Andrea discovered her talent for baking when she was still a young child. While she was serving up cakes for family gatherings, she dreamed of one day owning her own bakery. Andrea’s father had the idea to start a cheesecake business, and seeing her natural talent, encouraged her to join him. After experimenting with more than 40 mixtures, she found just the right combination and founded Andrea Quality Cheesecake.
For nearly 30 years since then, chef Andrea has enticed sweet-toothed citizens into her pink-trimmed bakery with more than 20 varieties of freshly baked cheesecake. The confectionary savant selects all-natural, preservative-free fillings for residency in graham-cracker crusts, and blends in sugary morsels such as Oreos, fresh fruit and splashes of Kahlua. In addition to classic cakes, Andrea showcases the versatility of cheese beyond its use in luring astronauts to the moon with cheesecake milk shakes, fried cheesecake à la mode, and multitiered wedding cheesecakes.
Gwen Willhite founded Cookies by Design in 1983, when an unsatisfying brainstorming session about gift ideas led her to ponder one question: why should flowers and sweets remain separate? Her solution was to design the cookie bouquet, where custom, hand-decorated cookies are displayed on sticks and arranged like flowers in gift baskets. Her invention quickly became a popular gift among locals, particularly those allergic to real blooms or too bashful to look at naked cookies.
Twenty-five years later, there are more than 200 Cookies by Design locations across the country. Each shop's team of bakers creates cookie baskets with a degree of care that matches Willhite's original vision, decorating and arranging sweet shapes for birthdays, holidays, and any other special occasion.
Although Pinkberry boasts more than 170 locations across four continents, every store demonstrates a similar commitment to re-creating the same highly guarded recipe. Beginning with nonfat, hormone-free milk, the frozen-yogurt artisans incorporate live and active cultures into the mixture, creating a frosty kosher treat with a pleasant yet natural tang. This original yogurt is always available, but staffers also concoct new seasonal flavors throughout the year. Additionally, they allow customers to accessorize the tightly swirled servings of yogurt by adding gourmet toppings from the selection of more than 30 possibilities, which includes natural honey-almond granola and italian caramel as well as seasonal fruits, which are cut fresh every day.
Guests at Qarma Cr?pes feel great for a lot of reasons. The most obvious, of course, is the shop's delicate sweet and savory cr?pes. But in addition to the folds of pastry filled with lemon-thyme chicken, ham with smoked gouda, and s'mores with a dab of Nutella, diners get something else too. That's the knowledge that each dish's price tag goes to help charitable causes. The shop donates three cents of every dollar made to three new charities every month, one based locally, one nationally, and one internationally. The combined feeling of joy from these sensations might make guests want to indulge more, such as with a glass of beer, shake blended with a piece of pie, or a my-size castle made entirely out of cr?pes and marshmallow creme.
Though Bubbles and Ice may give headliner status to its boba-tea smoothies and shaved snow cones, that's just the beginning of the eatery's sweet selection. The dessert bar also slings sinful delights, such as waffles topped with fresh fruit and deep-fried cheesecake drizzled in hot fudge. Just next door at its sister restaurant, Noodles and Rice Cafe, chefs specialize in savory Asian-fusion offerings. They let customers do their own cooking with hot pots filled with flavorful broth, and they whip up wonton soup studded with shrimp and pork—a house favorite. They can even create samplers that feature tiny portions of their bigger dishes, allowing guests to try a range of new foods without posing as a refrigerator auditor.
How do you best channel Elvis Presley?s spirit into a sundae? If you?re the ice cream experts at The Soda Fountain, you forgo the usual bananas in favor of Nutella ice cream topped with caramel sauce, peanut butter sauce, and candied bacon bits. Like the eatery?s other rotating flavors, such as salted caramel and pumpkin pie, each scoop of Nutella ice cream is locally made. In addition to sundaes, ice cream flavors adorn everything from sugar cones to tasty drinks, including egg creams and ice cream floats. As its name suggests, The Soda Fountain also specializes in handcrafted sodas, including three seasonal flavors crafted in house.