The aroma of brewing Downeast coffee drifts through the air, its trail floating over a plentiful helping of Gifford’s ice cream scooped onto a European-style dessert waffle. This chilled yet toasty combination is both the signature and the namesake of Max and Bear’s Ice Cream & Dessert Waffles. Inside the confectionary haven, staff members transform breakfast into dessert by topping the gridded morning dish with frozen flavors such as muddy boots ice cream with salted caramel. They also blend fresh fruit smoothies and thick ice-cream shakes such as the coffee bomb, made with iced coffee, Rhode Island coffee syrup, and a dash of cream.
The chefs at Portsmouth Publick House put their own twist on classics. They douse the bison burger with mango chutney; pair eggs benedict with lobster; and stuff quesadillas with smashed potatoes and filet mignon. The rest of the menu, including piping-hot pizzas and soup, refuels patrons during contests and other forms of entertainment. On Thursday nights, guests put their heads together over trivia questions. Sundays offer a stage for open-mic.
Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt's network of self-serve dessert shops treat taste buds without expanding waistlines. Each cup of creamy frozen yogurt is priced by weight, and comes in an endless assortment of possible flavor and topping combinations. Guests can spoil their dinner without spoiling their diet thanks to Orange Leaf's sensible selection of low-fat treats, some of which clock in at as few as 25 calories per ounce. After diners top their fall-themed or chocolate-flavored desserts with crumbled graham crackers, peach slices, berries, or granola, they can dig in amid the shops’ bright green-and-orange-color scheme.
For more than 25 years, the bakers at Scrumptions have crafted wedding-worthy desserts using fresh ingredients and 20/20 eyes for detail. Patrons may test traditional sweets with 13 vanilla or rich chocolate cupcakes, crowned with creamy buttercream icing and perfect for swaying a jury. Boxes of cookies satisfy tongues with varying tastes by serving up four classic flavors: chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, double chocolate, and sugar. Customers should call ahead to place an order, which are generally ready for pickup, delivery, or decorating a large sunhat within two to three days (delivery fee not included).
Patti Reslow and Nancy Swanson, the owners of Swede-a-Licious, bake a select assortment of sweet Swedish specialties, all free of added preservatives. Several pastries are reminiscent of coffee cake, such as the cardamom coffee braid and the Berry Berry Licious, a braided sweetbread filled with raspberry and blueberry preserves. The bakers also assemble Scandinavian party cakes, a showy stack of 18 almond-butter cookies that can be customized for seasonal parties or used as a stand-in holiday tree.
The bakers, confectioners, and designers at Sweet Indulgence continually roll out gourmet goodies that are just as appealing to the eye as they are delicious. The staff can prep sprawling color-coordinated tables that gleefully enhance events such as weddings, parties, and celebrations by showcasing treats such as cupcakes, chocolate-covered fruits, and candies. Mounds of frosting pile high on cupcakes in flavors such as apple pie, carrot cake, and lemon-raspberry, covered in extras such as cinnamon, chocolate chips, and fresh fruit. Lines of frosting adorn cake pops in clever shapes such as Santas, football helmets, or simple, pastel patterns of pink and green, and pies, cannolis, and cakes attract the eye and appetite.