The CupCake Shoppe’s culinary magicians conjure up a daily menu of delectable cakes from scratch, casting a shrinking spell on each mixture of real butter, fresh fruits, and pure extracts to pack it in a dainty demitasse. Eschewing preservatives and boxed mixes, the shop’s bakers opt instead for a handpicked selection of creative cupcake flavors such as pink champagne and snickerdoodle culled from the region’s choicest sugar shrubs and cotton-candy trees. A silken variety of buttercream, whipped-cream, and cream-cheese icings come in up to 10 colors and flavors each day. Vanilla buttercream forms a snowy summit on miniature mountains of red velvet, and its chocolate counterpart casts a looming shadow of decadence over vanilla cupcakes. Along with these regular flavors, a changing weekly menu includes such delights as cookie dough, blueberry cobbler, and rocky road, the last of which leads to a sweetly sacred Stonehenge of chocolate and marshmallows.
My Favorite Muffin bakes up its namesake fare in a variety of flavors and also features an extensive list of savory deli fare. Fans of post-oven muffin batter are bestowed with a bounty of muffins made from scratch and prepared with soybean oil, creating tasty pastries whose cake parts contain less cholesterol than their butter-packed brothers. Choose from a list of 19 cup-sized cakes ($1.99 for a jumbo muffin or $1.80 for three mini muffins), including cherry cheesecake, banana nut, pumpkin spice, bran, and boston cream pie. Nutritional information for each creation at My Favorite Muffin is available online.
From its paradisiacal perch on North Padre Island, Black Sheep Bistro spices up its menu of fresh seafood, steak, and pasta dishes with an array of international flavors, ranging from Mexican to Martian. Rich, flavorful appetizers like Nacho Ordinary Crab ($8)—a savory pile-up of toasted corn tortilla chips and fresh blue crab meat, topped with pepper jack cheese—complements the Bistro's warm, colorful ambiance and gives taste buds a seamless segue way to entrees such as the locally famous Little Joe ($25), a filet smothered in blue cheese and caramelized onions, and the Pescado La Ticla ($15), the catch of the day grilled over mesquite coals and slathered in pico de gallo. Diners with ample post-prandial stomach space can close with a slice of Grandma's Homemade Apple Pie A La Mode ($4.50). Otherwise, savor a glass of Napa Valley wine on the outdoor patio and feel the ocean breeze playfully muss your hair as you indulge in a little people watching, fleeing-people watching, zombie watching, and zombie fleeing.
Turkey Gone Wild! It might sound like a surreal newspaper headline, but it’s actually just the name of one of Small Planet Delicatessen & Bakery's hot sandwiches. The gourmet creations are the deli’s specialty, and the aforementioned Turkey Gone Wild is a melty layering of turkey, white cheddar, purple onion, and avocado spread. The deli's New Planet sub also starts with turkey, but bulks up with hard salami, jalapeños, and pesto sauce, tucked between slices of jalapeño-cheese bread. Customers can also build their own sandwich from a diverse selection of breads, meats, and toppings that includes everything from sweet ham to artichoke hearts.
The rest of the menu boasts an international spread of deli- and bakery-inspired foods. There’s country french quiche and athenian gyros, mesquite-chicken quesadillas and kids’ personal pizzas. A tempting array of baked goods in single-serving sizes enables patrons to try just a slice of tuxedo-truffle cake, or a single white-chocolate-and-walnut cookie, the crumbs of which can be tossed in the air for a post-meal celebration.
Smoothie King co-founder Steve Kuhnau began mixing fruit, nutrients, and proteins in the late 1960’s, in a successful attempt to assuage his own health conundrums. By 1973, he’d begun selling vitamins alongside his health-boosting concoctions, and soon, more than 600 Smoothie King locations were operating worldwide. Today, the shop’s patrons customize real apple, mango, and banana smoothies with sundry health-bolstering mix-ins. More than 70 blendable multi-vitamins, minerals, enzymes, nutrients, and amino acids fortify frosty smoothies, helping bodies to stay healthy or lift semi-trucks. Snacks such as veggie chips and high-protein cookies augment shakes in both health and deliciousness.