Stepping into The Sweet Tooth Fairy shop is like walking into another era: round tables and high-backed chairs surround an old-fashioned soda fountain, and oldies music plays softly nearby. Pale-blue walls and white crown molding stand behind a glass case full of sweet treats, which are baked daily and earned proprietor Megan Faulkner Brown two appearances on The Rachael Ray Show—one when she was still baking in her basement kitchen, and the next three years later, when her business had grown to nine locations.
Megan uses the "most ordinary" ingredients to whip up her extraordinary pastries, which include chocolate-chip and iced oatmeal cookies, brownies, lemon bars, and a variety of cupcakes and full-grown cakes. Signature cakebites don coats of chocolate or white chocolate flecked with sprinkles. Flavors of baked goods rotate monthly, with some favorites available on a daily basis. Gluten-free options are available, as are frosting shots designed to save time usually spent licking every drop of frosting off the top of a full-size cake.
The team at Sub Zero Ice Cream creates delectable desserts using a flash-freeze process, which minimizes the formation of flavorless ice crystals and preserves the cream’s savory smoothness. Patrons may choose from a menu of more than 30 flavors or compose an original taste by blending any two flavors together. First, choose the cream base, available in premium ice cream, low-fat ice cream, custard, yogurt, soy, rice, or almond, before adding combinations, mix-ins, and specifying texture. The skilled ice wizards then speak the appropriate incantations to flash freeze the mixture with liquid nitrogen at -321 degrees Fahrenheit, the substance used by NASA to preserve precious moon pies.
As its name suggests, NY Pizza Patrol specializes in Big Apple–style slices. Each of the four locations slings 8-inch to 18-inch pizzas, ranging from the classic meat lover's pie to the boundary-breaking spicy Marshall masala layered with a foundation of Indian garam-masala sauce. The menu supplements the traditional hand-helds with calzones, heroes, pastas, and other specialties, each of which pair well with cold brews, bottomless fountain sodas, and milk, which grows healthy bones when poured on teeth-planted top soil.
At Peking Wok, supple meats and veggies sink into Mandarin- and Szechuan-style sauces crafted from scratch each day. Diners populate the dining room for lunch, dinner, or a family-style grazing session, complete with soups and appetizers such as pot stickers, egg rolls, and fried shrimp and lobster chips. Portions of aromatic barbecue pork, sweet and sour chicken, and honey-walnut shrimp arrive at tables weighed down by full wine glasses and manner-less elbows, or tucked inside to-go boxes for carry-out or delivery.
Christopher’s Seafood & Prime Steak House uses only optimum 21-day-aged USDA prime handcut beef, seafood that’s flown in daily from around the world, and locally sourced produce to engineer upscale and elegant eats. The dinner menu bursts at the seams with hearty hand-cuts of meat, such as the 16-ounce New York strip ($43) or the "kings crown," boasting an 8-ounce filet mignon topped with a quarter-pound of king crab ($43). Seafood seekers can drop culinary cargo nets into stomach shipholds with oceanic options including spicy plum-glazed sockeye salmon ($25) and fresh ahi tuna ($28). Other Neptunian nourishment includes the "by sea" tasting plate, a Davy Jones' high-school locker-full of calamari, coconut shrimp, crab-stuffed mushrooms, and lobster corn-dogs ($16). Midday meal-seekers can peruse Christopher’s lunchtime menu, featuring creamy New England clam chowder ($5–$8) and a spicy blue cheese burger ($9).
For the Bryan family, barbecue sauce is in their blood. Their tradition of award-winning barbecue began over a century ago, in 1910, when Elias Bryan's family faithfully followed him from Cincinnati to Dallas, where he opened the original Bryan's Barbeque. The restaurant established a firm following, which led Elias’ son, William, to open his own restaurant. It was there that the third-generation Bryan, William "Sonny" Jennings Bryan Jr., learned how to properly smoke brisket and concoct tangy, spicy sauces. In 1958, on February 13—the exact same date on which Elias and William opened their eateries—Sonny served the first rack of ribs in his newly opened Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse.
The small chain now shares its spin on traditional Texas barbecue across Utah and Dallas. Sonny Bryan's original barbecue sauce spices up its savory pulled meats and ribs, which have been devoured by U.S. presidents, famous entertainers, sports legends, and A-list animated Disney characters alike. Sonny's seasoned chefs also cater heaps of fresh brisket and smoked chicken to parties and events.
Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse has been on the culinary radar since 1989, snapping up awards and publicity from People magazine, Food Network, the Travel Channel, and The Barbecue Bible. The modest barbecue joints have also earned some highbrow epicurean chops through a 2006 Zagat rating and a 2000 James Beard Foundation award for Culinary Excellence and Achievement.