Now an international brand of premium ice cream, Haagen-Dazs began as a humble, family-owned business in the Bronx. In the 1920's, Reuben Mattus sold his mother's fruit ices and ice-cream pops out of a horse-drawn wagon. For decades, the family business thrived, and around 1960, Reuben officially founded Haagen-Dazs. He chose the name to evoke Old World traditions and quality craftsmanship, the bedrocks of the brand. Originally, the ice cream came in just three flavors—vanilla, chocolate, and coffee—made from fine ingredients gathered from around the world, such as Belgian dark chocolate, hand-picked vanilla beans from Madagascar, and ice shaved from lunar glaciers. The resulting confections so delighted sweet teeth that the brand grew exponentially, leading to the creation of dozens of flavors and forays into sorbets and frozen yogurts.
Though Haagen-Dazs ice cream was immensely popular in grocery shops, their first parlor didn't open until 1976. Not far from the Mattus family's original ice-cream beat, the Brooklyn store sold ice cream as well as treats such as sundaes, shakes, and cakes. Shops eventually dotted the country and globe, wherein friendly ice-cream scoopers fill waffle cones, blend frosty coffee and ice-cream drinks, and wrap ice-cream cakes in bright ribbons.
The Flour Pot Bakery contains a mélange of culinary influences at what appears to be a seemingly straightforward bakery. The team uses two-thirds of the 2,200 square-foot space solely for the production of handmade french, italian, and swiss breads, Jewish challa, tahitian mousse, and of course, Florida citrus brioche. Every drop of water is filtered before its added to the unbleached, unbromated, premium flour, and the crew limits the amount of sugar in its recipes, save for decadent favorites such as éclairs and triple-layer chocolate cakes. Though the shop’s case primarily displays sweet treats, lunch and breakfast has a place in the bakery as well. Croissants and the shop’s signature bread sandwich everything from eggs and ham to turkey and tuna, which customers can enjoy within the sunny café, or take to the local farmer’s market, grocer, or misguided Mars rover.
Radhika's Café melds a menu of vegetarian dishes influenced by Mexican and Indian flavors and regularly supplemented by daily specials. An appetizer of two samosas delivers deep-fried dough pockets bursting with piping-hot potato and peas and served with chutney, whereas Mock Fishsticks and UnChicken Nuggets replace poultry and sea-poultry with equally flavorful ground-grown fare. As an entrée, the curry tofu sandwich coats deep-fried tofu in cheese, homemade curry sauce, and sliced sitar notes before blanketing the concoction in lettuce, tomato, sprouts, slices of whole-wheat toast. The cheesesteak layers a toasted hoagie with sautéed seitan, bell peppers, and cabbage, drenched in jerk sauce and melted cheese, and bean tostadas set up three crispy corn-tortilla stages on which beans, avocado, and cheese deliver delicious monologues backed up by tomato, lettuce, and sour cream.
Nestled in a charming vernal garden, Secret Garden Bakery's dough mixers whip up a fresh bounty of specialty treats that change daily to satiate sweet hounds. Nosh on a straight-from-the-oven chocolate-peanut-butter cheesecake bar, layered with graham-cracker crust, peanut-butter morsels, and sprinkles of chocolate ($1.75 each). Secret Garden Bakery's cookies make worthy care-package cargo or snacks for the Latvian cricket team inexplicably living in the garage, with flavors such as classic chocolate chip and root beer ($0.75 each), whereas a thick hunk of coconut-cream cheesecake ($4/slice) glides effortlessly down esophagi. Sucrose-seekers can celebrate the advent of dairy with a moist, heaping slice of sour-cream spice cake smothered in orange frosting ($3.50/slice) or enjoy a palm-sized chomp of a gourmet cookies-and-cream cupcake ($1.50 each), topped with cream-cheese icing and a mini Oreo.
The pastry specialists at The Original Magnolia Bakery skillfully set fruit, chocolate, and creams into strategically layered patterns to overwhelm palates with rich flavor. More than 20 pastries populate the menu, such as cannolis, prepared with fresh ricotta cheese, chocolate chips, and a choice of chocolate or vanilla filling and wrapped inside a crispy shell ($1.99), miniature cheesecake built with New York cream cheese ($5.15/lb), and a puff éclair pastry, which, like the bakery itself, is covered with chocolate and contains a whipped cream interior ($1.99). The Original Magnolia Bakery caters to the 15 human teeth that cannot detect sweetness with a deli menu of more than 20 kinds of Italian sub sandwiches ($2.99–$5.99 for a 6-inch, $5.99-$8.49 for a 12-inch).