After six and a half years working as a restaurant pastry chef, Bianca Priest had an itch for change. That itch led her to open her own bakery, where she specializes in everything from old-fashioned towering cakes to new and innovative sweets. Her butter cake batter, which boasts a satisfyingly dense texture similar to pound cake, provides the base for most desserts and helps stabilize any wobbly tables in the bakery. Bianca also crafts cupcakes, pies, cookies, and bars from scratch, as well as custom cakes and elegant nuptial desserts. Those with dietary restrictions can rejoice in the bakery staff’s ability to accommodate special diets, with lower-sugar-content and vegan options available.
During the past 30 years, Charlsie’s Catering and Cakes' team of gourmet confectioners have funneled their joy of baking into every dessert, crafting handmade cakes, cookie bouquets, and cupcakes with fresh, creative ingredients. Bakers can design custom creations to match any event's theme, allowing newlyweds to dish out pieces of decadent flower-laden tiers or birthday celebrators to share slices of their newfound spirit animals. Skilled confectioners also merge top-quality ingredients into dessert bars and more than 25 flavors of gourmet cupcakes.
Crestwood Coffee Company cordially invites café connoisseurs to indulge in classic bean juice ($2.05 for a medium), a creamy mocha ($4.50 for a medium), or a frappe ($4 for a medium) while throwing cool fruit smoothies ($3.75 for a medium) into baby volcanoes. Pair potables with bakery bites such as freshly made muffins ($2.25), scones ($2.25), cinnamon rolls ($2.25), and seasonal cobblers ($4). Or, build some missing blocks of your food pyramid with a crisp apple-nut salad ($7). House specialties include homemade, mustardy chicken salad (served à la carte or on whole-wheat bread, $7) and the CCC BLT, loaded with thick peppered bacon, lettuce, and vine-ripened tomatoes ($6). Crestwood Coffee's lunchtime eats are often prepared with local ingredients.
Owner Tomek Wrzesien set out to create his own gallery in the renovated office space that now houses Urban Standard, but he soon drew inspiration from the café culture of his native Poland and instead met the neighborhood's need for eclectic deli fare, freshly baked goods, and boutique beverages. Breakfast offers a variety of old-world eats in addition to down-home staples such as creamy grits with sausage and cheese ($3). Share a stylish luncheon of salads, sandwiches, or grilled paninis with fancy-pants ingredients such as truffle oil, balsamic jam, and homemade pimento cheese. Carnivores can sink canines into Tomek's Polish Street Sandwich, a cavalcade of cured meats and cheese on ciabatta (half $5.50, whole $8.75), whereas vegetarians can rustle up a grilled marinated-tofu sandwich ($7.50) with a small roasted-fennel and goat-cheese salad ($4.50). If a whole meal seems too daunting, sophisticated snackers can adjust their pince-nez while sampling from a list of baked goods that would make Marie Antoinette blush.
TJ's slow-smokes meats, pairing them with sides composed of fresh ingredients that have never known the molecule-slowing touch of the freezer. The rib sandwich ($6.79) reclines on two slabs of freshly baked bread, and show-stealing open-faced platters of brisket ($8.95), smoked wings ($7.59), or pork ($7.59) scream at two house-made sides, including coleslaw, baked beans, and corn on the cob for looking them in the eyes.
Outside of swimming laps in chocolate syrup, smoothies at Smoothie King are the tastiest way to improve your health. Smoothie King smoothies combine fresh fruit, natural juices, and special nutritional enhancers into more than 90 flavors (you can customize, add, and subtract the extras), all of which focus on achieving one of seven nutritional goals. Try an antioxidant-rich Pomegranate Punch with pomegranate, bananas, blueberries, apple juice, soy protein, and Turbinado sweetener to stay healthy. Weight-conscious en-smuthiasts can trim down and float away with the Celestial Cherry High, packed with bananas, black cherry, papaya, Turbinado, and honey, and unpacked with fat. You can also customize any smoothie by adding enhancers or “make it skinny” by cutting out the honey and Turbinado.