Since its inception as a home-décor boutique in 1987, Country Keepsakes Tea Room has rotated a roster of first-rate comfort food in a cozy, familial setting. Eclectic tablecloths and warm lighting complement the comforting menu, which, like Monday’s placement in the sequence of days, changes every week. Chef Beverly Bruce assembles the Keepsake quiche by filling a potato crust with broccoli, ham, and cheese, then sending it to tables on side-dish wings made of tossed salad and freshly baked bread ($8.79). Tuck into a classic with the chicken-fried chicken, a pan-fried chicken breast accompanied by gravy-drenched mashed potatoes and green beans ($9). Polish off a noontime meal with a sweet item from the rotating dessert menu, including the luscious, always-available triple-lemon pie.
The Roasterie Café commits itself to supporting small, specialty-coffee-bean farmers around the world and employing a convection air-roasting method to help ensure smoothness and consistency. Customers can take bags of dry beans, such as Super Tuscan Espresso ($12.65 per 12 oz. bag), home for private brewing, or they can perk up with signature drinks that include Brooksider Bob, a mélange of mint, chocolate, and espresso ($3.85 for 12 oz.). Fruit smoothies such as Mandarin Passion ($4.15 for 16 oz.) inspire slurpers to throw regular-sized oranges in a dryer, and coolers such as Thrilla Vanilla ($4.50 for 16 oz.) calm urges for chilled caffeine. The coffee mecca rounds out its extensive menu with bagels and pastries, as well as more than 20 different flavors of loose-leaf and sachet teas.
Fueled by a belief that anybody can paint, co-owners Jenny and John Ball opened Thirsty Palette painting studio to prove that experience level doesn’t matter when it comes to tapping into your inner artist. During sip and paint classes, guest artists guide students of all backgrounds through easy step-by-step instructions, teaching them how to use all the provided art supplies to easily recreate that session’s chosen image. Past paintings have included cherry blossom trees, team mascots, and peacock feathers. Throughout the class, Jenny and John encourage students to loosen up with a cocktail, wine, beer, or non-alcoholic beverage from the studio’s fully stocked bar.
For private parties, the Bells tailor their painting session to the event or the host’s likes. For example, they may lead kids through a Scooby Do painting at a child’s birthday party. For an extra fee, Thirsty Palate staffers can also bring all the essentials for a memorable party, including food, decorations, and high-powered jet packs.
Though André and Elsbeth Bollier left Basel, Switzerland for Kansas City in 1955, they didn't really leave the Old World behind. Finding his adopted home bereft of fine pastries, André set out to "bring something new and exciting" to the city, as his son Marcel told the Wednesday Sun in 2011. A master pastry chef, he began selling his handcrafted swiss confections at his eponymous store, André's Confiserie Suisse. Intent on re-creating the feel of an authentic Swiss confiserie, he relied on natural ingredients and pure butter to produce his treats' signature rich flavor. Soon, André expanded his business to two tearooms festooned with the flags of several Swiss cantons.
Now joined by third-generation members of the Bollier family, André's Confiserie Suisse remains faithful to that original vision while creating new lines of seasonal and signature bites. In addition to hand-decorated caramels, fruit tortes, and freshly shelled circus peanuts, the display cases feature grand cru truffles made from single-sourced cocoa beans whose flavors reflect the soil and climate of their exotic original locales, including Madagascar and Bolivia.
Paciugo's Latin motto, ante dunio dessertium—meaning before dinner, dessert—neatly summarizes its liberal three-scoops attitude. Its luscious cold creams contain 70% less fat than premium ice cream, thus making it 130% more OK to consume several consecutive pints' worth. A dessert that meets the FDA's standards for healthfulicious food, Paciugo's Turin recipes employ fresh and all-natural ingredients coupled with the finest fruit, nuts, chocolates, and more to churn up scrumptious orbs of sweet sustenance. The gelaterie's menu ushers taste buds toward small piccolo cups ($3.69) with four scoops and up to four different flavors, such as black raspberry, amaretto chocolate chip, chocolate black-cherry swirl, black-pepper olive oil, Mediterranean sea-salt caramel, chocolate-orange saffron, and many more. The medio size includes four scoops and up to four different flavors in a larger size ($4.29). Go for not really that broke with a espresso shake ($5.49) Each of Paciugo's rich, creamy delights is made from whole milk, soy, and water, and no-sugar-added options are available so that a suitable flavor can match with any dietary need, unless you're allergic to joy.
As a child, Lisa Clark would conjure up chocolate cakes for her mother through an Easy Bake Oven. While the first batch had mixed results, she was diligent about perfecting her cake recipes. This dedication came in handy later in life when she and her husband, Daniel, left their careers in the customer service and hospitality industries to establish Cupcake Á La Mode. Since then, the pair have watched their boutique cupcakerie grow from a home-based business to three brick-and-mortar locations, each decorated with hot pink hues and contemporary black baroque chandeliers. The newly opened Roseville location is the most recent addition, following four years of success in the Kansas City area.
Believing that presentation is just as important as taste, Lisa and her team handcraft cupcakes from a vanilla or chocolate batter base before artfully decorating them with homemade buttercream frosting, candies, and fruit. The decorative cupcakes—which come in flavorful variations such as marshmallow fondue and bella nutella—are best enjoyed with a blended coffee or tea amid the boutique café setting, though larger batches can also be made for weddings or as bribery gifts to sweet-toothed monsters. When not baking up sweet treats in her shops, Lisa and her team are giving back to their community by supporting local charity events such as Dolls and Desserts for Down Syndrome.