When you’ve got five kids at home, making birthday cakes becomes part of your regular routine. But it wasn’t before too many birthdays had passed that Cherie Berget’s cakes started gaining the attention of her friends and family, and soon enough, Nola Belles was in business creating custom decorated cakes. Now serving the area for more than eight years, Berget has tackled everything from elegantly tiered cakes for weddings to colorful fondant-topped desserts for a child’s birthday. Underneath the layers of customized decorations lies a base of fluffy cake in a range of flavors. While clients love the fresh flavor of her cream de mint cake or her creamy coconut sponge cake filled with coconut pastry cream, her signature dessert is a white almond cake filled with fresh strawberries and topped with layers of vanilla buttercream and chocolate-dipped strawberries. She can pare down the sizes of her cakes to create dozens of cupcakes, or create cakes using cookies for a fun alternative celebration centerpiece.
Affable waiters emerge from Caffe Fresca's kitchen toting bowls of piping hot soup du jour, homemade desserts, and gourmet entrees. Ten specialty sandwiches tempt guests with fillings such as grilled portobello mushrooms, Genoa salami, and smoked turkey. Fresh seafood platters, steaks and chops, and pasta entrees round out the menu and pair palatably with homemade desserts. A recently remodeled dining area with three-toned tiled flooring, wood tables, and chandeliers encourages diners to linger and sip a libation from the bar or discuss the latest in drinking straw innovations.
Coco Bamboo Pizzeria infuses traditional Italian fare and pizzas with tropical flair in an extensive menu of freshly prepared edibles. Fourteen-inch specialty pizzas, assembled atop dough made daily ($17.25), arrange toppings into symphonies of flavor on par with Mozart's Pepperoni Fugue #2; a Volcano chicken or shrimp pizza ignites palates with hot sauce and optional jalapeños, and the Tikis Supreme heaps italian sausage, green peppers, and five other toppings onto a sturdy base. Coco Bamboo's chef whips up sauce from scratch for each pizza and offers a wheat-crust alternative upon request. Sandwiches ($7.75) and wraps ($8.75) conceal permutations such as the Voodoo smoked house built around seasoned chicken or shrimp or the Tropical, which combines grilled chicken with pineapple and avocado.
Cajun Grill and Bar’s menu teems with New Orleans favorites. Po’ boys occupy a good amount of real estate on the menu: options include catfish, hot sausage patties, N’awlins hot ham and roast beef, or the combo—a mixture of shrimp, oyster, and catfish. Buried deep within the jambalaya is the traditional New Orleans flavor, along with shrimp, chicken, and sausage. The restaurant also serves plenty of seafood platters, including fried shrimp and catfish, and homemade desserts, such as the bread pudding with rum sauce, are a nice capper to every meal.
These purveyors of premium Italian eats buy local ingredients and prepare all dishes from scratch daily, from the sauce to the dough. Baked in a brick oven, the Who-Dat pizza ($12.95 for 14") comes loaded with apple-smoked bacon, meatballs, pepperoni, black olives, and a quizzical expression. Blossoming pie artisans can draw from a rich palette of toppings ($1 each for 14") such as anchovies, sundried tomatoes, and Italian sausage to paint personal masterpieces on plain-pizza canvases ($10.99 for 14"). Meanwhile, the crab-cake linguini ($14.95) is served with your choice of red or white sauce, allowing easy color coordination with wedding dresses and Mountie uniforms. Ensconced in the restaurant’s relaxing, rustic interior, wash down your meal with a cold domestic brew ($2.50), refreshing import or microbrew ($3.50¬–$4), or choice of house wine ($6 per glass, $20 for a bottle).
Fusing classic comfort food with zesty local favorites, the family-owned, 24-hour City Diner has captured the hearts and stomachs of hunger-hounds with a vast and inventive menu. Breakfast delectables such as the big breakfast sandwich ($5.99) and crab cakes Benedict ($10.99), served atop two seasoned polenta cakes, are available around the clock. New Orleans–inspired nourishment culls Crescent City cravings, with the Bottom of the Bowl ($10.99) melding shrimp, crawfish, crabmeat, and a Cajun cream sauce into a seasoned bread bowl. Other spicy seafood swims politely among land creatures in the diner's imaginative hash-brown creations, such as the crawfish and andouille plate ($8.99). Atop the list of burgers is the blue cheeseburger ($8.99), a tongue-tantalizing treat sure to be enjoyed by meat lovers and cannibalistic bovines alike.
With four of its art-deco bedecked establishments open 24 hours, Dots Diner awakens morning munchers and lulls late-night eaters with fresh ingredients and made-to-order fare piled generously atop platters. Dots' fixed menu, fashioned from family recipes and teeming with eggs, grits, buttermilk pancakes ($3.99), and burgers ($1.39–$5.99), is available for breakfast, lunch, and twilight brunch. The house specialty, new orleans omelet packs crawfish, savory sauce, and swiss cheese in an eggy embrace ($7.99), and the fried shrimp po' boy dresses crispy shrimp in lettuce, tomato, pickles, french bread, and a beret ($6.99). Greet sweet teeth of all ages with apple pie à la mode ($3.69) or sip a root-beer float, lavishing your taste buds with ice cream and soft drink ($2.99), a fusion as memorable as whiskey and cookies.