Growing from the seeds of coffee beans, Farley's started as a java shop that eventually transformed into a community feeding and watering hole. As a neighborhood citizen, the eatery stocks its shelves with magazines and decks its walls with rotating displays of local art from local artists. Farley's welcomes the morning crowd with a menu of stimulating percolators and hearty breakfast bites. A double shot of espresso ($2.50) or a 16-ounce cup of French-press joe ($3.50) awakens sleepy heads. Utensil-wielding hands are directed toward a basket of Farley's baked eggs with Yukon Gold potatoes and prosciutto ($7) or a cool bowl of house-made granola with yogurt ($4.50).
In 1997, friends Dena Tripp and Debra Shwetz set out to create a luscious, melt-in-your-mouth bundt cake. What began as an endeavor in their own home kitchens soon blossomed into a bustling business with bakeries in 14 states. Rich cocoa browns and soft pastels lend a nostalgic feel to each bakery, where every day lava-powered ovens warm up batter made from fresh eggs, real butter, and cream cheese. Flavors such as chocolate chocolate chip, pecan praline, and white-chocolate raspberry remain constants on the menu, and a new flavor makes a guest appearance each month. Cakes come in several sizes, from the standard 8- or 10-inch bundt to the single-serving bundtlet and the bite-size bundtini, all frosted with a signature blend of cream cheese and butter.
Each Nothing Bundt Cakes location also houses its own stock of gifts. Patrons may come across the brightly hued handle of a confetti cake knife or opt to take home an old-fashioned tin, perfect for stowing coffee and imprisoning gingerbread men who have tried to run away. Contact the location of your choice for gift pricing and availability.
After catering for two years, Blackberry Soul Bakery and Cafe finally settled in a brick-and-mortar building, where owner-baker Rene prepares her Southern-influenced cakes, cookies, and savory snacks for visitors. The 2004 winner of the Taste of the Bay award and a requested favorite of the 100 Chefs Can Cook United Negro College fundraiser, Rene applies plaudit-earning skills when mixing fresh butter, real vanilla beans, just-harvested wooden spoons, and a few of her grandmother's recipes to whip up delectable, tooth-ready treats. She specializes in sweet-potato pie, pound cake, oatmeal cookies, and cobblers, though the piping-hot menu also includes cakes, cupcakes, and puddings. Red velvet cake supplies means of satiation for sweet teeth, and two types of cornbread furnish the means of satiation for teeth made out of bread. The café takes custom orders for pickup or delivery, and Rene accommodates customers out and about by supplying treats at many local jazz festivals and community events.
The chefs at American Natural Food & Cafe strive to expand American palates with a menu of dishes influenced by foods from all over the Mediterranean basin. A perennial list of French-inspired Moroccan cuisine anchors an ever-changing lineup of specials drawn from many countries, allowing a menu of Mediterranean-Moroccan fusion food. For example, salads and burritos are made with fresh, organic ingredients, and couscous is prepared in the Doukkala Province method, paying homage to the chef's roots.
For those inspired to whip up their own Mediterranean dishes at home, the eatery's grocery-store section provides aspiring chefs with spices and hand-selected, naturally raised foods from around the world. The packed shelves provide a backdrop to intimate tables lit by strings of lights and candlesticks.
At Organic Soul Live in Oakland's Chinatown, conventional restaurant elements are upstaged by Elijah Joy and his flavorful, ever-changing menu of vegan food. Currently, Organic Soul Live's menu features shiitake bacon, dairy-free mac 'n' cheese, and a tofu-of-the-day, which changes daily and is made from tofu.
Cafe Madrid excites palates with a traditional lineup of Spanish deli selections alongside creative coffees and cold beverages. Embark on transatlantic flavor treks atop the menu’s roasted eggplant sandwich ($8), just the way Columbus did, or bundle a bocadillo with a choice of gourmet meats, cheeses, and zesty condiments ($7.50). Early risers can stop by on morning commutes to employ teeth in the disassembling of tomato-topped andalusian toast ($3) and pair it with a choice of coffee concoctions such as café con leche ($3) or find a tempting treat for after-work outings by sipping sangria by the glass ($6), pitcher ($13), or hollowed-out gold brick.