Every cake and cupcake that comes out of the kitchen at Cakes with an Attitude is a work of art. That's because owner and baker Chaundra uses her eye for art and training in cake decorating to create flowers, scenes, and three-dimensional objects atop her desserts. Chaundra can customize designs using a combination of frosting and fondant, yielding cakes fit to be centerpieces and beautiful bouquets of cupcakes.
Connected by an asphalt web of highways, state roads, and thoroughfares, blocky yellow signs gleam nonstop, casting a dandelion glow from the words “Waffle House.” The booths at the eateries fill 24 hours each day with the aromas of sizzling pork chops, Jimmy Dean sausage, and endless mugs of coffee. Line cooks brown shredded potatoes on a grill as waiters shout back in a language all their own for hash browns “smothered,” “covered,” or “topped”—served with onions, cheese, or chili, respectively. Angus burgers and steak melts share space on the rippling-hot surface at all times of day, allowing tired drivers to stop for food when they are on a long journey or just listening to an 11-hour drum solo on the radio. The first Waffle House switched on its lights in 1955, and some menu items still bear the names of Waffle House staff of the past, including Bert's chili from Dallas and Alice's iced tea.
The roster of calzones on Doughby's menu grows long, rattling off more than 45 varieties of the golden-brown, savory pastries. Sweet and savory crepes, available all day, come in more than 25 styles, lined with ingredients such as ham, pineapple, brown sugar, and mozzarella, or Nutella, strawberries, and bananas. Open early and late, diners can stop in for brunch and lunch, or stay as late as 4 a.m. to sate late-night cravings for hand-held grub.
With more than 700 locations, Jamba Juice proves to the masses that nutrition can be speedy and delicious. Since the beginning, the company?s product philosophy has revolved around choosing whole fruits and other natural ingredients over artificial flavorings, sweeteners, and preservatives. The menu is completely free of high-fructose corn syrup and trans fats, and it offers additional accommodations for vegan and gluten-free diets.
This naturalistic approach is fully realized in Jamba Juice's selection of smoothies. Made with 100% fruit juice, sherbet, and frozen yogurt, the frosty delights range from all-fruit smoothies such as peach perfection and strawberry whirl to more indulgent creamy treats, including peanut butter moo'd, an enticing blend of peanut butter, bananas, nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt, and milk chocolate.
For those with heartier appetites, steel-cut oats steep in soymilk before being enhanced with toppings such as apples, cinnamon, and brown-sugar crumble. The lunch hour presents protein-packed mini wraps, toasted bistro sandwiches and California Flatbread that pack only about 320?420 calories each.
Naticakes is in the business of making life a bit sweeter. They do so by supplying customers with frozen yogurt and cupcakes in more than 30 flavors, including lemon-merengue cupcakes with toasted frosting, and rich devil's food cake with caramel buttercream frosting, sea salt, and dark-chocolate curls. Patrons also can opt for bite-size cupcakes or specialty cakes to share. Crafting delectable desserts isn't the only way Naticakes sweetens things up; the company also donates 10% of profits to support the Natalie Wynn Carter Foundation, an organization committed to improving the lives of children throughout the world.
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An open-flame hearth is at the heart of Cosi's kitchen space, giving sandwiches and pizzas their toasty crunch. But there's a lot more to the menu than what happens under the flame. The T.B.M. sandwich piles tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella inside warm flatbread and the tandoori chicken sandwich brightens up grilled chicken breast with red peppers. Even salads are hearty meals here, with choices such as the cobb mixing greens with grilled chicken breast, bacon, and gorgonzola in a sherry-shallot vinaigrette. The crown on top of any meal here is undoubtedly the s'mores, in which two to four diners roast their own marshmallows over a tabletop fire pit, then sandwich the sugar cloud with chocolate and graham crackers before dragging their sleeping bags into the kitchen for a night's rest.