The talented team of taste-makers at Barb's Kolache Bakery whip up a menu starring the versatile Czech pastry. Kolaches are created daily by stuffing yeast dough with a filling that may include fruit, meat, poppy seeds, or more. Colorful fruit-topped kolaches, such as apple, blueberry, strawberry, and apricot ($1.40 each), can flavorfy bland palates while inspiring fruit-painted murals of the cast of Sesame Street. Turn meat roars into meat purrs with savory kolache varieties such as sausage and cheese or bacon and cheese ($1.70 each). Or, pacify cranky taste buds with Danish melt-a-ways, an amalgam of buttercream frosting, pecans, and streusel inside a buttery, flaky pastry shell ($2.30), or icing-slathered cinnamon rolls ($1.90). Barb's Kolache Bakery is open 6 a.m.–1 p.m. Tuesday–Friday and 7 a.m.–1 p.m. on weekends.
Break from the rapid beating of seasonal gingerbread batters and take refuge in a European-style café that has a variety of Thanksgiving meal-ending stomach-pleasers. For $8, today's Groupon gets you $16 worth of freshly baked bakery bites at Jay WaLe’s Bakery-Bistro, named 2009’s Best Bakery by The Pitch, and, unlike most bakeries, it's not also the headquarters of a cookie-gang.Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
Silver Spoons Frozen Yogurt's cool spread enraptures dessert devotees with low-fat and fat-free frozen yogurts and a cadre of 33 toppings. A rotating self-serve station sings siren songs to sweet teeth, stirring them to mix any of eight daily flavors, such as chocolate and mango sorbet, into a concoction with the dulcet power of an Oompa-Loompa labor union. Their hillock of yogurt safely secured in a cup or house-made waffle bowl, patrons peruse a toppings bar teeming with tempting add-ons, such as chunks of cookie dough and strawberry.
A three-time cancer survivor and mother of three, the owner of Naughty Bites needed something to make life a little bit sweeter. After tasting a traditional cake pop, and doing a bit of research, she was convinced she could improve upon the bite-sized treat. And so, she compiled recipes that emphasized natural, high-quality ingredients?think Meyer lemons, Sunkist oranges, farm fresh eggs, and fresh fruit?and created cakes-on-a-stick that were so moist and decadent, she named them Naughty Bites. The truffle-like treats are rolled, dipped, and decorated by hand, and come in a multitude of flavors that are anything but boring. The aptly-named No Plain Jane, for example, is a light vanilla cake with Italian vanilla cream cheese frosting dipped in white chocolate, just like the cake pops appearing on the Paris runways. The Chubby Hubby features a moist fudge center dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with peanuts and pretzels and drizzled with sea salt caramel.
Harley, the founder of Strawberry Hill Povitica Company, began baking povitica bread in 1984 using his mother's traditional Slavic recipe. He passed away in 1999, but his children and dedicated bakers continue to prepare the dense, sweet bread following his mother's technique. They roll dough into paper-thin layers, pile on ingredients such as nuts and honey, and roll the layers into loaves that weigh 2.5 pounds each after they're baked. Patrons can choose from Kosher-certified flavors such as english walnut, cokolada, or chocolate-chip cream cheese. The bread can be enjoyed in a variety of ways: toasted and buttered, crowned with a scoop of ice cream, or sandwiched around a whole roasted turkey.
A circular driveway leads to the towering white columns that frame the entrance of Van Noy Mansion, built in the early 20th century for a wealthy railroad family. Two and a half acres of 100-year-old oak trees, manicured shrubs, and verdant landscape surround the estate, and guests are invited to take photos and explore the grounds. General manager James Michael summarizes the mansion's beauty by saying, "You have to see it to believe it. When people walk in for the first time, their jaws drop."
Original woodwork lines the mansion's interior, which is ornamented by stained-glass windows and a series of original murals portraying a courtship. A dramatic wooden rotunda with a second-level landing gives guests space to snap photos or drop buckets of molasses and feathers on late arrivals. Stepping out on the second-story balcony, guests can occasionally hear faint elephant trumpets from the neighboring zoo intermingled with real trumpets carried on the breeze from the nearby Starlight Theatre. The historic 5,000-square-foot mansion plays host to up to 1,000 guests for indoor and outdoor weddings receptions, holiday parties, and charitable events, with food services available from a list of preferred caterers.