Tendrils of fragrant smoke curl from the hoses of Perk and Puff’s hookahs, infusing the air of the hardwood-floored lounge with scents ranging from fruity to exotic. Small cups of turkish coffee and tea roil with steam, mingling their bracing tastes with plates of flaky baklava. Small wooden tables and black leather couches lit by hovering televisions set the stage for languid lounging, and free WiFi keeps the lounge connected to the latest news and meteorologist fan fiction.
It's safe to assume that Celeste Gordon's mom let her lick the beaters. Since she was nine, Celeste has been sifting, whipping, and baking up a storm, eventually becoming an official student of the culinary arts. These days, Celeste applies her lifelong expertise as the cake master at Celeste's Cakes N More, where she oversees the production of myriad sweets, from fondant wedding cakes to vegan chocolate cupcakes. The bakery also offers delivery on all its orders, ensuring no celebration goes without its mandatory cake fight.
On Sundays after church, Myrtle Zachary-Jackson’s family of cooks and bakers gathered to make meals for one another. Her elders rarely used recipes, so Myrtle had to study every step until she could replicate their dishes herself. Just as her grandparents and aunts imbued her with a passion for baking, she inspired her daughters, Andrea and Rosharon, to start cooking at a young age. When Myrtle decided to open Not Jus Donuts Bakery in 2000, she turned to her daughters and grandchildren for help in re-creating their family recipes, by then some five or six generations old.
Sticking to tradition, every dessert at Not Jus Donuts is made from scratch. The ladies crack every farm-fresh egg by hand before whipping up cheesecakes with Philadelphia cream cheese, cookies baked fresh daily, hand-decorated cupcakes, and exquisitely designed cake balls and cake pops. Made without preservatives, their cakes range from standard sheet cakes to 3-D creations designed to resemble bowling balls and turntables and 8-D cakes shaped like time itself.
Lauded for its “timeless” feel by Houston Press, Chelsea Wine Bar’s creative menu of old-fashioned comfort food pairs perfectly with the restaurant’s weekly live music offerings and waterfront views. Satisfy sandwich-size cravings with the roast-turkey panini, topped with swiss cheese and basil pesto ($6.50), or the brie, tomato, and spinach panini ($6.50). Herbivores and dairy enthusiasts can skip carnivorous options and munch on the cheese flatbread pizza ($5), baked goat-cheese platter ($10), or warm brie plate ($10.50). Dessert-deigning diners can reminisce on childhoods spent roasting marshmallows over the warm glow of the television with the chocolate-mallow conglomeration of Susie’s s’mores ($6.50), which is complemented by a wide selection of gourmet coffee beverages from delectable white mochas ($3.50) to potent double espressos ($2.75).
Sugar Bunch Creations adds a spoonful of sucrose to any party or event with rainbow-blanketed candy buffets and edible party favor arrangements for kids of any age. The Jitterbug Buffet sates up to 15 kid-sized candy appetites with a choice of three different candies, creating a triumvirate of sweet treats for delicious birthday parties or clown-retirement soirees. For larger celebrations, the Mildly Wild Buffet package serves up to 25 kids with four different type of candy, and the Bouncing off the Walls Buffet package serves up to 40 kids with five different types of candy. Each package includes a choice of a treat from options including cookies, animal crackers, goldfish crackers, or pretzels. Sugar Bunch Creations also provides party décor, setup and cleanup services, and clear candy bags with ties, proving that sweets, like parakeets, should always be transported in festive carriers.