Launching a dessert bakery at age 26 might be intimidating for some, but not for Vanessa O'Donnell. "Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, it was the natural next step," she recalls. "I knew that if I followed my passion, I would have a good shot at success.” Passion is an understatement. She engineered her first memorable dessert at just 9 years old––a dewberry cobbler made with fruit picked fresh from the fence. Vanessa has come along way from precocious experiments; she's since attended the Art Institute of Houston’s baking and pastry program, where she learned such techniques as fondant construction, icing mixing, and how to teach an oven to roll over and play fetch. All of these skills and her innate talents have been whipped and sculpted into the sumptuous sweets bastion that is Ooh La La Dessert Boutique. Natural light pours through enormous windows onto glass cases full of truffles, pastries, crumbly cookies, and some of the best cupcakes in Houston, according to the Houston Press. Guests may also request a steaming espresso drink to go or solicit a baker to craft a specialty cake for an upcoming birthday or jailbreak.
Cloud Cafe's team of baristas creates hot, caffeinated drinks that double as sippable works of art. They finish off lattes with elaborate designs scrawled into foam, which carefully conceals the rich flavors of fair-trade beans sourced from the likes of Montana and Nicaragua that rest below. They also brew cups of loose-leaf herbal teas and dot exotic bubble tea varieties such as avocado with tapioca pearls. These aromatic cups complement a menu of pastries and sweets, which includes strawberries dipped in chocolate. This artistic bent makes sense, since the espresso and teahouse also doubles as an art gallery with pop art hanging from the walls and menus printed on the back of priceless masterpieces.
At BerriBlends, self-serving dessert composers create custom frozen yogurt masterpieces. First, self-directed guests select tart or sweet yogurt flavors ($0.43/oz.). Dessert designers then cloak their cold foundations with walls of chocolate, berries, and other fresh toppings, much like a carpenter building a delicious house that can be disassembled with a spoon and strategic sweet tooth. Those who pursue healthy lifestyles can choose from a plethora of wholesome frozen-yogurt varieties, such as fat-free, low-calorie, diabetic-safe, lactose-safe, pro-biotic, and pro-American. BerriBlends also concocts several smoothies and coffee drinks.
Stomping Grounds Playland is many things at once. Part play center, coffee bar, and restaurant, its target demographic spans generations, all of whom should find plenty to do within its 7,000 square-foot facility or 2,000 square-foot playscape. A play structure delights kids with obstacles and colorful tunnels, and an expanded toddler area keeps the youngest visitors occupied. To fuel this fun, the onsite Brewster's Caf? serves up kid favorites such as hot dogs and mac and cheese.
However, the caf? has even more options for adults?not to mention a dining area with free WiFi. Baristas pour cappuccino, organic chai tea, and specialty espresso drinks such as white-chocolate mochas. These caffeinated treats complement an array of signature sandwiches and salads. Stomping Grounds Playland also caters to parents with comprehensive party packages; party planners take care of everything, including food, activities, and all the paperwork required to receive a birthday wish.
With 12 varieties of frozen yogurt that rotate daily, creating a custom treat at YoFresh Yogurt Cafe can be a little daunting. So the staff encourages guests to try samples before fully committing to one flavor. After deciding what yogurt they want as their base, patrons head to the topping station—a colorful conglomeration of buffet-style bins and wall-mounted dispensers—to finish off their creamy treat with any combination of more than 65 fruit and candy toppings.
The staff does more than help customers choose frozen-yogurt flavors. It dishes out coffees, bubble teas, and smoothies, as well as a selection of fresh pastries. Every Tuesday and Friday at 7 p.m., YoFresh invites customers to show off their sweet teeth while singing karaoke. It boldly stipulates that talent is not required to participate in the event, so long as you have a bit of enthusiasm and more sass than a cat in heels.
Serenitea invites you to enjoy lunch and Afternoon Tea in an elegant and relaxed setting. Its serene atmosphere entices enjoyable conversation or pleasant solitude. Have a tête-à-tête with a friend or meet in groups - perfect for meetings and special gatherings.