Stepping into The Sweet Tooth Fairy shop is like walking into another era: round tables and high-backed chairs surround an old-fashioned soda fountain, and oldies music plays softly nearby. Pale-blue walls and white crown molding stand behind a glass case full of sweet treats, which are baked daily and earned proprietor Megan Faulkner Brown two appearances on The Rachael Ray Show—one when she was still baking in her basement kitchen, and the next three years later, when her business had grown to nine locations.
Megan uses the "most ordinary" ingredients to whip up her extraordinary pastries, which include chocolate-chip and iced oatmeal cookies, brownies, lemon bars, and a variety of cupcakes and full-grown cakes. Signature cakebites don coats of chocolate or white chocolate flecked with sprinkles. Flavors of baked goods rotate monthly, with some favorites available on a daily basis. Gluten-free options are available, as are frosting shots designed to save time usually spent licking every drop of frosting off the top of a full-size cake.
Vanilla Bean Bakery’s ovens constantly churn out moist cupcakes, cakes, and cookies in a lengthy roster of flavors. Once the treats are cool, the bakery’s frosting artists decorate them using glaze, frosting, and fondant. With two to three days' notice, the team can create custom cakes to celebrate anything from baby showers to tax-filing day. Cupcakes come in luscious flavors such as red velvet, lemon, coconut, and peanut-butter cup. The bakery’s gallery of custom cupcakes showcases its decorators' diverse repertoire. They adorn dozens with prom proposals and fondant ghosts. In addition, bouquets of cake pops in flavors ranging from pink champagne to butter pecan brighten up parties, or patrons can opt for stickless arrays of cake truffles instead.
Operating out of the kitchen of an Episcopal church, the talented bakers at The Cakehole offer only customized, made-to-order treats. Their sucrose skills allow them to replicate stills from a movie for Oscar-themed cupcake trays or create a whole nest of Angry Birds-adorned cupcakes. Armed with sugar, water, and dye, bakers create decorative, multi-tiered cake art emblazoned with characters and themes from pop culture, comic books, and outdated tax codes. They can also fuse cakes and cupcakes together for a full mise en scéne, such as a zombie-themed wedding cake with accompanying cupcakes topped with tiny gum paste body parts.
3 Days in Paris Market Fresh Crepes, located in the middle of downtown’s historic City Market, whips up sweet and savory crêpes for tourists, businessmen and urban dwellers looking for something unusual. The small wooden booth is covered by a French-style, black and white striped awning and lists its menu items on a chalkboard behind the front counter. Green Eggs and Ham, Red Eggs and Bacon, and Black and Bleu Moo are colorful choices for breakfast, brunch and lunch, and other savory options include Buffalo, Pic Nic, Market Street and Harvest crêpes. Sweet concoctions include Classic, Dr’s Orders, Apple Pie High and St. Stephen. The Parisian style crepes are available daily from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
From the thick golden crusts of his Chicago-style pizzas to the hand-pounded cuts of pork on his tenderloin sandwiches, chef and owner Michael Kotarski, who co-owns the restaurant with his sister, Katie, caters to hearty appetites. Strapping plates can be found throughout the menu, including triple-decker BLTs layered between sourdough. The kitchen turns out dessert orders from scratch that feature bread pudding, white chocolate raspberry bars, and salted caramel bars.
Jump-start your morning with a breakfast pita, such as the Morning Glory ($5.89), comprised of avocado, eggs, tomatoes, home fries, grilled green peppers, onions, and your choice of cheese and zesty sauces. Don't feel ashamed if your morning happens to be what other people call the afternoon, since breakfast pitas are served all day.