Simpson House Tea Room sets the tone for tea time from the moment guests first glimpse the stately structure. The shrub-flanked walkway, the white wooden farmhouse with the sprawling wraparound porch, emerald shutters, and red roof appear untouched since being built in the 1890s. Inside, high-backed wooden chairs, bow-adorned teapots, and tiered platters surround steaming pots of 100 varieties of loose-leaf tea, a large variety of sandwiches including cream-cheese-and-olive, and scones with homemade lemon curd. With a variety of delightfully fussy services, the teahouse embraces teatime's lineage as the perfect treat for ladies who lunch—welcoming bridal and baby showers—and as the only way to tame a wild teddy bear.
Warm aromas spill from Great Harvest Bread Co.’s bakery, as artisanal bakers craft whole-grain bread from Montana's hard red spring wheat that is stone ground each morning. They pack each loaf with hearty protein and nutrients, keeping the recipes as simple as possible to maintain the rich wheat flavor. In addition to their standard honey-whole-wheat loaves, the bakers create a variety of treats, including rosemary-garlic loaves, cinnamon pull-aparts, and asiago-pesto loaves. They also transform the bread into sandwiches, pairing the whole wheat with freshly sliced meats, cheeses, and ticklish pieces of lettuce.
In order to avoid universe-collapsing paradoxes, Cupcakes Gourmet uses only the finest ingredients, including Madagascar bourbon vanilla, Belgian dark chocolate, sweet-cream butter, organic milk, extra-virgin olive oil, and premium double-wet water to fashion its delectable miniature cake breeds. Cupcakes Gourmet's flavors change with the seasons—the carrot cake drifting from the trees while the chocolate vanilla snows down only to melt away and sprout anew as the zesty lime. When the sun is strongest, café mocha and coconut varietals ripen on the vine. Yearlong stalwarts include the chocolate vanilla, stoplight-bright red velvet, and lovely lemon. Cupcakes Gourmet also spouts out ganache noshers such as the triple chocolate, black and white, and double dark chocolate.
Café Rêve’s chefs craft a wide array of dishes during breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the part coffeehouse, part bistro. Fluffy pancakes served all day hoist fresh strawberries and bananas, and omelets enfold melty provolone and crisp bacon. The lunch menu tempts appetites with quarter-pound burgers and steak melts, both sizzled on the grill. During dinner, guests sip on glasses of wine while perusing entrees of Cajun-style tilapia, flatiron steak, and savory, stuffed chicken breast. Live music by local performers offers diners a pleasant background soundtrack.
Since the first Friendly's opened in 1935, staff members have been serving up hand-crafted ice cream in scoops, cones, and sundaes alongside juicy beef burgers crowned with crisp lettuce and tomatoes. Now with locations spanning the United States, Friendly's has come a long way from its first modest shop in Massachusetts, which sold double-dip cones for 5 cents. Today, servers scoop ice cream in classic flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry and dish out new twists on the favorites, including Fribble soft-serve shakes and Friend-z ice-cream desserts whipped with toppings such as Oreos, Butterfingers, and Reese's peanut-butter cups. They also top crisp belgian waffles with scoops of ice cream and hot caramel and fill dishes with new ice-cream flavors such as Vienna Mocha Chunk and Rockin' Poppin' Cotton Candy.
Behind the grills, cooks build big beef burgers such as the Vermonter with melted vermont white cheddar and maple-pepper bacon on a toasted ciabatta roll. Healthier options include meals under 555 calories, such as the sweet and spicy grilled shrimp over rice pilaf and the chicken-caprese sandwich.
Pastry chefstrodinaire Michael Graham, who studied at The Culinary Institute of America, fills the bakery’s burly display case with sweet-laden and fruit-strewn delights. Tear into the sugar-crusted labyrinths of pastries such as linzer tarts ($2.50), chocolate-mocha boats ($2.75), and hamantaschen ($1.95). If you need a pie ($13.95–$19.95) to throw in the face of a tardy cable repairman, choose from black cherry, southern pecan, coconut custard, strawberry rhubarb, and eight others. Savory popovers ($2.75), scones ($1.95), and croissants ($1.95–$3.95) complete the bakery’s motley cornucopia. Cakes are available in 8- or 10-inch raspberry buttercream ($26.95/$32.95), decadent mocha nutella ($29.95/$34.95), and triple-tiered vanilla or chocolate ($24.95/$29.95).