When he was only 7 years old, Tonnie's Minis founder Tonnie Rozier started cooking confections alongside his grandmother. As he grew older, he realized baking was more than a childhood pastime, and went on to found an at-home baking business. By 2005, he had so many orders that he quit his job to field ever-growing requests for his sweets. Soon, Tonnie found himself filling orders for all corners of the Big Apple, ranging from everyday Brooklynites to Jay-Z and P. Diddy. Today, he leads his crew of confectioners in hand-crafting a menu of notable cupcakes that have competed on Food Network's Cupcake Wars and nourished the studio audience of The Wendy Williams Show in the moments after a massive food fight.
The shop’s rotating list of flavors includes signature carrot cupcakes made with hand-peeled organic carrots by Tonnie himself and moist red velvet dainties crowned with cream-cheese icing. As the seasons change, the lineup shifts to incorporate flavors that represent the time of year, such as Halloween cupcakes, colorful dainties for spring, and morsels with the date of Secretary's Day written in their frosting.
Tast Eatery serves up healthy meals made from organic and locally sourced natural ingredients. The menu boasts a mouth-watering spread of burgers from grass-fed cattle ($5.95–$11.95), garden fresh salads ($5.95–$9.95), and sandwiches made with free-range chickens, organic veggies, and more. Organic egg sandwiches ($3.25–$4.25) pair a variety of meats and cheeses with the eponymous ovals grilled in olive oil and served on a bagel, roll, multi-grain bread, or whole-wheat wrap. The homemade veggie burger ($8.95) arrives at tables preassembled with sliced avocado, tomato, a nest of organic greens, and hummus spread, saving guests the trouble of raising their own menagerie of minerals, vitamins, and chronic-disease fighters. Thirsty patrons can sip chilly beverages, such as a banana-nutmeg moo smoothie concocted with hormone- and antibiotic-free milk or organic soy milk ($4.85–$5.95).
Before teaming up in 1953, Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins were seasoned business owners with their own ice-cream shops. The words “unusual varieties” shone high above each shop, signaling their respective owners’ passion for anything but an ordinary dessert experience. When the two got together, it was natural that they’d adopt the theme of “31 flavors,” one for each day of the month. Since then, Baskin-Robbins has introduced more than 1,000 flavors and opened shops with more than 5,800 franchise owners worldwide. Even their little pink tasting spoon has become a staple as a way to make flavor browsing an event by allowing guests to try specialties without paying cash or chicken-based trade for the privilege.
At Bing?s Burgers, cooks focus their grilling talents into crafting flavors not found at a typical drive-thru joint. While diners at the newly opened Fort Lee location can indulge in four types of slider and Bing's own beer-battered fish and chips, the menu centers around a lineup of burgers topped with combinations of unique ingredients. The Cali Burger sports a dollop of fresh, homemade guacamole and low-fat ranch dressing, and Bing's Signature Burger layers sauteed onions, gouda, and garlic aioli while also signing for incoming shipments.
Anthony Hutchinson, the mastermind behind The Market Place, opened his doors in 2011 with the intention of running the best health-food market in Northern New Jersey. He now packs The Market Place’s shelves with a spectrum of groceries and natural products and enlists nutritionist Dr. Oz Garcia to cull a wide variety of supplements and protein formulas for their customers. Anthony also teams up with chef Danielle Saunders to craft a menu teeming with raw, vegan, and live smoothies, salads, and sandwiches. The market’s smoothies may boast coconut water or greek yogurt to add richness to fruit purées, while customized chopped salads combine grilled chicken with black beans, shredded carrots, and parmesan cheese.
Alice's Tea Cup is a self-described "dream come true" for sisters Hayley and Lauren Fox, Upper West Side natives and fervent believers in the magic of tea parties. Three Manhattan locations—nicknamed Chapters I, II, and III in homage to Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland—welcome patrons into cozy, light-filled spaces for breakfast, brunch, lunch and light supper, in addition to traditional afternoon tea. Whimsical interior touches abound, from Chapter II's turquoise "Looking Glass Room", decorated with translucent butterflies, to Chapter III's giant wall mural depicting the great hall Alice encounters in the book. Tiered trays of homemade sandwiches, cookies, and scones with jam and clotted cream share the menu with more than 100 varieties of tea, all precisely steeped in 180-degree, double-filtered water for optimal flavor. After polishing off elevenses at Chapters I or III, patrons can also peruse funky clothing, tea accouterments, and eclectic gifts at the retail shops featured at those locations, taking care to avoid dashing rabbits frantically checking their watches.