Many of the dishes served at Rick and Brian's Cafe have been taking up menu real estate since the diner opened 30 years ago. This comfort food puts customers at ease, as does some of their veteran staff who have been around since the diner's opening, offering a comforting continuity for guests stopping in for their daily coffee, chicken-fried steak, and slow-cooked pot roast. Like any good diner or restaurant without a clock, the cafe serves breakfast all day long alongside BLTs, burgers, meatloaf, and cobb salads. Staff members also bake up retro desserts such as pineapple upside down cake, orange liqueur cheesecake made with Grand Marnier, and bundt cakes with vodka and Kahlua baked inside.
Gwen Willhite founded Cookies by Design in 1983, when an unsatisfying brainstorming session about gift ideas led her to ponder one exciting question: why should flowers and sweets remain separate? Her solution was to design the cookie bouquet, where custom hand-decorated cookies are displayed on sticks and arranged like flowers in gift baskets. Her invention quickly became a popular gift among locals, particularly those allergic to real blooms or too bashful to look at naked cookies.
Twenty-five years later, there are roughly 90 Cookies by Design locations across the country. Each shop's team of bakers creates cookie baskets with a degree of care that matches Willhite's original vision, decorating and arranging sweet shapes for birthdays, holidays, and any other special occasion.
Olives offers up fresh, homemade sandwiches, dinners, breakfast options, and groceries in a casual, welcoming store outfitted with seating for in-store noshing. Snack on sweet and savory breakfast items, such as the Milano panini, a mix of egg, prosciutto, provolone, tomato, and pesto aioli ($5.99), and the Italian Classic, served with nutella on Italian country bread ($3.99). For later eating, the Santa Fe sandwich paints roasted turkey, monterey jack, avocado spread, green chilies, and chipotle aioli on a white country bread canvas ($7.29), and the veggie caprese sandwich stacks fresh mozzarella, vine-ripened tomatoes, basil, and a signature parmesan spread on top of a ciabatta platter ($6.29). With a rotating menu that changes nightly, patrons also can pick up freshly prepared dinner, such as teriyaki salmon with rice and steamed veggies ($12.49) and turkey pot-pie with a dinner roll ($7.99). The Second Street location serves up oven-baked pizzas and features an expanded produce and dairy section.
The Wine Crush tantalizes palates with a collection of more than 500 boutique wines gathered from around the globe. During a tasting, couples can cozy up while clinking glasses graced by liquid manifestations of red, white, and rose. The Wine Crush pours a smattering of small-production grape nectars between the hours of 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., and every tasting gives guests the chance to taste at least five varieties.
An innocent-looking neon sign hangs outside the Rubber Tree. It depicts the store's name and a cartoon palm tree, swaying in the breeze. Inside the adult shop, though, there are no tropical trees to be found. Instead, there's an impressive assortment of the shop's namesake condoms. To complement them, there's also lingerie, personal massagers, and other love life-enhancers, wares the team has specialized in since 1992.
They say that practice makes perfect. Open since 1973, Gallo's Italian deli has had 40 years to perfect its Italian sub sandwiches. Each one starts with Gallo's fluffy bread, which is then topped with cheeses such as cheddar, swiss, jack, or provolone, and meats such as mortadella, capacolla, and pastrami. Customers can compile these deli cuts into custom sandwiches, or opt for one one of the house specialties like the Italian meatball sub, which is topped with Gallo's signature tomato sauce.