For more than 25 years, Once Upon a Bagel’s staff has cultivated a cozy vibe at the deliciously bread-perfumed bagel shop where customers can linger over breakfast, lunch, or dinner without feeling rushed or ignored. Atop the eatery’s main counter, bagels pile into baskets labeled with flavors such as asiago cheese, chocolate chip, pumpernickel, and honey blueberry, and trays of bagels, fish, and meat are prepared for catering. Beneath the bagel spread, an ample selection of breads puffs up in leavened excitement, hoping diners choose them to build a base for salmon-salad sandwiches, turkey pastrami, and the customer-favorite reuben boat, a loaf of bialy bread into which sandwich makers fold pastrami or turkey along with melted cheese and all the classic reuben trimmings.
As the eponymous owner of Marla's Sweet Bites, Marla Levitt ensures that every morning the bakery’s display cases brim with fragrant batches of freshly baked treats, which her staff prepares fresh and without additives or preservatives. The store's selection changes daily, much like the speed of light, although saccharine-savvy customers can keep an eye out for such perennial favorites as the apple crumble pie and the miniature or jumbo cupcakes glazed with the bakery's signature italian buttercream icing. Marla's Sweet Bites also supplies events with do-it-yourself cupcake-decorating bars, which allow guests to either express their confectionery creativity or use the frosting to accessorize their clothing with perfectly piped initials.
As a small-batch, all-butter bakery, the Bent Fork whips up sweet tooth-tickling confections by relying on recipes made from scratch and measurement-savvy chefs. The menu entices cookie mongers with such sugary circles as Peanut Buttah-White Chocolate Toffee ($1.25) and Oatmeal Cranberry Pistachio White Chocolate ($1.25). Intense Brownies ($1.50) and PBJ Bars ($1.50) satisfy square barons, while the Fresh Fruit Crostata (large $12, mini $3.50) packs apples, caramel apples, and seasonal berries into a buttery crust case. Rotating flavors of buttercream cupcakes charm minds and mouths through a variety of flavors—classic chocolate and vanilla, Banana Sundae, S’mores, and Strawberry Fields—and can be prepped as bite-size minis ($1 each, minimum of six) or regulation-size regulars ($1.75–$2).To make any hour omelette hour, Bent Fork serves an all-day breakfast menu of coffee cakes, cinnamon rolls, and jumbo muffins.
Long-time friends Peter Rauser and pastry chef Jordan Rappaport list cupcakes, custard, and coffee as their specialties at Baker Boys, but their cheesecake reigns supreme. “I have the best cheesecake in the world. Hands down,” Rappaport told a reporter from [Chicago Magazine]http://gr.pn/sNUQ6S) in 2010. The reporter, though reluctant at first, wholeheartedly agreed at the end of a two week trial. “I’m addicted…Rappaport’s coffee cheesecake—perfect flavor combo, perfect texture—put me over the top.” The rest of their menu will not disappoint sweets seekers, either. The aforementioned cupcakes are hand-frosted, and a rotating selection of flavors may include blueberry pancake, caramel mocha, peppermint candy cane, or cookie dough—which features a half-baked chocolate cookie in its center. Meanwhile, a chilled display case holds custards that are equally as decadent: flavors include malted milk balls, hot cocoa n’ marshmallows, Irish coffee, and nutella. They also blend cake shakes, a sippable blend of custard and a mini cupcake.
“Our father and grandfather have been in the wholesale and retail produce business, and that type of store was a natural for us,” Isaac Nava says, referring to the market and deli he opened with his brother Moishe in 2010. The third establishment to bear the Nava name, it supplies first and second spots—both homestyle Mexican restaurants—with fresh fruits and veggies, meat, and dairy products. Customers will also find plenty of household goods lining the grocery store’s aisles. And at the deli counter, a sprawling menu details sandwiches made with salami, roast beef, and turkey, as well as wraps, salads, and freshly blended smoothies that constantly battle with daily soups over the control of cups, bowls, and curved hands.