At Broadway Bistro Café, culinary wizard Joseph Cuellar guides budding chefs through the preparation of a four-course meal before they feast on the fruits of their efforts in the exposed-brick and wood confines of the restaurant's dining room. Apprentices gather in the kitchen for an interactive lesson in crafting one of three different menus that caters to a variety of taste preferences and allergy restrictions. In the course of 2.5 hours, pupils whip up a salad, appetizer, entree, and dessert, all of which will grace their taste buds and provide the energy required to slide down the banister of the dining room’s winding, imperial staircase. A non-alcoholic beverage escorts the self-prepared spread, and guests are invited to bring their own libations to toast epicurean success. Off-site lessons can also be arranged, letting students chop, sautée and stir in the comfort of their own galleys. Progenitors are welcome to bond with their offspring by taking class together, but children 12 and younger must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Within a cozy tearoom atmosphere where chandeliers hang from the ceiling and paintings adorn the bright-yellow walls, the Wonderful World of Cooking’s chefs pair hearty entrees and salads with pours of signature flavored teas. Rather than serving tiny finger foods that must be absorbed through finger pores, chefs whip up sizable helpings of beef stroganoff, texas chili with homemade bread, and sugar-free pretzel salads fresh daily. In between sips from a glass of flavored hot tea or a bottomless crystal glass of the restaurant’s signature apricot iced tea, guests can satiate their sweet teeth with slices of homemade pies and cakes.
Jon and Carmen Pei spent years traveling the globe, visiting cafés from New York to Taiwan in search of the perfect rendition of their treasured childhood treat: bubble tea. After organizing all their recipes, tips, and ideas, the couple opened their own shop, where they whip up their own blend of innovative bubble teas, smoothies, and frozen hot chocolate.
Upon entering their colorful, brightly lit shop, guests are often greeted by Jon and Carmen themselves, who dole out free samples to first-timers, greet return customers by name, and tussle the toupees of visiting congressmen. The duo and their staff of baristas fold premium tea leaves and freshly cooked tapioca boba balls imported from Taiwan into fruity drinks. They also chop up fresh fruit for smoothies every day at the shop. Customers are invited to order from a menu of specialty drinks or choose from a variety of flavors, fruits, and mix-ins to design their own concoction. They can even add a large selection of popping boba balls, which burst in the mouth with every sip. And during chilly winter months, the baristas pour hot bubble tea.
Guests sip on beverages and nibble on snacks—such as decadent belgian waffles or crunchy Pocky sticks—out among the tabletops of the lively seating area. Some play video games on wide-screen computers and televisions, whereas others engage in more traditional games such Connect Four or competitions to fit the most straws up their nostrils.