Occupying the same spot on a blacktop parking lot since the 1950s, the walk-up windows at Fran-Ceil Custard jog nostalgic memories of generations past. Although the sweetery has been under its current ownership for the past 30 years, the legacy of the shop's namesake Frances and Celia—wives to founders Tony and Michael—lives on not only in name, but also through the same French-style custard that has filled cups for more than half a century. A rotating menu of weekly flavors, such as pistachio, tangerine, or black raspberry, spirals into cones alongside the original chocolate and vanilla custards, and 13 varieties of hard-scoop ice cream form a decadent base for banana splits, fudge brownie sundaes, and poorly constructed suspension bridges. Over the years, homemade sherbets have been added into the mix, making rotating batches of lime, raspberry, and orange scoops.
For more than 25 years, Cookie Expressions has been expressing its love for fresh baked goods by whipping up artful cookie arrangements for tons of occasions. Woo the goodwill of sweetheart bosses or bossy sweethearts on October 16 with a six long-stem cookie bouquet, featuring a half-dozen chocolate-chip cookies, dressed in their fanciest red cellophane evening wraps, and arranged with baby's breath and a fern to resemble a box of roses ($33.95). Any number of the get well soon bouquets ($32.95–$42.95) will help rally hospital-bound loved ones to quickly regain the use of their jaw, while the soda glass bouquet ($33.95) also can be used to toast to their speedy recovery.
Perkins Restaurant & Bakery fills rumbly tummies with American breakfast, lunch, and dinner classics all day long. Break fasts and pocket watches stuck on 6:42 a.m. with a plate of buttermilk pancakes made according to a secret recipe ($5.99 for five) or a signature omelet filled with a bevy of toothsome ingredients and served with two sides ($8.19–$9.19). Burger lovers can chew their way through a variety of ground-chuck patties, including the Tangler burger, piled high with cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, crunchy fried onions, lettuce, and tomato, and slathered in a Grey Poupon bistro sauce ($8.99). The hearty Down Home meatloaf ($8.99) subdues substantial appetites with two beef-gravy-covered slices and two sides, surpassing pimento and lazy stepbrothers for the title of America’s favorite loaf. Diners can slake their thirst with a full selection of Coca-Cola sodas ($2.59), regular or decaffeinated coffee ($1.99), and hand-dipped shakes or malts ($4.79) while perusing the capacious bakery menu, loaded with fresh pies and tarts.
Gen Perryman, owner of The Cupcake Orchard, has always loved to bake desserts but admits that she was inspired to open her bakery by the influx of cupcake shops across the country. She says on her website, “As I saw these cupcakeries popping up around the country, I thought, 'why not package what I love doing into a sweet cupcake?'” Every morning, Gen and her staff freshly prepare each batch using eggs and butter from local farms, seasonal fruits, and Belgian chocolate. The shop carries eight “everyday” flavors—favorites include chocolate-chocolate and red velvet—as well as three to five seasonal flavors such as pumpkin, caramel apple, and snowball.
Powder-blue trim and lush flowers clustered around a quaint clapboard storefront welcome visitors to Vincenzo's Italian Ice. The dessert parlor swaps traditional ice cream for less-fattening frozen treats, including silky gelato transported from NYC's Little Italy and italian ice sourced from Philadelphia's secret ice mines. In a simple space adorned with shelves of elegant bottles, customers can peer into the glass case to hunt down their favorite flavors of gelato, ranging from malted milk ball to espresso, or to scope out the rainbow of italian ice varieties, from black cherry to coconut.