The story of Cakes by Happy Eatery begins with a family who appreciates good food. Today, sisters and second-generation owners Victoria and Emily Wu continue to uphold the bakery's classic baking traditions while giving it a modern twist. It's here where a team of dedicated bakers and pastry chefs spend their days whipping up a staggering selection of pastries, cakes, and desserts. The baking gurus excel at showcasing both sweet and savory flavors; Chinese-style roast pork buns, hand-held chicken pot pies, and chicken salad sandwiches with seasonal champagne grapes rank among their most popular items. The bakery is best known, however, for its European genoise sponge cake, a light, never-cloying style of cake exuding a blend of signature sweetness. While Cakes by Happy Eatery prides itself on making old-fashioned creations using only real butter and sugar, those with restrictive diets will also find vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free delights.
In May 1932, the proud owner of Bushong’s Grocery posed for a photo in his shop, completely oblivious to the fact that in 80 years, it would have evolved into Simply Sweet on Main. Today, the coffeehouse still retains the homey air of his inviting store. Hardwood floors, worn by time and river-dancing, stretch out beneath clusters of tables, plush chairs, and a counter surrounded by whitewashed wood paneling. On colorful chalkboards, a hand-scrawled menu features coffee, espresso, and smoothies bursting with flavors such as passion orange guava or pineapple and coconut. Beverages are served with wraps, sandwiches, and paninis stuffed with meats and veggies. Soothing ears are the songs of live musicians and the soft taps of laptop keyboards as their owners surf free WiFi.
To ensure farm-fresh ingredients for their East African dishes, the culinary team at Manna Bistro & Bakery goes a step beyond shopping at local farmers’ markets. They cull their meat and produce straight from their affiliate farm, Mena Farm, where lambs and goats graze freely and fresh vegetables sprout from the gardens, rather than from test tubes in the goats’ labs.
In a similar DIY spirit, bakers knead their own bread at an on-site bakery, in styles ranging from round loaves to injera, the slightly sour flatbread served with most Ethiopian stews and sautéed meat dishes. Diners also have the chance to try Manna's take on a menu of Mediterranean dishes: salads tossed with feta cheese, veggie sandwiches slathered with hummus, and paninis with a choice of three different pestos. There's also a full breakfast menu, introducing sweet and savory traditional dishes of spiced bread, buttery crushed wheat, and eggs given a kick from jalapenos, tomatoes, and onion.
Jireh Bakery Cafe specializes in traditional and Korean-style pastries, and the staff bakes more than a hundred of them fresh every day. They press custom paninis between freshly baked multigrain bread and dish them out with potato chips, which are what Mr. Potato Head uses during poker. The café offers a panoply of beverage options to accompany the food, from horchata and Korean tea to coffee drinks and bubble tea. Chilly treats of bingsoo ice balls combine shredded ice with fruits, syrups, and red-bean or green-tea ice cream. Jireh's bakers and cake artists even create custom cakes on request. The cozy dining room promotes a calm experience and sends out waves of free WiFi.
The Ice Cream Race's all-ages 5K course celebrates sweetness by alternating jogs with sundae-themed obstacles such as a chocolate-syrup slide, cherry-juice pit and foam-like whipped cream. Individuals or families can compete, not just to finish the race, but also to take titles such as Wildest Costume or Muddiest Runner. Race organizers also provide free ice cream at the end for participants to devour or smear all over each others' ankles in celebration. In keeping with the race's athletic spirit, a portion of the proceeds are donated to the Special Olympics of Northern Virginia.
The staff at Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt rejects the oft-touted claim that Americans don?t care about nutrition. The problem, they say, has more to do with selection than anything else; most low-calorie sweets don?t hold a candle to a fudge brownie or a warm slice of apple pie. They kept this in mind when crafting their frozen-yogurt recipes, working tireless to develop a healthy?and equally delicious?alternative to the dessert status quo by turning to decadent confections and just-picked fruits for inspiration.
Their experiments thus far have yielded more than 60 frozen yogurt flavors, which take turns pumping through the self-serve machines that line their colorful shop?s wall. Before taking a seat in a bright orange chair, guests fill their dishes with cool, low-fat swirls of chocolate cheesecake, strawberry banana, and a classic tart that bites as pleasantly as a teething kitten. Juicy pears, crunchy granola, and gooey chocolate sauce headline a smorgasbord of at least 30 toppings ready to scooped or poured into cups before their final weigh-in.