Pastry traditionalists may question the cannoli nacho. But consider this: the triangular pastry shells can be dunked into an edible chocolate bowl of sweet-cream filling, forever circumventing the soggy fate that so often befalls cannoli shells. This deconstructed cannoli is just one of DiMare Pastry Shop’s many inventive spins on traditional Italian desserts.
Founded in 1976 by Italian-born Ugo DiMare, the pastry shop is now helmed by his two daughters, who have updated the menu with award-winning European and American creations. In addition to scratch-made pastries, the confectioners frost nearly 30 kinds of cakes, ideal for special events such as weddings, company picnics, and Take Your Cake to Work Day.
The ingredients on The Stand Juice Company's menu recall the flavorful produce from roadside farmers’ stands of yore, presented in a decidedly modern way. Starting with fresh—usually organic—whole fruits and vegetables, the staff blends its ingredients into juices and smoothies that are hearty enough to make a meal of. These flavorful liquids also make up the five-day juice cleanse, in which customers stop by each morning to pick up fresh bottled juices. They then drink the juices in a prescribed order to aid the body in cleansing long-lingering toxins and intestinal debris. For bigger appetites, the staff slings its veggies in both salad and sandwich form.
Franklin Street Works gallery and eatery provides a welcoming environment for local artists and social gatherers inside a two-story renovated row house, originally built in the late 19th century. The not-for-profit organization fosters creativity with art pieces, musicians, and artistic films inside its cozy space, replete with warm lighting and exposed-brick walls. The space hosts social programs to encourage socialization, such as wine tastings, talks by regional artists, and debates on which Skittle flavor is the tastiest. A menu of artisanal tidbits from regional vendors features gourmet sandwiches, draft beers, and baked goods that guests can savor knowing that profits help to sustain the artistic haven
From its humble beginnings in Kankakee, Illinois, in 1938, Dairy Queen has grown from a delicious experiment in soft-serve ice cream to a household name with more than 5,900 restaurants around the world. The shop's signature frozen delights are built upon a frosty foundation of creamy chocolate or vanilla soft serve, which swirls idyllically into cones, cups, overturned top hats, sundaes, Peanut Buster parfaits, and the chain's iconic Blizzard treats, blended with crumbled candy and other mix-ins. Ice-cream cakes cleverly conceal a surprise filling of fudge and chocolate crunch between layers of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, providing sweet, sliceable sustenance for birthday parties and other special occasions.
Fruit rules the roost on the other side of the slushy emporium, where Orange Julius blends its signature frothy drinks crafted from fruit juice, ice, and a "magic” powdered sweetener that explains why they disappear from most customers’ cups minutes after the first delicious sip. Real fruit purée forms the basis for the shop's smoothies, which also come in diet-friendly light versions that boast 150 calories or fewer.
A professionally trained pastry chef with more than 20 years of experience, CakeSuite owner Michelle Klem bakes her fresh cupcakes using high-quality ingredients. Klem's bright and inviting bakery sells more than 14 flavors of handheld delights, each beautifully decorated with thick and creamy handmade frosting and inventive toppings. Customize an assortment of your favorite flavors, from classics such as red velvet, carrot spice, and chocoholic to more daring desserts including peanut butter cup and chunky monkey (banana cake and frosting topped with peanuts). The shop also offers seasonal cupcake flavors to the tune of pumpkin cheesecake and eggnog. Snap up some holiday-hued or traditional treats and treat the entire family or office, or hoard them all for devouring in the dark of night in a rickety canoe on the secluded sea.
American Pressed Bakery’s crew of cookie crafters usher packaged pairs of their signature strooples into the pleading palms and ajar jaws of salivating patrons. Birthed from baker’s scraps in Holland during the 18th century, traditional Dutch stroopwafels wed a pair of crispy, thin waffle cookies with a gooey caramel center. The traveled staff at American Pressed Bakery infuse these tempting treats with worldly flavors and flair, dubbing its reincarnation the stroople. In addition to the original flavor, the bakery concocts a Brazilian coconut stroople, an American chocolate-chip stroople, and an English toffee stroople that is quick to admonish breaches in tea etiquette.
At Michele’s Pies, Michele Stuart whips up award-winning confections that have been recognized by the New York Times for their seasonal ingredients and featured on various cooking programs. Michele’s bakers shun canned or frozen fillings, selecting only the freshest produce from couture fruit hats for their fruit pies. Slices overflow with any of more than 30 fresh, succulent fillings, from traditional apple ($22) to pear cranberry sprinkled with a walnut crumble ($28). Alternatively, cream pies ($26–$28) tempt tongues with fluffy flavors that include banana cream and tiramisu. Patrons can also pair their pie selections with steaming cups of cappuccino or diversify their dessert portfolio with breads and cookies baked from scratch.