As visitors devour spoonfuls of sweet, creamy frozen treats at Menchie’s, they may notice a string of ’90s-era sitcom stars arriving to sample the wares and chat with the man in charge. That’s because owner/operator David Lipper first made a name for himself on Full House playing D.J. Tanner’s boyfriend Viper. Today, Lipper proudly sits atop a local frozen-yogurt empire, edging out his fellow cast mates’ enterprises, including Dave Coulier’s network of Swiss banks and John Stamos’s ’50s-themed doggy daycare. Inside the shop, diners select from a colorful array of flavors, such as low-carb pistachio or fruity watermelon tart, and crown their creation with toppings including sprinkles, mocha, hot fudge, and locally grown fruits.
For three decades, the bakers at Melrose Baking Company have used all-natural ingredients to lovingly create fresh, crusty breads from scratch, and without the use of preservatives. Today, the bakery crafts more than 200 different doughy creations, from rosemary-garlic focaccia to soft and salty pretzel rolls disguised as non-pretzel-shaped loaves.
The original Beard Papa’s began filling the airs of Osaka, Japan, with the warm, wafting smells of its original-recipe cream puffs. A double-layer puff featuring piecrust on the outside and a mixture of vanilla custard cream and whipped cream on the inside, the successful little treats have led the bakery to expand to more than 300 locations throughout Southeast Asia, Russia, the United States, and the moon. The venerable bakery has also graduated to other pint-size desserts and Asian-influenced treats, including mochi ice cream and mango ice showers, a fusion of shaved ice, layered sweet sauce, and mango chunks.
Food is the body's fuel, and the staff at Fenix 5-4 centers its efforts on making sure that fuel is as powerful as possible. That's why their menu of juices and smoothies features wholesome, raw fruits and vegetables grown without pesticides. Wheatgrass is a special star here—the potent superfood comes in concentrated shots and sippable teas laced with honey. It's all in an effort help their guests eat and live more healthily, with more whole nutrients and less refined sugar and preservatives. Café offerings take the same approach—the team pairs many of their sandwiches with nitrate-free ham imported from Italy or meat-free substitutes that taste just like chicken or beef.
The masterminds behind Fenix 5-4 will soon be putting their wholesome efforts into a brother restaurant, The Rusty Monk. An upscale space that features a creative wine list and a slew of Belgian and German draft beers, the restaurant will nourish diners with the same life-giving nutrients in a gourmet seasonal menu.
Sweet Dreams evokes a cozy New York lounge with large windows, ample table space, and several plush sofas. But the real centerpiece is the dessert case, filled with fruit tarts, homemade apple pies, and fresh-baked cupcakes. Those who don't slip into a sugar trance can grab a warm focaccia sandwich or throw back a few espressos. Diners may also put in a bakery order for a custom cake; past designs include a circus tent, a guitar, and a giant Brussels sprout.