Before opening up shop in 2011, self-taught baker Maricel spent 10 years honing her skills and taste testing her creations with her husband and three daughters. These days, she continues using natural and organic ingredients to whip up cupcakes, mini cupcakes, and tartlets entirely from scratch. The core of her tartlet arsenal remains sweet potato, peach cobbler, and pecan, but her cupcakes and mini cupcakes constantly evolve with innovative flavors such as a maple cupcake topped with bacon pieces and a coconut cupcake slathered with cream cheese frosting. Along with individual and by the dozen purchases, Maricel dispenses her mini cupcakes in bouquets and atop rental towers, which fit 50–60 treats. Every Tuesday through Saturday, she and her dedicated staffers are available to take orders and walk customers through the process of shrinking cakes with repeated dryer sessions.
Ovation Teas specializes in teas blended to order to maintain freshness and satisfy even the most advanced pinky lifters. Select from a mélange of fine, flavored, or herbal teas and infusions to perk up mornings or slow down evenings. Sip Yellow Mountain Hair Tip, made up of mao feng loose-leaf green tea ($17.99/2 oz.), or fog up glasses with a cup of lavender earl grey black tea ($5.99+). Slip into sweet sleep with chamomile, whole chamomile flowers with a flavor that hints of honey, pollen, and drowsy-eyed sheep ($3.99/1 oz.), or create a customized concoction to promote chaotic tranquility ($12.99/8" tall bag). Simplify the brewing process with an assortment of teaware that includes infusers ($3.99+), ceramic pots ($29.95), and more.
It's nice watching someone else make dinner for a change?especially when the meal prep becomes a full-on show. At Tokyo Steakhouse, chefs bring their culinary skills tableside to entertain diners with flaming onion volcanoes and knife juggling. They can hand-wrap cucumber, green onion, and masago into spicy-tuna sushi rolls, and grill steak, chicken, and fresh vegetables for teppanyaki dishes. Accompany your meal with a specialty cocktail such as the Banzai, which is a mixture of tropical fruit juices, rum, and a splash of almond, and finish the meal on a sweet note with mochi ice cream.
With an extensive menu of island-inspired eats, the eatery blissfully deserts feasters on an island of inspired cuisine. Start with an order of Spam musubi and enjoy the canned delicacy swaddled in a nori wrap with egg and rice ($4.95) or go for an order of Shanghai-style lumpia, a Pac Island family recipe of pork, shrimp, and vegetables in an eggroll-esque package ($5.50). Dinner at the eatery offers an abundant bounty of nourishment, with everything from noodles, rice, and burgers to their 13 barbecue combination platters. The loli chicken and Kalua pork, whose delectable pairing of barbecue chicken and slow-smoked pulled pork sautéed with cabbage ($10.49) was crowned best entree in the 2007 Taste of Tacoma festival, while the teriyaki-marinated kalbi short ribs ($10.95) was top entree in 2006. Most platters are served with two scoops of rice and either macaroni salad or island slaw. Salute sweet teeth with a tropical-fruit smoothie ($4.50), slice of pineapple upside-down cake ($3.75), or slice of molten-chocolate "luv-a-lava" cake ($5.95).
Every day, the staff at Boba Smoothie blend fresh fruits and other ingredients to create smoothies, teas, and non-dairy milk teas. But the sweet flavors of fruit and tea aren't the drinks' only feature?the cups fill with chewy boba pearls, which add a burst of texture to every taste like a lego made of candy. Staff members also serve up fresh scoops of gelato in such flavors as mango, coconut, and cupcake.
From behind a frozen granite slab, the staff of Cold Stone Creamery blends custom servings of ice cream and creative mix-ins to fit customers’ exact specifications. Founded by Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone began under the hot Arizona sun, eventually spreading its frosty fingers to encompass more than 1,400 locations worldwide. Despite the size of the company, each location’s staff keeps up the handcrafted quality, making ice cream onsite every day and using those signature spades to create delicious pointillist art against the freezer wall.