Since 1990, The Cookie Zoo has warmed hearts and stuffed bellies with made-from-scratch sweets and homemade gift baskets. Teach a chum how to chew with the doughy contents of a cookie basket ($50–$100), or carry around a combo tray ($40–$55) of chocolate-chip and sugar cookies and blimp-like brownies to make new friends on the street while toning your carrying muscles.
Spicy Pickle complements its eponymous cured cucumbers with a suite of sandwiches, soups, salads, and more, all built with care and fresh ingredients. Feel free to punish stubbornly unmelted cheeses with a panini, featuring fresh foccacia bread piled high with toppings and pressed until delectable in a hot griddle, or nosh an un-pressed sandwich on a ciabatta roll. Menu options span from the Santa Cruz sandwich, its roasted turkey surrounded by avocado, corn relish, cheddar cheese, and chipotle mayo ($6.99), to the South Side panini, which finds gruff roast beef forced out of retirement for one last mission with wise-cracking pepperoncinis, red onions, lettuce, tomatoes, cheddar, and horseradish mayo ($6.79). Alternately, a fleet of salads awaits commission in entree and side-salad sizes, alongside soups (from $3.29), personal pizzas (from $6.99), and build-your-own sandwiches ($6.99).
Grape leaves, chickpeas, and pine nuts flavor Garden Cafe’s classic dishes, honoring the rich array of ingredients yielded by the fertile soil and salty waters of the Mediterranean. The eatery’s marinated fava beans and hummus pave the way for main acts, such as sizzling beef and chicken kebabs or chicken shawarma. The cooks also combine fresh ingredients for a handful of sandwiches, loading bread with falafels, beef gyros, and even philly steaks, which justify their presence by telling everyone they studied abroad in Greece.
The sun is just beginning to rise over the nearby mountains as diners shuffle into Egg Works, suppressing yawns, stretching their arms, and sleepily greeting friends and family. Once they find their seat, though, the energy of the restaurant seeps into their mood. Waitresses swing by to flood their cups with steaming coffee and crowd tables with plates of cheesy omelets, spicy mexican breakfasts, and the sweet and savory crepes lauded by Rachael Ray. Others bring mason jars filled with bloody marys made with Habla Diablo hot sauce and bowls of Hawaiian-style sticky-rice breakfasts. As the sun clambers up the sky, breakfast favorites accept the stomach-filling aid of burgers, sandwiches, and the chefs' renowned Cincinnati-style chili—a hearty combination of chili, oyster crackers, and spaghetti.
Diners linger over third cups of coffee at the counters and cushy green booths of the casual dining room, watching flat-screen TVs mounted to walls where hand-painted murals from local artist Mike Miller stretch out. These paintings depict classic countryside scenes, from verdant fields to rolling mountains and New York City tour groups looking very lost.
Gimme Some Sugar bakes and shapes couture pastries from scratch, which sparkle with edgy designs and finite detailing. The marquee of flavors flickers with star confections such as sexy red velvet, bouncy chocolate, and luscious lemon, with each taste able to act as the leading role in a single-tier cake, cakelet, or wedding blooper-reel of your choosing (starting at $50).
Owned by a family hailing from Long Island, Bob's East Side Deli serves up sandwiches and lasagna made with specialty meats regularly delivered from the East Coast, as well as house-made desserts and breakfast baked goods. Hearty eats abound on the lunch menu, starring subs such as Marino's Special, a hoagie-bound feast of ham, salami, cappocolla, and pepperoni with cheese, veggies, and oil and vinegar ($6.59). Hot-sub classics such as the sausage and peppers ($6.99) warm up chilly bellies, and house-made lasagna ($7.29) gives deconstructionists an opportunity to visually expound their theories. A breakfast menu sates morning cravings with a Hungry Man special of three eggs, a big slab of ham, hash browns, and toast ($3.49), also available with cheese as a Hungry Man hero or burrito ($3.99). Bagels, muffins, and cookies, baked in-house, cap off meals or fulfill snack duties unaccompanied. Bob's East Side's pennant-adorned walls ensure that each meal gets cheered on like a motivational speaker at a lunchroom pep rally.