Helmed by Susan Vollmer, the culinary shop equips patrons with the goods and know-how with which to assemble delicious meals. Guests can peruse the cozy shop's selection of cookware, kitchen gadgets, and kitchen décor, picking out funky Venus flytrap–shaped tongs or kitchen mops that double as sous chefs. To learn how to put their new tools to work, gourmet cooking classes teach students to whip up meals such as Iranian mushroom patties in whole-wheat pitas or five-course brunch feasts. The classes run in 50-minute, 60-minute, or two-hour spurts, and are taught by local teachers, chefs, and cookbook authors.
Early every morning, the bakers of Devilicious Donuts start whipping together the batter for their cake and yeast donuts to create their menu of unique and oddball pastries. They offer everything from the relatively demure popskotch—a cake donut drizzled in caramel and topped with buttered popcorn—to the truly eclectic flavors of the yeast donut cheeseburger. The chefs combine only fresh, organic ingredients and premium chocolate to craft their donuts, then sizzling them in 100-percent soy bean oil to avoid the use of animal fats.
The ovens at Donna B's Bakery serve 14 flavors of freshly baked cookies and vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet cupcakes with myriad of iced-top flavors. Dig into warm, gooey classic chocolate chip, chewy oatmeal raisin, and crumbly peanut butter cookies. Taste buds can also embark on a campout with the fudgy trail-mix cookie, packed with almonds, cashews, m&m's, and knot-tying manuals. Gourmet cupcakes coat tongues with the sweet flavors of the decadent peanut butter cup, maraschino cherry, or the chocolate cupcake topped with creamy frosting and dark chocolate drizzle.
For more than 60 years, the innovative cake artists of Cinderella Cakes have been creating celebratory desserts that push the boundaries of both flavor and physics. Prominently featured as winners on TLC's The Ultimate Cake Off, the bakery's team of artists sculpt impeccable carved cakes for specific occasions, such as a golf bag to celebrate retirement, or a guitar to mark a successful instrument restringing. The same artists also lend their expertise and personalized touch to elegant and innovative wedding cakes, cupcakes, and bouquets of theme cookies. They stock their shelves with fresh ready-to-go cakes, ideal for unexpected celebrations such as a surprise engagement or the birth of a mayfly. Professional decorators also spread their sweet wisdom during private cake-decorating classes and birthday parties.
On a patio shade by large umbrellas, or inside amidst the whir of an espresso machine and walls littered with art, The Neighborhood Cup fosters that sought-after feeling of coffee-house leisure. Resident baristas craft coffee and espresso drinks, manipulating the bubbly foam of lattes into intricate patterns such as portraits of the Mona Lisa drinking a cappuccino. Patrons also find coffee-colored leather couches and chairs, as well as a menu of breakfast bites, sandwiches, and snacks. The Neighborhood Cup also hosts events, including open-mic nights and classic-car gatherings to see whose muscle car can knock back the most espresso shots.