The Ravioli Shop's founder, Bill Kenney, feels so much pride in his store’s fresh-made products that if he notices a customer holding an odd pairing of ravioli and sauce, he’ll tactfully and enthusiastically suggest a swap. The rest of the team demonstrates the same dedication to furnishing excellent meals, guiding patrons through a dozen ravioli varieties and five regular sauces with personal advice, a handy online chart, and the ability to decipher the true desires of growling stomachs.
Staffers might recommend pairing their seasonal pumpkin ravioli with a sage and brown-butter sauce or perhaps their decadent lobster ravioli with vodka-cream sauce made with slow-pasteurized cream from a local dairy. In addition to pasta, the staff also bakes fresh bread daily, crafting semolina loaves, baguettes, and six varieties of focaccia early each morning. All ravioli, sauces, and breads are made from scratch, with 100% durum flour and fresh eggs infusing each sheet of pasta and roasted veggies and fresh-ground cheeses providing soft pockets of filling.
Riley Greider is the mind, hands, and sweet teeth behind Sugar Mountain Bake Shoppe, a gourmet bakery specializing in cupcakes. More than 128 flavors rotate across the shop?s menu in groups of 13 to 20 each day, baked daily in small batches from fresh ingredients.
With such an enormous repertoire of recipes, the cupcake case has room for classics such as carrot cake alongside fancier flavors such as cinnamon french toast and cherry cr?me br?l?e?not to mention the decidedly outlandish, such as loaded baked potato and Game Day Chili. While retaining a home-baked look, many of the cakelets wear elaborate toppers of sprinkles, frosting swirls, or fruit. All this creativity won the shop the title of Best Cupcakes in City Newspaper?s 2011 Readers? Choice poll.
Perkins began as a single humble Ohio pancake house in 1958. More than 50 years––and 440 national locations––later, each Perkins restaurant stays true to its roots by keeping those signature buttermilk pancakes the focal point of a 90-plus-item menu. Cooks layer the popular flapjacks in stacks of two, three, or even five and make the fluffy towers all the more tempting with toppings such as glazed strawberries, whipped cream, or flavored syrups. Breakfast favorites—including hearty omelets and country benedicts—are served all day, meaning kids and adults can order short stacks to accompany their jumbo-shrimp or steak dinner, instead of smuggling them in under a stovepipe hat. Unlike most other chain restaurants, Perkins also features in-store bakeries that churn out the shop's real fruit and cream pies, muffins, and chocolate-chip cookies.
Ron and Rebecca Malek lead the baking staff at Balsam Bagels as it produces upwards of 200-dozen bagels a night, selling and distributing these 2,400 circles of sustenance to local colleges, coffee shops, and delis. Snag 12 bagels for yourself, with flavors such as sesame, wheat, rye, sun-dried tomato, pesto, blueberry, french toast, and salsa jalapeño, bringing the heat like a Nolan Ryan–thrown bagel. Customers can opt for 12 of the same bagels for a Bunyan-sized breakfast, or they can mix and match for a variety of spread-worthy circles. Enjoy your bagels from the privacy of your own hut, or split them with friends in the bakery's outdoor seating section.
The Bagel Bin Cafe delights dough-wheel denizens with 21 bagel flavors to please a wide array of persnickety palates. With a bagel and cream cheese ($2.59) as your canvas and palette, create colorful combinations, such as honey sunflower with a daub of bacon scallion, to shock taste buds suffering from bouts of lingual ennui. Conclude overnight abstentions with pizzazz with breakfast specials ($5.95 each), including eggs and a choice of cheese grilled to golden-brown between a blanket of italian bread in the breakfast panini, or a six-piece serving of french toast with fresh strawberries and powdered sugar.