Johndrea Slay has been whipping up tasty confections under the J-Slay moniker for more than 10 years. Her efficient kitchen can engineer a dozen made-to-order cupcakes in mint chocolate or rocky road, or harness fruit’s charm in two dozen strawberry delights. Clients may also request an order of J-Slay's famous cake pops for delivery to home, or slingshot to a low-flying plane.
Not only is Sweet Lola Yogurt Bar an "antidote to the antiseptic Pinkberrys of the world," according to Lonely Planet, it's also "the most adorable place in Houston"—or so gushes a Houston Press blogger. Like a worn-in powdered wig, the cozy shop exudes a shabby-chic French aesthetic, with bright pastel colors complementing cream-colored wooden furniture and shelves full of jarred candy and homey gifts. Sweet Lola's seasonal fro-yo flavors are equally adorable, boasting names such as "dreamy chocolate," "merri mint," and "blush," a combination of cherry and almond. Each creamy spoonful tickles taste buds with probiotic flavor sweetened with cane sugar and free of corn syrup or additives. A small but dependable selection of artisanal toppings crowns frozen creations with peanut-butter croutons and cookie crumble.
Bungalow's homey atmosphere extends from the white siding outside to the mismatched couches inside. Retro signage hangs on walls both inside and outside on the patio , and stamped tile surrounds the coffee bar. While surfing the Internet on an iPad borrowed from the store, patrons can sip on coffee drinks made from beans roasted by local purveyor Java Pura. Muffins and sweet biscotti let guests sharpen their teeth without relying on the village grindstone again. Colorful shelves hold a collection of boutique gifts and clothing by local Texas designers.
On Sundays after church, Myrtle Zachary-Jackson’s family of cooks and bakers gathered to make meals for one another. Her elders rarely used recipes, so Myrtle had to study every step until she could replicate their dishes herself. Just as her grandparents and aunts imbued her with a passion for baking, she inspired her daughters, Andrea and Rosharon, to start cooking at a young age. When Myrtle decided to open Not Jus Donuts Bakery in 2000, she turned to her daughters and grandchildren for help in re-creating their family recipes, by then some five or six generations old.
Sticking to tradition, every dessert at Not Jus Donuts is made from scratch. The ladies crack every farm-fresh egg by hand before whipping up cheesecakes with Philadelphia cream cheese, cookies baked fresh daily, hand-decorated cupcakes, and exquisitely designed cake balls and cake pops. Made without preservatives, their cakes range from standard sheet cakes to 3-D creations designed to resemble bowling balls and turntables and 8-D cakes shaped like time itself.
Byzantio Cafe & Bar
Every Thursday night, belly dancers swivel their hips to the beat of Mediterranean music at Byzantio Cafe & Bar. Live DJs spin on weekends while patrons puff smoke rings of apple-, melon-, and mint-infused tobacco from hookahs. To fuel the revelry, chefs whip up classic Mediterranean cuisine such as sliced gyros with warm pita bread and a lamb souvlaki plate. After dinner, patrons may sip signature cocktails or grab a quick snack from the menu of bar bites and Greek coffee served until 2 a.m. The restaurant, a renovated bungalow, is composed of several rooms filled with sofas and cushioned chairs. The space’s centerpiece is the elaborate bar adorned with a stone mosaic and surrounded by antique fixtures. A patio offers additional seating for outdoors junkies during nice weather.
Sugar Bunch Creations adds a spoonful of sucrose to any party or event with rainbow-blanketed candy buffets and edible party favor arrangements for kids of any age. The Jitterbug Buffet sates up to 15 kid-sized candy appetites with a choice of three different candies, creating a triumvirate of sweet treats for delicious birthday parties or clown-retirement soirees. For larger celebrations, the Mildly Wild Buffet package serves up to 25 kids with four different type of candy, and the Bouncing off the Walls Buffet package serves up to 40 kids with five different types of candy. Each package includes a choice of a treat from options including cookies, animal crackers, goldfish crackers, or pretzels. Sugar Bunch Creations also provides party décor, setup and cleanup services, and clear candy bags with ties, proving that sweets, like parakeets, should always be transported in festive carriers.
Roots Bistro has no menu––at least not a finite one. Each day, executive chef German Mosquera crafts new dishes inspired by the fresh, organic, and locally sourced ingredients available to him. And ingredients aren't the only things that are sourced locally at this Green Certified restaurant. The eatery's décor shifts frequently with paintings for sale by neighborhood artists. Appetizers descend on bright white banquettes with ingredients such as local cilantro pesto, carrots, fire-roasted kale, and bigeye local tuna with spinach salad and a large contact lens. While noshing on house-made entrees of chicken, duck confit, and farm-fresh veggies, patrons can ask for a server's pairing suggestion from Roots's eclectic wine list.