Peppermint Patties introduces New England classics to Florida palates. In the morning, spatulas flip up flapjacks or omelets bulging with the customer's choice of cheese, meat, and vegetables. Bowls teem with clam chowder during lunch and dinner hours, and authentic New England–style rolls embrace fresh Maine lobster, clams, or scallops. A kids’ menu of grilled cheese and chicken fingers is available for finicky youngsters or lobsters disguised in child-size overalls.
John Pappas didn’t know much English when he first arrived on American soil, but he did know the secrets of cooking excellent Greek cuisine. The native Greek passed on his recipes and expert techniques to his son Nicholas, who would go on to open his own Mediterranean restaurant—Greek City Cafe.
Deep in his restaurant’s kitchen, Nicholas and his chefs fold juicy meats and fresh vegetables into a variety of Greek-inspired paninis, wraps, and salads. They layer pitas with juicy slices of shaved lamb and beef before adding dollops of flavorful tzatziki and creamy greek dressing. To craft specialty pizzas, the chefs shower soft pita shells in mixed cheeses, diced tomatoes, and grilled chicken. When discussing these dishes with a reporter from Westchase Patch, Nicholas explained, “We take a mainstream item and put a Greek twist to it. I make them feel comfortable, but when they taste it they realize they've never experienced that flavor.”
In the casual dining room, where sunlight streams onto soft blue and green walls, guests can linger over their last bites of these inventive eats before ordering desserts such as baklava. Countertop seating surrounds a lush olive tree in the center of the room, which was imported from Greece and lives off of sunlight and Greek wine.
Founded nearly 25 years ago on a frozen foundation of nonporous, 5-degree granite, Cold Stone Creamery has blossomed into a nationally recognized ice-cream parlor distinguished by its daily creations of sweet treats. Fruit, nuts, and candy collaborate with ice-cream flavors such as french vanilla, sweet cream, and cake batter to manifest a signature sundae or a personalized creation made to match customers' tastes and 5th-birthday-party footage. Smoothies and shakes sate sippers, and fruity sorbets, nonfat ice creams, and tangy frozen yogurt satisfy the need for healthy indulgences.
The staff at Fro-Yo Yogurt oversees an expansive, self-serve dessert bar teeming with 15 rotating frozen yogurts and more than 70 toppings. Guests swirl low-fat, dairy-free, and sugar-free yogurts into their cups, burying such gourmet flavors as pistachio, pumpkin pie, and chocolate in as many toppings as they like. Spoons clatter in dishes of fruits and candies, ideal for topping the desserts or putting into your gas tank if you have a crush on a mechanic. Ice sings against glasses and steam hisses as baristas in the shop craft cappuccinos, macchiatos, and smoothies, as well as tea drinks and indulgent dessert-inspired coffee frappes.
Every single thing on the menu at Country Cafe is made from scratch. At breakfast, the kitchen griddles up pancakes and folds cheese and veggies into omelets?all made even better before 9 a.m., when servers pour free cups of coffee for all their patrons. Later in the day, diners dig into plates loaded with country-style cooking. The crisp breading of the country-fried chicken stands up against a deluge of white gravy, and the homemade meatloaf is as warm and familiar as that crib you sleep in whenever you visit your parents.