traditional vanilla birthday cake topped with fudge frosting and sprinkles and a luscious red velvet cake with vanilla cream cheese frosting, are available every day. Featuring seven to 10 flavors per day, the ensemble cast includes the Clarence (a lemon cake with lemony cream cheese frosting), the cookies and cream, and the gingerbread. The popular maple bacon is a satiating treat of maple cake with bits of bacon scattered gracefully atop a pillow of maple cream cheese icing. Eggnog, mint julep, and Guinness are also available during designated seasons.
In an interior that blends the aura of a club with that of a good friend’s living room, the staff at Shiraz Wine Experience and Art Cafe takes advantage of a location in Carmel’s art district. Minimalist geometric paintings reminiscent of Rothko’s work hang alongside classical portraiture on the walls. Beneath the swaths of color, patrons direct their own tasting experiences with self-serve Enomatic machines, which draw from dozens of bottles to dispense servings of 1–6 ounces of red or white wines. More than 30 domestic and international wines star on the wine list, from sweet rieslings to cabernet sauvignons to the deep red of a rebellious bull’s Camaro. Sharable plates, including baked brie with apricot compote and flatbreads topped with steak and Stilton blue cheese, fuel conversation.
Umbrellas stretch wide circles over a front patio, and both the downstairs and upstairs spaces encourage lounging with sprawling white couches and cushy chairs. Wide windows drench the interior in sunlight during the day, which gradually gives way to dusk and brings violet neon lights beneath the bar to life.
In 2007, Vine and Table remodeled and metamorphosed from a humble wine and cheese caterpillar to the WiFi-emitting artisan monarch it is today. The hybrid grocer and café offers up a selection of epicurean delights that includes chocolates and candies, wine, beer, and spirits that hail from across the globe. Partnering with both artisan cheese makers in Indiana and the best cheesemongers from across the globe, Vine's diverse selection of cheeses provides milky bliss for every palate. Blue De Graven ($19.95/pound) is a creamy blue cheese from Denmark with a mild back end that substitutes saltiness for a pinch of sweetness. The six-year-aged Widmer Cheddar ($21.99/pound) is a rich, nutty cheddar that works wonders in soups and on sandwiches, whereas the whimsical stilton with blueberries ($19.99/pound) is equal parts sweet and tangy, making for a delightful dessert cheese or rub-on fragrance.
Net Heads boasts Xbox 360s, Wiis, and PC gaming stations to let button-mashers of all ages and stripes take on the surrogate personality of a golfing Italian plumber, rock star, extraterrestrial Master Chief, or a four-unit Tetris piece. Inside the large and chicly modern gaming environment, slick lighting, custom furniture, and a plethora of video monitors make any joystick jockey feel as if they've been transported to a video-game mothership. A fleet of 45 gaming stations is networked together to allow adventurers to virtually compete against each other or anyone else across the intertubes. Office workers on a corporate outing can learn the value of teamwork by getting systematically pulverized by a team of hardworking stunt doubles in Call of Duty, and grandma can show off her patented Wii bowling trick shot to her entire church group. The convivial company of fellow gamers makes level-grinding in World of Warcraft far less tedious and also makes it a lot easier to play all the instruments in Rock Band at the same time. The freedom to explore dozens of games is yours to share alongside a playing and snacking friend for what can be a game-changing experience.