For Darmayne Robinson, an off-the-wall cake-design request is nothing more than a chance to flex her creativity. With a cake as her canvas and icing as her palette, the owner of Sweet Confections Cakes can transform any item––including sports cars, high heels, and scuba divers––into a three-dimensional dessert. When it comes to the 3-D cake’s taste, however, clients take the creativity into their own hands, selecting from a list of more than 100 options that include white-almond cake and Italian wedding cake, and fillings such as french apple and peanut-butter mousse.
Each cake is made from scratch incorporating such high-quality ingredients as imported white chocolate, pure vanilla, real cream, and butter, and the staff can also bake gluten-free and vegan options upon request. Those without a design idea of their own can peruse Sweet Confections’ display room, where artsy cakes are showcased alongside a delectable selection of cupcakes, which can be sold solo, by the dozen, or sewn together as a giant cupcake cape.
A lengthy lineup of traditional game-day fare and a sports atmosphere captivate fans at Fox and Hound - Bailey's, where the kitchen remains open as late as its neighboring fully stocked bar. Chefs cook until the wee hours of the morning and always until the bar closes, baking Bavarian pretzel starters, crafting towers of onion rings, and preparing hand-battered chicken tenders that are cooked until they are golden brown. They blend their own seasonings to sprinkle over grilled-to-order burgers, and draw from a diverse roster of cheeses and toppings to crown their wood-oven-inspired flatbreads.
While manning the bars, bartenders tap into a stash of libations, such as UV Whipped vodka and Patron Silver tequila, to mix their specialty cocktails. To further foster a sporting ambiance, high-definition TVs glow with sports games and custom music-video playlists, and guests partake in pastimes of ump bashing, billiards, or competitive people watching.
Every day since 2000, the tantalizing aromas of roasting coffee have flooded St. Thomas Roasters as staffers create a variety of bean blends using an onsite Diedrich roaster. Their creations include fair-trade organic coffee from Honduras, a special Linglestown blend, and flavored roasts including dark-chocolate dust and cinnamon sticky bun. Meanwhile, on the first floor of their shop, they transform the freshly roasted beans into piping-hot cups of coffee and espresso drinks, complementing sweet and savory food options such as apple croissants, breakfast pastries, and paninis.
The shop itself, housed in a residential building with a stone façade, offers the comforts of home as patrons cozy up inside or head to the porch to watch live music from a rotating lineup of artists. They can also bring home bags of beans to grind at home or use as props for a coffeehouse-themed sitcom.
The Whole Cannoli serves a fresh menu of breakfast and lunch fare, made with a focus on local and organic ingredients. Sip the café's made-to-order fresh-pressed coffees or fresh-fruit smoothies, and adorn your free hand with some handmade cannoli (available in traditional, chocolate, caramel, peanut, or almond) ($2.50). Spin the traditional like it's the Earth atop Shaq's finger by sampling the Sicilian cannoli, filled with candied fruit and nut-laced orange-blossom cream ($3.25). Baked breakfast is also available, with options including meaty, cheesy, and vegetabley frittata ($3), and bogliolati Italian sausage ($1.50).
Char Magaro Designs' master craftsman adorns necks with her and one-of-a-kind, handmade necklaces, each fashioned with high-quality gems and metals. The Mundo-17 necklace ($220), forged with carved agate, bone, amber, and turquoise, spruces up barren head posts, while the copper Vurta-02 choker ($125) doubles as a bracelet or a decorative bagel topping. Yellow turquoise, silver beads, onyx, and garnets pepper the Meta-30 antique Afghanistan jade pendant ($395), while silver Swarovski pearls delicately cling to the Geo-16 ($350).
Birds get the most impressive view of the four-acre corn maze at Butcher's Family Fun Farm. This year's design features a barn, a tractor, a bunch of tomatoes, and the words "buy fresh, buy local," all carved right into the corn. But while the view from the top is nice, human visitors know the real fun of the maze lies in navigating its twisting pathways. In addition to winding through the dizzying stalks, maze wanderers can stop to solve educational puzzles, find clues, complete picture rubbings, and chat with the resident minotaur.
But the corny labyrinth isn't the only thing that draws families to the farm each autumn. A host of other outdoor attractions awaits. Kids and adults will both relish hay rides and jaunts through the pumpkin patch, as well as a chance to take aim at strategically-placed targets with one of the farm's potato launchers. When it's time to take a break, the on-site snack shop sells a variety of scrumptious eats including soups, burgers, and funnel cakes, and, on the way home, families can pick up farm-fresh produce at Butcher's Farm Market, which is located just two miles down the road.