The giggles of pintsize cupcake chefs emanate from Bubba Sweets, where groups of children frost and sprinkle freshly baked cupcakes during parties. When not hosting these sessions, the chefs fill the glass display cases each day with a rotating selection of 13 flavors. A calendar keeps patrons appraised of the arrival of cakelets named for celebrities including Johnny Depp and Willy Wonka and topped with inventive ingredients including strawberry purée, caramelized bacon, and thin-mint cookies. Bold pink walls and pendant lights dripping with sparkling crystals add additional hints of sweetness to the sugar-dusted displays.
Dairy Queen offers a cool respite for shoppers tired of fitting-room lines and surly sales clerks. The signature Blizzard Treat's chunky charms are as inescapable as ever, with classic candies and other flavor options blended to unmatched thickness with creamy soft serve (medium, $3.59). The waffle-bowl sundae slathers vanilla ice cream in fudge for an appealingly layered delight ($2.99), and the milkshake puts spoons to shame with its refreshing strawability (medium, $2.99). Alternatively, sizzle-starved denizens can gnash on a mushroom-swiss burger ($3.79) or the crispy-chicken sandwich ($3.89). With a variety of meal options, the Edina location's grilled delectables offer appetites savory samplings worthy of being referred to as the dessert that comes before dessert.
Robeks uses the freshest ingredients to craft made-to-order drinks and eats that will make you feel guilt-free about grabbing a quick bite. Join the berry party with berry smoothies such as the Banzai Blueberry, Strawnana Berry, and Cranberry Quest, all of which pulverize fruit together with non-fat yogurt and sodium-free ice ($3.45 junior, $4.45 regular, $5.45 large). For more pulchritudinous pulverized pulp, energize your day with power smoothies, including the Cardio Cooler (with a base of passion fruit and mango juice), which blend juices, sherbets, soy and whey protein, and vitamin boosters ($5.45 regular, $6.45 large) into an elixir that that will revitalize even the most workout-withered body. Bites include protein-packed Kim & Scott's Gourmet Pretzels such as pizza or spinach feta ($2.45 each), and the hair-raising goodness of Lenny & Larry's power muffins or cookies with flavors such as banana, chocolate chip, pumpkin, and more ($1.99 each).
Each scoop of New Zealand Natural is made from the milk of cows that graze on New Zealand's pristine, unpolluted pastures. Crunch bits of toffee while surfing a smooth wave of fudge in a scoop of English Toffee, or pick plump boysenberries from a melty mound of Boysenberry Dream. Though menus differ across locations, all New Zealand Natural parlors boast a lengthy list of flavors that range from fruity to fudgy and hearty to light. Calorie-conscious eaters can indulge in a scoop of no-sugar-added zilch chocolate or low-fat, creamy mango passion frozen yogurt. Prices start at $2.99 for a small, and ice creams can be served in a cup or cone. Customers can also create their own soft-serve treat from any variety of the hard-scoop ice cream, low-fat yogurt, or fat- and dairy-free sorbets through New Zealand Natural's special Fruit Flo machine. For those preferring slurpable sweets, smoothies ($4.69) and shakes ($4.69) can be sipped in New Zealand Natural's bright and bubbly parlor or taken on a trip down an alley full of forgotten kittens.
Pouring beer is an art form: glasses need to be titled just so or they’ll fill with foam. Fortunately, it’s a skill that’s easy to learn, especially at Tap House, where brews gush forth from 94 taps. Bartenders decant 60 beers in the main room and pour from 12 taps in the downstairs area. Alternatively, patrons who wish to take a hands-on approach can fill their own glasses at a beer wall with 12 self-pouring taps and at a self-serve 10-tap system on the outdoor patio.
Served at a frosty 29 degrees, beers—from light ales to double IPAs—can complement Tap House’s upscale bar food. As tap masters fill pints, cooks in the kitchen top locally farmed Angus burgers with ingredients such as shredded pork and A1 sauce. They also coat swordfish steaks in garlic lemon butter and flavor ribs with house dry rub and BBQ sauce marinated in citrus wheat beer.
These meals unfold in Tap House's elevated dining room, where more than 50 televisions always stay tuned to the night's biggest sports games, never to the night’s biggest mathematical lectures. Bands and DJs take to the main floor's stage on weekends, when the restaurant also hosts Sunday brunches with bottomless champagne and Budweiser.