The bakery hit the ground running in 2012 with a rave review from ABC7's Steve Dolinsky and praise from the Post-Tribune. Dessert Menu features custom cakes with specialty buttercream frosting made from actual butter, rather than hydrogenated oils. One of their specialties is waffles. These delicacies are made with caramelized sugar with buttery-sweet ingredients beneath. Following the tradition of Liège waffles from East Belgium, the mixture is pressed into Belgian waffle irons to create thick and chewy waffles with chunks of caramelized sugar pearls throughout. Prepared fresh upon ordering, they can be topped with fresh fruit, Nutella, homemade whipped cream, or caramel. They also dole out scoops of gelato, a slowly churned, dense ice cream that contains more milk than cream. Beyond the cakes, waffles, and gelato, Dessert Menu prepares fresh batches of pastries, tarts, and other treats.
Filling their kitchens with the freshest ingredients, the bakers of Branya's Bakery craft made-from-scratch treats, for casual consumption or custom order. The cake reigns supreme in this confectionary, adding its moist texture to cupcakes and specialty cakes that can be decorated with sculpted fondant or powdered sugar buttresses. These desserts can be topped with a variety of frostings and injected with fillings including fresh fruit, buttercream, or custard, allowing every bite to blend a trio of complementary flavors.
In addition to traditional baked goods, the bakery offers a line of made without gluten goodies crafted from rice flour rather than wheat flour. The line includes bread, muffins, doughnuts, cakes, and chocolate chip and butter cookies as well as soup, jelly, and jam.
Expanding beyond party-ready sweets, the pastry chefs also create hearty breakfast offerings with their in-store selection of biscuits and gravy, danishes, almond-filled bear claws, and muffins, with toppings of streusel or a light layer of frosting adding a touch of sweetness. During the lunchtime hours, a range of flavorful, homemade soups fill the shop with their aromatic scents, allowing guests to mix savory and sweet like the food pyramid during its rebellious teen years.
Now spreading health from three locations, the staff members at Baums Natural Foods believe that individuals have a say in their longevity, energy levels, and overall wellbeing. To that end, they stock an abundance of natural vitamins and supplements geared toward fostering strength, preventing ailments, and bringing dormant superpowers to the surface. Focusing on the Foundational Four supplements––multivitamins/mineral complexes, fish oil, probiotics, and enzymes––the team works with patrons to carve a path toward smooth and efficient bodily systems. For an immediate booster, the Munster and St. John locations fill the refrigerators at their juice bars with kale, ginger, lemons, mangoes, beets, and garlic, prepped and ready to custom blend into healthy sips. All Baums Natural Foods locations also feature a wellness center where licensed aestheticians, acupuncturists, and other specialists promote holistic health with treatments such as ionic footbaths, body wraps, and reflexology.
Smoothie King smoothies combine fresh fruit, natural juices, and special nutritional enhancers into more than 90 flavors, all of which focus on achieving one of seven nutritional goals. Harness antiviral and antibacterial effects of hand sanitizer sans burning sensation with the pomegranate punch, an infusion of pomegranate, bananas, blueberries, apple juice, soy protein, and turbinado sweetener. Weight-conscious en-smuthiasts can trim down with the less-than-400-calorie Celestial Cherry High, packed with bananas, black cherry, papaya, turbinado, and honey. Customize any small ($5.99) or medium ($6.49) smoothie by adding one of the eleven enhancers ($0.99 each), including 8 grams of soluble fiber in the Fiber Blend or the friendly bacteria of Probiotic, which politely R.S.V.P.'s before arriving at digestive-tract dance parties.
For more than 50 years, the staff at Arnie's Dog House has steamed classic Vienna beef hot dogs, Polishes, Italian beef, and other sandwiches and their focus on what's on top of the bun is just as important as what's inside of it. Toppings crown any meal choice, and include ladles full of chili cheese or the Chicago-style treatment for a hot dog, with sport peppers, dill pickle spears, and tomatoes on top. Arnie's toppings are so popular, they even come as a standard part of many menu items: cheese fries get more interesting with a sprinkling of bacon, and tamales come with gooey chili. Side items including fried pickles, cheese sticks, and funnel-cake fries help round out the menu. The team cooks up these favorites in addition to other items such as loose hamburgers, corn dogs, Italian sausages, and pizza puffs for meals to be eaten in house or delivered to your door still sizzling, cooking meals quicker than even the competitors of the Lunch Lady World Championship Games.
For more than 25 years, the family of arctic artisans at Zarlengo's Italian Ice has infused real fruit and carefully selected ingredients into more than 50 varieties of temperature-defying delicacies, each carefully forged on-site and collectively voted Best Ice Cream in the Chicago Area by Chicago Sun-Times readers. Guests may commission miniature igloos in seasonal flavors such as pumpkin gelato or apple-cinnamon Italian ice (medium $3.25), or they can unite flavors such as mango, chocolate, and strawberry Italian ice with soft serve ice cream in an arctic cooler (medium $4.29). Natural ingredients such as fresh tangerines and bananas come together in real fruit slushes (medium $4.29) to enjoy a refreshing reprieve from their day jobs as still-life models, and hand-dipped novelties such as the Zar bar accommodate busy patrons with 10 varieties of chocolate-ensconced portability ($1.89).