On weekdays between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., cooks at Better Lunch stack sandwiches with sumptuous ingredients: chicken spread with cranberries and almonds, salami with carrots and Italian sauce, and signature egg and pickle salad are just a few examples. Diners can also opt for the soup of the day, or for a crisp salad with all the fixings.
It was a stifling, sultry day in Houma, Louisiana, when Dave (aka "Seprock") tasted his first snoball—a New Orleans–style frozen treat of soft shaved ice drenched in sweet syrup. Dazzled by its delicate texture and rich flavor, Dave became determined to bring the treat back to his hometown. With his wife's blessing, he eventually opened his own snoball shop in a cheerful plaza in Hunter's Creek.
Today, Seprock’s Snow is a kaleidoscope of color. Bright walls surround vibrantly decorated tables, and servers adorn icy snoballs with a rainbow of fruity syrups. Dave and his staff also stuff their treats full of creamy ice cream to add an extra dimension of goodness and help patrons sneak dairy past airport security. For colder days, they supplement their frozen treats and wash customers' tongues clean of their red, blue, and green color with steaming coffee, hot cocoa, and apple cider.
On a warm August day in 1938, a father and son unveiled the first sample of what was to become Dairy Queen, selling 1,600 samples on the first day, a feat as unheard of as a dragon that breathes ice. Its ensuing prolific expansion was fueled by its frozen treats, which propelled the dessert shop from 100 stores in 1947 to 1,446 in 1950. Today, their dessert recipes remain largely unchanged, and Dairy Queen has added hearty grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, and fried chicken to its menu. Dairy Queen's enormous dessert menu boasts treats ranging from soft-serve cones and blizzards filled with cookies to takeaway ice-cream sandwiches and cakes.
At Chocolate Kingdom, cacao seeds metamorphose into trees and then transform into chocolate confections before visitors' very eyes. The kingdom, which does triple duty as a museum, factory, and candy shop, guides guests from the cacao-tree greenhouse to the chocolate river to the assembly line during tours, which are led by a Chocolate Kingdom tour guide. Inside the factory, old-fashioned machinery churns out treats, including personalized chocolate bars. At the end of the line rests the candy shop, where mountains of truffles, trays of sugar-crusted cocoa beans, and beds of rainbow-sprinkled candy line marble counters.
The chefs at Sol de Borinquen Bakery Restaurant & Deli simmer, bake, and grill authentic Puerto Rican dishes that transport tastebuds to more tropical locales. Towers of mofongo accompany steaks and shrimp, while flans, pastries, and cakes satisfy sweet cravings. Additionally, Puerto Rican–style sub sandwiches come stuffed with savory slices of meat and cheese.
Liz López honed her pastry skills at Notter School of Pastry Arts under the tutelage of such notable chefs as Colette Peters, Ewald Notter, and James Russell. Each cake is made from scratch and customized to fit clients’ wishes. She creates sophisticated wedding cakes or fun birthday cakes in the shape of Mickey Mouse, a car, or a full-scale replica of the International Space Station. Liz also molds the batter into cupcakes and bite-size cake pops.