Bakers mix fresh chopped peaches into a small batch of vanilla cupcake batter. After a quick trip to the oven, they slather each cupcake with brown-sugar cream-cheese frosting and sprinkle on a crumb topping. This handheld Peach Cobbler is just one of the many flavors that Monkeycakes Bakery creates from scratch every day. Their bakers frost each cupcake to-order, putting the finishing touches on lime-infused Cinco De Mayo or blueberry cheesecake: a moist pound cake with a blueberry-cheesecake center. Reaching out to as many sweet teeth as possible, Monkeycakes Bakery creates gluten-free and vegan options, and they'll deliver all treats directly to a customer's home drive-thru window.
After traveling from the end of the rainbow to the tip of the North Pole, Easter's original hippity-hoppity star is now claiming seasonal residence at the Tyson Corner Center, Arundel Mills Mall, Potomac Mills Mall, Lakeforest Mall and Marley Station. As both an adorable and educational animal, the bunny associated with Easter will be helping kids get into the spirit of egg-hunting by teaming up with professional photographers who know how to coax giggle-laden smiles out of any bundle of joy. Children can pose with the gregarious giant, embracing fluff-filled hugs, and then later enjoy their shared moments by flipping through their tangible, printed portraits and by fluttering their eyelids at their vibrant, digitally arrested stills.
The menu changes frequently at Petite Patisserie. It's not because the chefs and bakers are tired of what they make, but because they only use seasonal ingredients. One can see the seasons change by the types of fruit adorning their glistening gallettes or flavor their macaroons, all of which they make with imported, non-GMO flour. Some dishes, however, are always in season. Chefs craft savory french dip sandwiches topped with a slice of harvati cheese on a brioche bun, as well as fill crepes with a smear of Nutella. To complement this light fare, they also pour cups of Portland Roasting Coffee, which give the cafe a slight West Coast touch, much like their uniforms made from douglas firs.
When Marian and Lew Evans bought the 18 year-old Roses Ice Cream in 1968, they neatly divided the labor: she managed the restaurant, he crafted the ice-cream, and their children worked the lunch counter. Perhaps it's this childhood experience that engendered a true love for the place in their daughter, who took over its operation in 1979. She ran the ice-cream parlor until 1994, when she had to sell it—only to see it torn down just three years later. Finally, in 2007, she joined forces with her brother to rekindle the family business and establish the second Roses Ice Cream.
Though modern, this casual eatery follows the precedent set by the original. Throughout the year, the owner and her staff harvest a rainbow of local berries, nuts, and candies, which they blend into the parlor's old-fashioned 14% butter-fat ice cream. Following this painstaking process, they craft more than 30 flavors in 6-gallon batches throughout the year. Sometimes, these flavors change seasonally—shifting from refreshing berry flavors in the spring and summer to heartier pumpkin in the fall and humanely raised snowman in the winter. These classics are accompanied by other frozen treats such as soy-based ice cream, fresh fruit sherbets, and an ice cream sandwich made with snickerdoodle cookie and cinnamon ice cream. To complement the sweeter offerings, Roses also serves savory fare such as soups, salads, and char-broiled local chuck burgers.
Amanda Rhoads took a course on ice cream from the University of Wisconsin before she set about correcting what she considered to be a grave ice-cream shortage in Portland. Now, from her cream-colored truck, she scoops up creative flavors, such as lavender honey almond and salted caramel, into freshly baked waffle cones. She churns out small batches according to the season’s freshest produce, resulting in summer’s strawberry balsamic, autumn’s sweet-potato pie, and winter’s straight-up snowman. Along with a strict preference for local and organic ingredients, she eagerly accommodates dietary requirements with gluten-free cones and a select menu of dairy-free sorbets. To share the meticulous care that goes into each batch of melty milk, Amanda sets her truck up at local farmer’s markets and food-truck hubs.