The pen stroke of a poet. The flourish of a painter's brush. The tangled staff notes of a musician. The baker and owner of Yummy Bakes, Iris Rodriguez, likens the way she narrates celebrations through custom cakes and cupcakes to the works of any other artist. She sculpts 3-D desserts to reflect the focus of festivities, commemorating nuptials with four tiers of a ribbon-adorned cake in Tiffany blue and birthdays with an edible castle of bubblegum-pink turrets inhabited by princesses. Cartoon characters from Angry Birds and Sesame Street emerge in colorful twists of frosting and fondant, delighting birthday celebrants and confusing Martians trying to understand Earth’s food chain. Iris sometimes weaves her stories by embellishing sweets with edible photographs and images.:m]]
At Yo-Delight, guests lounge on plush sofas or a cushioned purple bench and sip smoothies filled with tapioca pearls or dig into chilled cups of frozen yogurt. They fill these cups with their choice of 24 daily flavors, some of which are sugar- and fat-free, and then pile on the toppings from the toppings bar, which contains 80 options. For a more filling treat, patrons can opt for a freshly prepared sweet or savory crepe—a flaky treat that's both comforting and rich, much like a waterbed filled with banana pudding. In addition to frozen treats, Yo-Delight features entertainment such as music, WiFi access, six flatscreen TVs, and free usage of iPads and Xbox consoles.
Open since 1947, Millers Bakery offers a wide array of freshly baked goodies, from seasonally themed cookies to decadent cream cakes. Early-morning risers can wake up with a ring or filled donut ($0.85 each), with tempting varieties such as oat bran, cinnamon, powdered jelly, and chocolate French. Gift a special someone a frosting-laden hazelnut cream or carrot cake specialty cupcake ($1.95 each). Pumpkin, apple, and blueberry pies ($8.50 for 8-inch pie) will be hot commodities for those looking for dessert on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Three Stooges reenactment day. Those who reject sugary pastries can simply stock up on Irish soda bread ($3.50 for 1.2 oz.) or grab a 20 oz. cup of house-blend coffee to go ($1.75).
Awash in vibrant hues of green, purple, and yellow, the interior of Skoops of River Edge playfully hints at the kaleidoscope of ice-cream flavors that fill its freezers. The shop’s scoopers pile 35 flavors of hard and soft ice cream into cups or cones, pausing only to spoon up dollops of italian ice and adorn sundaes with thick rivers of chocolate fudge. Aside from the shop’s scoopable creations, creamy milk shakes pour from blenders and frozen yogurt pumps from whirring soft-serve machines. Customers of all ages can be spotted perched on the shop's colorful stools throughout the week sipping on floats or pouring smoothies down their backs to cool off.
Voted the 2008 and 2009 #1 Bakery in Best of Bergen, Butterflake Bakery serves up a kosher and colorful assortment of confections from old world classics like Challah and jam-filled Hamantaschen, to wedding cakes replete with blooming gardens of frosting. Dessert aficionados can enjoy Butterflake's vast selection of cookies (starting at $1.75 each), Danish and croissants (starting at $1.90), pies and tortes (starting at $8.95), and myriad other tasty treats. Sifting together the dry ingredients of baking and technology, computer generated portrait/picture cakes can depict any image through the delectable medium of frosting, while cakes molded in the shape of popular cartoon characters can add dulcet dimension to a child's birthday party. Butterflake Bakery also alleviates the anxieties of patrons with nut allergies by keeping all of their baked goods completely isolated from nuts, nut products, and nutty high-speed chase sequences.
Doing double duty as a hat maker to the stars, with his chapeaus topping the crowns of Eva Longoria and Charlize Theron, Naftali Abenaim possesses an artful eye. This aesthetic touch helped him in his time working as a pastry chef in Manhattan hotels and led him to open Mocha Bleu, where he uses his skills to appeal to diners’ tendencies to “eat with their eyes first.” To this end, Abenaim designed the restaurant to get people excited about his food before they even sit down, with transparent Philippe Starck seating, walls coated in silvery-blue mosaic, and crisp, white napkins at every table.
His kitchen constructs pescetarian- and vegetarian-friendly dishes with European flavors in what Abenaim calls generous, “American-sized portions,” as opposed to those scaled to Luxemburg. Presentation plays a large part in the appeal of his food. A French patisserie welcomes patrons upon entering, a comfortable lounge sports WiFi, and a cherry-wood burning oven stands in the center of the dining area, where chefs put a golden-brown edge on pizzas and calzones loaded with nonmeat ingredients, such as savory mock pepperoni and mock chicken or mock crabmeat and shrimp. The poutine embodies the regional cuisine of Abenaim’s Canadian home by presenting tables with a freshly baked pile of julienne fries topped with rich gravy and mozzarella.:m]]