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.
Tom Yum's seasoned Thai chefs create authentic Thai dishes using trademark Thailand spices. The ingredient roster also extends to such flavor-enhancers as ginger, basil, and coconut milk, the kind of milk least likely to come out of a cantaloupe. Along with traditional rice, curry, and noodle dishes, they flame-grill and saut? exotic specialties, including a lobster pad thai and barbecue chicken with papaya salad.
The food at Lula's Latin Cuisine takes a Dominican slant, thanks to owners and partners Reimy and Lula Valdez. Each day, the chefs prepare menu staples such as golden-brown cheese empanadas and breaded steak. But the changing specials are the real stars, and up to seven are offered each day: you may encounter roasted pork on Tuesday or pork-chop stew on Sunday. Punctuate meals with a sweet ending, such as the Dominican-style cake, a yellow layer cake traditionally filled with pineapple and described by one North Jersey food critic as a "luscious confection" that will "give you something to celebrate."