Reality Tuesday Cafe's locations in Park Hills and Hebron are places made for lingering. A regularly changing collection of artwork?which patrons can buy to hang in their home's coffee shop?adorns the walls, surrounding the cushy couches and tables where visitors type away using free WiFi. The Hebron location also has an outdoor courtyard. But no matter where visitors sit, they can all sip organic, fair-trade coffee from Cincinnati-based roaster Seven Hills and smoothies voted the Best of NKY by readers of Northern Kentucky magazine.
Homemade pastries, chicken and tuna salad, and other foods complement the drinks. Slices of cheesecake remain customer favorites, perhaps because their triangular shape makes the trip to the mouth extremely aerodynamic.
For two decades, Haute Chocolate’s dual kitchens have worked in tandem to melt down premium chocolate for more than 300 confections. The enterprise began when owner and chocolatier Lisa Cooper Holmes won a local baking contest for her fudge and semi-sweet chocolate brownies. The award not only saved her from the loser’s shameful bath in molten fudge; it inspired her to pursue a life in the dessert industry. Nowadays, Lisa’s brownies remain the shop’s centerpiece but share their display cases with Haute "Pi", peanut-butter-and-chocolate buckeyes, and chocolate-dipped treats.
Every pint of ice cream and box of candy at Aglamesis Bro's is hand-packed with family tradition. The sweet legacy stretches back to Greek immigrants Thomas and Nicholas Aglamesis, who settled in Cincinnati at the beginning of the twentieth century. The brothers began making ice cream, and by 1908, they had saved enough money to open up their own parlor. More than a century later, visitors can still meet those original founders: their photographs hang inside Aglamesis Bro's two Cincinnati locations. And the decor doesn't look much different than when the Aglamesis family first opened up shop, with touches such as antique tin ceilings, tiffany lamps, and marble counters adding to the spaces' vintage charm.
The treats are just as classic as the surroundings, as a third generation of the Aglamesis family continues to make ice cream and candies with old-world recipes. Ice cream is made in the French style?incorporating egg yolks to produce rich flavor?and chocolate confections are crafted from scratch. Whether guests sample a dish of champagne sorbet, a classic banana split, or vanilla caramels, they can taste the sweet simplicity of a bygone era.
A science lab calls to mind test tubes, bubbling flasks of chemicals, maniacally laughing men in white coats—but rarely ice cream. But that's exactly where Curt Jones, chairman and founder of Dippin’ Dots, came upon the inspiration for the tiny flash-frozen beads of ice cream. A microbiologist, Jones spearheaded the flash-freezing process of cryogenic encapsulation, a method capable of trapping in flavor and freshness.
Beginning as a retail shop in Lexington, Kentucky, the ice cream quickly began to quell the tantrums of Fortune 500 CEOs all over the country. Having won numerous awards since he created a new way to enjoy an old treat, Jones stays true to Dippin’ Dots’ roots, making the ice cream at the company headquarters in Paducah, Kentucky. New additions to the Dippin’ Dots family include Dots ‘n Cream, a treat similar to traditional ice cream.:m]]
Between the open mic nights, art shows, and caffeine-fueled student study sessions, you might say there's a bit of a buzz at Blend Coffee. But that's nothing compared to what goes on in the cafe's kitchen. There, chefs spend hours perfecting dishes that are made entirely from scratch and with local ingredients. Morning see the staff whipping up breakfast popovers, maple wraps, and muffins while lunch brings their focus to the crafting of paninis, barbecue pork tacos, and bacon-encrusted fried zucchini sandwiches. A few specialty items even take all day, such as the raspberry chipotle wings, which staff brine, smoke, and sauce in-house. Of course, between all this, the baristas never stop brewing up premium cups of coffee, which helps ensure that the shop's chefs, patrons, and espresso machines stay productive.
Taste of Belgium follows an authentic family recipe to make its waffles out of thick dough and coarse Belgian beet sugar. A specialized cast-iron press then crushes the dough into its distinctive waffle shape and caramelizes the sugar in the process. This gives the waffle a rich vanilla flavor and a delightful sweetness that doesn't require syrup. As such, you can eat waffles on the go without plates, forks, or Catholic guilt.