When perched on a cushy high-rise seat inside the retro environs of Cindy's Diner, one will likely encounter owner John Scheele as he darts about the kitchen, whipping up hearty home-style dishes lauded by reporters from News Sentinel. He sets down simmering plates of farm-fresh eggs, stacks of hot cakes, and thick sandwiches on the bright red and chrome bar, taking time to greet new faces and exchange new jokes with the regulars. When the skilled cook gets an order for his signature "garbage" breakfast, he cracks open eggs before mixing in potatoes, cheese, onions, and ham. He also creates fresh donuts using an old-fashioned machine, icing the warm morsels in strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate.
John keeps his establishment a family affair with his wife Cindy, along with their three children and 20 grandchildren, who can often be spotted serving plates of all-day breakfast and refilling mugs of coffee. Rustic jukeboxes rest on the countertop, showcasing a selection of old-timey tunes, such as "Seven Spanish Angels" and "There's No Such Thing as a Cordless Telephone".
The team at Big Apple Bagels builds chewy, ring-shaped bread bites from scratch and wakes palates with steaming cups of Brewster's coffee. The menu teems with eats inspired by New York City deli fare, such as bagel-based club sandwiches and nearly a dozen styles of cream cheese?including three whipped varieties and one milked directly from a somersaulting cow. Bagel flavors range from plain and sesame, whereas gourmet muffins introduce mouths to fluffy, cake-like texture kept moist?yet low in cholesterol?with soybean oil.
Located within the historical Engine House #10 in East State Village, Firehouse Tea & Coffee Café serves up fair-trade and organic café treats in a memorable setting. Baristas steep more than 60 types of loose-leaf teas, blend coffee milkshakes, and prepare bubble teas—pairing the drinks with snacks such as curry-chicken sandwiches and quiche. Local art adorns the café's walls, and live bands entertain on scheduled nights. Patrons can also get in on the musical action themselves during open-mic nights.
With a wire whisk and a passion for pastry, owner Terry Mee deftly whips up Yum-Mee cookies, cinnamon rolls, and crumbly scones. Pumpkin and pecan cupcakes are available individually or by the dozen, slathered with unique buttercream flavors such as chai and maple with bacon. While waiting on a fresh-baked focaccia or challah loaf, patrons can also solicit Terry's fondant skills for a 3D gavel cake in honor of an upcoming parole hearing.
The Friendly Fox's new, expanded menu caters to hunger of any size, shape, or viscosity. Soothe the digestive beast with a quick, cheesy appetizer of friendly tots (oven-baked potato rounds stuffed with melted cheddar, $5.25) and a frosty-cold white-chocolate friendly frappe ($3.75–$4.25). Or satisfy an empty palate with the friendly burger basket (grilled Angus beef, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and undercover spy mayo, served with chips and coleslaw, $7.98). For maximum coziness, come in for a breakfast cup of locally roasted Crazy Sisters coffee ($1.60–$1.95) and quiche ($4.50), or refuse to get up in the morning and take advantage of the café's breakfast-all-day policy. For actual early risers, a plethora of freshly baked delights, such as muffins ($1.95), scones ($2.25), and cinnamon rolls ($2.25), complement the morning mug of black and white mocha ($3.50–$4.35) in grand fashion.
Edible Arrangement's fruit experts submerge each juicy, ripe strawberry in an indulgent blend of semisweet gourmet chocolate for a culinary combination that is as decadent as it is fresh. One dozen preservative-free strawberries hand-selected from the nation’s most prestigious fruit finishing schools compete for a spot in the gift box, providing customers with the delicious peace of mind that comes with knowing each berry has been chosen for its ripeness and ability to pull off a bikini. Aside from their sensuous taste, each seeded berry contains a high concentration of vitamin C, making it a healthful and heartfelt gift for a loved one or a mailman suffering from scurvy.