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 black London cab and the red telephone booth outside the small, yellow cottage set the scene for afternoon tea at The English Tea Room. Nestled adjacent to a picturesque courtyard garden, The English Tea Room is a celebration of global tea and British food and culture. Owners Tim and Jan Lantrip, a builder and pharmacist, respectively, found a way to channel both of their passions into the elegant trans-Atlantic cafe. Tim, for instance, assembled the decor, while Jan champions the health benefits of the more than 150 loose-leaf teas from around the world that line the shelves.
Fine china and linen napkins set the tables where British-inspired meals are served, from bacon-topped breakfast casseroles and coronation chicken-salad sandwiches to shepherd's pie and tea-infused soup. Events such as classic mid-afternoon high tea in the courtyard and themed kid's birthday parties in the secret courtyard that only children can see contribute to the elegant, authentic feel.
United Apparel Liquidators' fashion-savvy buying team compiles an immense stash of brand-new clothing and accessories from acclaimed designers, slicing 70–90% off their original retail price before featuring them on the boutiques' shelves. The stores—which have garnered press from fashion magazines such as Lucky and InStyle over their 30-year history—brim with men's and women's attire, shoes, and jewelry from prominent high-end labels such as Alexander McQueen, Chanel, and Marc Jacobs. Staffers aim to keep the vast collection current and up to date, harnessing their knowledge of the fashion scene to scope out threads from emerging designers and time-traveling thrift-store owners.
Shiver Shack Snowballs helps patrons combat summer heat with frosty snowballs, ice cream made with pure cane sugar, and Memphis-style barbecue. Snowballs ($2.75 for a medium), a marriage of shaved ice and flavored saccharine syrups, eliminate summertime swelter and nagging existential doubts with dozens of flavors, including green apple, peppermint, and sugar-free iterations such as mango and wedding cake ($0.50 extra). Lower tongues' core temperatures with a refreshing frozen yogurt ($2.50), or scarf down a chocolate sundae ($2.50) any day of the week. Diners seeking further sustenance can fill bellies with the pulled-pork sandwich ($5) and a side of corn grits, slaw, or smoked baked beans. Cool off outdoors under the shack's palm umbrellas or on its large covered porch, relishing the summer breeze and building an army of sugary, sentient snowmen.
Browse through KC's cupcake gallery to feast your pupil pointers on a prime selection of premium pint-sized creations dressed for sweet-tooth seduction. Sample the signature Babycake, a vanilla cake infused with semi-sweet chocolate chips and chopped macadamia nuts and topped with darker-than-noir chocolate frosting and Madagascar-vanilla buttercream. Or chalk another win up to chocolate-chocolate cupcakes, chock full of dark-chocolate cake, dark-chocolate buttercream frosting, and a candy heart topper with a suspicious lack of chocolate. If the regular menu doesn't frost your boat, the rotating menu of daily specials, such as carrot and coconut, might be the preferred pick-me-up for any lonesome sunken sea vessel. The bakers at KC's Babycakes purchase local ingredients whenever possible and provide sugar-free (add $4.50) and gluten-free (add $3.50) options.