After a debilitating car accident left Elyissia Wassung’s mother, Barbara, unable to commute to work, she stayed busy in the kitchen, devising her own homemade chocolates. Nine-year-old Elyissia would then load her mother’s sweets into a shopping cart and sell them door-to-door around the neighborhood, learning entrepreneurial skills that would last a lifetime. After leaving a telecom job as an adult, Elyissia returned to selling chocolates by founding 2 Chicks with Chocolate (the other chick being her mom), teaming up with master chocolatier Patrick Coston and lead chocolatier Stephanie Vazquez. The dessert innovators create diverse flavors, such as spiced pear and caramel ganache, s’mores, and hazelnut praline, from scratch with spices and sea salt. Customers can also create their own bars online without venturing into the store, building on a selection of chocolate bases and toppings that range from pistachios to gummy bears. The store also hosts chocolate classes and enlivens parties with chocolate fountains and chocolate tastings.
NY Bagel Cafe & Deli's kitchen bakes its bagels fresh every day, fueling a savory expansion to locations across seven states. At the Newark site, a glass case displays doughy circles infused with ingredients such as sun-dried tomatoes and blueberries. Patrons can opt to decorate their bagels or the eatery's pumpkin-colored walls with cream-cheese spreads flavored with scallions, bacon, and strawberries. In addition, deli sandwiches enfold Boar's Head–brand meats and cheeses in italian bread, wraps, or rolls.
Founded in 1976, the Coffee Beanery has wafted the enticing aroma of its beans not only throughout the United States but also over foreign soil. At each location, baristas brew the company's specially roasted beans and decaf coffee, which expels caffeine via the Swiss water process rather than with harsh chemicals. In addition to steaming espresso drinks and blending icy frappalattes, the staff stocks their shelves with bags of flavored coffees such as french toast, chocolate mint kiss, and Michigan cherry. Although guests are welcome to cozy up at a table or grab a cup to go, the beanery also lures shoppers inside to peruse a selection of coffee gifts, perfect for birthdays or Monday mornings.
One minute, you're on the streets of Brooklyn, and the next, you're inside a Parisian café. One wall displays a massive painting of the Eiffel Tower, and the homey space is decked in francophile décor. But you soon realize that this isn't a standard French café—the menu is completely kosher, featuring distinctly Israeli salads and seafood dishes, and there isn't a mime in sight. This is Cafe Paris, which opened in 1991 as a gathering place for local families—Jewish and non-Jewish alike.
Cafe Paris' chef Shlomo Abramov, who honed his craft at the renowned Tadmor School in Israel, draws from the food culture of his native country and other regions around Europe and Asia to design his varied menus. His specialties span the globe—from raw Japanese sushi and sashimi to European-influenced spinach-stuffed sole to Asian grilled teriyaki salmon to Middle Eastern tuna shish kebabs. Rustic Italian pastas and healthy vegetarian souffles round out the worldly menu.
An emporium of all things gamingfrom Magic: The Gathering to board games and computer games¬Kings Games entertains and delights visitors throughout the day. After perusing their vast selection of collectible card games, board games, and tabletop role-playing games, visitors can stroll upstairs to the game room or stop in the internet café. Printers and copiers take care of gamers' business needs, and the computers' preloaded video games pit players against each other over the local area network or online. Their gaming schedule is also packed to the brim with HeroClix and Magic tourneys.
At Atlantic Bagel Cafe, cups of gourmet coffee and freshly baked bagels join lunchtime feasts of soups, wraps, and sandwiches. Chefs whip up wheat, pumpernickel, cinnamon, and bialy bagels from scratch, hand-rolling, baking, and hole-punching each one before topping it with cream cheese, lox, sturgeon, and salmon. Guests dig in to New York deli mainstays such as potato knishes and hot pastrami sandwiches, or order catered meals of party heroes, cold-cut platters, and bagel sandwiches.