Armed with just a single, generations-old cookie recipe, Great American Cookies opened its first store in 1977, and the rest is history. Today, the franchise boasts locations in malls across the country and nabbed a coveted spot on Entrepreneur magazine?s 2012 list of Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. The shop?s reputation grew, and so did its menu as chefs churned out a mouthwatering roster of gourmet-cookie recipes, each created and carefully tested in Atlanta. The tempting options now include snickerdoodle, peanut butter with M&M?s, and chewy pecan supreme, as well as freshly baked fudge and cheesecake brownies and cookie sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real showstoppers, however, are the giant chocolate-chip cookie cakes, which can be customized with sweet, celebratory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.
The flicker of gas lanterns. The flounce of petticoats. Weekends at country mansions. The spirit of the Victorian era lives on in the imagination and across the grounds of The Stone Lion Inn. Here, leaded glass still lines the bookcases and the tubs all have claw feet. Built in 1907, the secluded mansion's corridors seem like something out of a mayhem, murder mystery?and they frequently are during its regular whodunits.
For all its Victorian-style trappings, guests are still free to eat breakfast at the 200-year-old French table. French-press coffee pairs with a different quiche each day and fresh berries in rum cream. From there, guests might spend the day reading in the library, practicing their pageant walk down the sweeping staircase, or gazebing in the gazebo until they're plum gazebed out.
As evidenced by their shop’s name, the staff at Pioneer Dream Cheesecakery loves making good, creamy cheesecake. But the pastry chefs also have other baking tricks up their sleeves, using their skills to create decadently frosted cupcakes, fudgy brownies, and spicy jars of habanero jelly in festive mason jars. Most of their menu is made up of cupcake flavors, with the rotating weekly selection often including options such as cherry limeade, black forest, and cappuccino with espresso-infused caramel. Alongside their treats, the staff offers a range of teas and Soda Steve’s mission blend coffee.
With a passion for their authentically inspired sauces, the cooks at Roma's Italian Restaurant top virtually all of their entrees with zesty marinara, decadent alfredo, or wine-based lemon sauce. They use vegetables bought directly from farmers’ markets to adorn house-made baked pastas or savory meats sautéed in pure olive oil. When they aren’t using the ovens to bake New York–style pizzas or to cathartically incinerate grueling crossword puzzles, they fire them up to bring meat-filled calzones and house-made rolls to golden-brown fruition.