When the Perry and Burke families joined forces to open Sweet n Swirly, they shared a vision of promoting a healthier alternative to ice cream. Neither family could have predicted, however, how quickly that vision would catch on.
Today, visitors stream into a trio of cheery, welcoming locations in Kentucky and Indiana, eagerly sidling up to self-serve stations that protrude from walls painted in vibrant pinks and purples. These stations pump out 10 creamy flavors at any given time, including no-sugar-added options and nondairy sorbets.
The ever-changing lineup of flavors runs the gamut from refreshing to decadent. On one side of the spectrum are tart, summery variations such as blueberry, ginger lemonade, and non-dairy sorbet, whereas choices inspired by more traditional desserts include peanut butter and root-beer float. A candy wall proffers toppings such as jellybeans and chocolate sunflower seeds.
The Holiday Inn University Plaza's atrium-style high-rise hotel spoils out-of-towners and local staycationers with a plethora of accommodations, including in-room dining options and complimentary newspaper delivery. This Groupon gets you a guest room with a king-size bed (up to $114 value). During your stay, you’ll be treated to a half-dozen chocolate-covered strawberries ($7 value) and a bottle of champagne ($12 value). After a night of passionate channel surfing, rouse from your slumber to bask in the savory ambience of breakfast for two (up to $20 value) and enjoy a late checkout ($35 value), just in case the bottle of bubbly caused you to sneak in an extra booze snooze.
As a child, CeCe looked forward to her family’s summertime trips to North Carolina, where she could reconnect with faraway relatives over cookouts. One of her fondest memories from this time is making homemade blackberry ice cream with her Grandma Ruby. Years later, CeCe would look back on these days with nostalgia; she dreamt of opening a business that would bring families together over a tasty summertime treat.
In 2008, her dream became a reality with the opening of Sweet CeCe’s. Like wig salesmen to the Constitutional Convention, families flocked to the self-serve frozen-yogurt shoppe, where they could create their own desserts from dozens of yogurt flavors and toppings. The small shoppe got so popular that CeCe franchised the business. Today, families in 11 states can create sweet memories within the sherbet-colored walls of a Sweet CeCe’s.
Executive chef Otis Myer and his team prepare Cajun and American cuisine until midnight each night at Behle Street Cafe, a vibrant spot that pairs sumptuous food and drinks with live music. Choose from specialties such as shepherd's pie or the Steak Shawn—a tender filet mignon topped with gorgonzola cheese, grilled tiger shrimp, and a balsamic reduction sauce—or opt for lighter dishes such as whole-wheat capellini pasta. Sundays bring brunch classics such as belgian waffles, eggs benedict with marinated steak, and bloody marys spiced with white pepper, dill pickle and olive juice, and other seasonings.
A bright-red fender guitar. A roulette wheel. A green dragon poised for attack. These are just a few of the near limitless cake designs that emerge from The Buttercream Boutique. A look at the boutique's past work shows few limitations: edible roses dot tiered cakes, and buttercream icing transforms desserts into scenes from movies, TV shows, and sports games. For weddings, the towering creations stack even higher and incorporate everything from fresh flowers to the father-in-law's car keys.
The desserts showcase flavors almost as varied as their designs. More than 40 flavors, fillings, mix-ins, and infusions—including alcohol—let customers create nearly anything their sweet teeth desire. Alternatively, the boutique can bake one of their tried-and-true flavors. These include favorites such as peanut-butter cup—chocolate cake with a peanut-butter-mousse filling—and seasonal options such as pumpkin-spice cake capped in cream cheese. The Buttercream Boutique also bakes cookies and cupcakes, and many of their recipes accommodate specialty diets.
Fleur de Lis Cafe crafts a savory spread of gourmet goodies, boasting an array of classic fillets, burgers, and more to suit all times of the day and moods of the palate. Enliven your spoon's morning with a quick dip in a succulent sea of shrimp and grits ($11) or gift teeth a noontime nibble on a curry chicken-salad sandwich ($9). For dinner, select warming entrees such as roasted-acorn manicotti ($13) to easily sate nutty hankerings without the hassle of shells and the despair of sticky peanut-butter jars. See the café's site for full menus, which include ample vegan and vegetarian options as well as a kids' menu for the most petite of patrons.
Nicolette Spears used to think green tea tasted like bad, stale grass-clippings. So when she began studying the importance of brewing temperature, it was a revelation. “Green tea is like a vegetable: if you burn the leaves, it tastes really bitter. That was sort of an eye-opener to me.”
Now, at Louisville Tea Company, Ms. Spears brews more than a hundred tea varieties according to strict standards, paying attention to each brew’s optimal brewing temperature, steep time, and leaf-to-water ratio. She also considers her tea’s origins: she sources Japanese green tea directly from a small tea farm in Japan, and the Kenyan Ajiri Tea employs Kenyan women and funds orphan education in West Kenya.
Additionally, Ms. Spears strives to educate newbies about tea. At the tasting bar, she brews fresh pots of the shop’s tea of the day. During the shop’s classes and tea tastings, tea experts delve not only into tea origins and flavors, but the positive effects on human health and boring water.