That distinct smell of flour and warm sugar floats out of Tasty Daylight Donuts’ kitchen each morning as bakers prepare fresh donuts for the day’s crowd. They bake more than 50 flavors each day, including blueberry cake and french cruller, and inject fillings such as banana cream or peach into the doughy circles for a sneak attack on taste buds. The bakers also let customers try their hand at combining flavors to make custom donuts. They also whip up a slate of fancy sweet treats in addition to donuts, such as apple fritters and fried cinnamon rolls that pair well with lattes and cappuccinos. The donut shop also gives back to the community by selling their treats to nonprofits for a discounted price.
CoolSwirl presents a wide spectrum of frozen-yogurt flavors packed with live, active cultures, protein, calcium, and vitamins. With nonfat, sugar-free, and sorbet options—all of which meet and exceed the National Yogurt Association’s requirements—customers can create their desired dessert piled with their favorite toppings. The option for patrons to add fresh blueberries, pineapple, and other fruits helps them to attain their daily fruit requirement much more efficiently than taking a half hour to clear out the vending machine’s supply of fruit snacks.
Gigi of Gigi's Cupcakes has been a self-starter since she was 15. That's when she began her first business?a cleaning company?because she "didn't want to work for anyone else." What began as a youthful whim blossomed into a business philosophy that, along with waiting tables and singing professionally, carried Gigi into her 30s.
Then, one day, her brother suggested making a career out of her passion for baking. That hobby had been born in her childhood, when Gigi often spent time with her mother and grandmother as they baked and bonded. Amid seemingly insurmountable financial constraints, Gigi unveiled Gigi's Cupcakes in 2008 and, within weeks, had more than covered her bills. Today, the franchise boasts more than 90 locations in the 25 states that haven't outlawed dessert.
Each bakery crafts its cupcakes daily with fresh ingredients, and updates the menu according to day of the week and season. Traditional summer flavors such as Scarlett's Red Velvet, chocolate-chip-cookie dough, and Birthday Surprise have recently met their culinary match in new mini cheesecakes that masquerade as cupcakes.
Peruvian-born chef Pilar Albernas and her family opened Ají Peruvian Restaurant in 2011, naming the eatery after the Peruvian word for "pepper." True to their name, Ají imports many varieties of peppers to flavor its authentic cuisine. Maize tamales steamed in banana leaves, Peruvian rotisserie chicken, and Andean corn salad with fresh cheese and an herb dressing are among the kitchen's specialties. Many dishes can be made vegetarian or vegan, and at the end of meals, diners can sweeten palates with desserts such as picarones—Peruvian donuts made with Andean squash and sweet potato.
A place for edible creativity, Yoli's beckons visitors to concoct their own frozen yogurt treats. The shop keeps 21 different flavors—including low-fat options—on tap, and its toppings bar incites snackers to load up on as many add-ons as they please. Bursts of color aren't limited to yogurt cups, however, as the shop features red tables and booths, retro white chairs, and two flat-screen TVs to make onsite munching extra comfortable.