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.
The professional candy peddlers at The Confection Connection supply jittery sweet teeth with primo treats such as chocolates, fancy truffles, sour candy, and a menagerie of gummy animals. The heavenly smelling shop rings in Valentine’s Day and its swarms of feral cupids with a smorgasbord of unusual goodies enveloped in chocolate, such as chocolate-covered Oreos and mini graham crackers ($10.95/lb.), or chocolate-covered pears ($16.95/lb.). The chocolate-covered potato chips ($19.95/lb.), meanwhile, dresses up a wholesome American staple in a silky-sweet dessert, similar to slathering a whipped-cream bikini onto the Lincoln Memorial. Most chocolate items are available in milk, white, and dark varieties. For a less conventional candy choice, woo your valentine by arranging a batch of adorable gummy bears ($8.95/lb.) into the shape of a terrifyingly huge bear, then hiding it behind your beloved’s bedroom door.
From its humble beginnings in Kankakee, Illinois, in 1938, Dairy Queen has grown from a delicious experiment in soft-serve ice cream to a household name with more than 5,900 restaurants around the world. The shop's signature frozen delights are built upon a frosty foundation of creamy chocolate or vanilla soft serve, which swirls idyllically into cones, cups, overturned top hats, sundaes, Peanut Buster parfaits, and the chain's iconic Blizzard treats, blended with crumbled candy and other mix-ins. Ice-cream cakes cleverly conceal a surprise filling of fudge and chocolate crunch between layers of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, providing sweet, sliceable sustenance for birthday parties and other special occasions.
Fruit rules the roost on the other side of the slushy emporium, where Orange Julius blends its signature frothy drinks crafted from fruit juice, ice, and a "magic? powdered sweetener that explains why they disappear from most customers? cups minutes after the first delicious sip. Real fruit pur?e forms the basis for the shop's smoothies, which also come in diet-friendly light versions that boast 150 calories or fewer.
While patrons sit with their cone or banana split, Gene Kelly dances across TV screens and the stereo crackles with big band swing, but this isn't a scene plucked from a Norman Rockwell painting. Sweet Pea's Ice Cream does its best to re-create the feel of an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. Even the image of Sweet Pea herself is sure to remind visitors of dimple-cheeked Shirley Temple. She's actually the owners' daughter, but her persona talks up the shop's chilly treats, from ice cream churned at a family-owned dairy in Wisconsin to the menu's signature dessert, chocolate-covered frozen bananas. Familiar flavors such as chocolate are served alongside more exotic tastes such as Door County Cherry or Mint Avalanche. Even the hand-dipped bananas come in a variety, such as dark chocolate and peanut butter?a combo bound to send Elvis impersonators into a frenzy.