In 1944, Reino Wuollet opened a small bakery where he prepared fresh bread each day. More than 65 years later, his humble shop has grown into six locations where 30 or so family members tinker over cakes, pastries, and pies. Wedding and other occasion cakes are one of their specialties; flavors such as chocolate mousse and Lady Baltimore can be coated with marzipan, buttercream frosting, or fondant in an impressive array of custom designs. Of course, they still bake breads: an international selection of loaves includes baguettes, challah, Swedish lympa, Irish soda bread, and buns shaped into busts of United Nations delegates.
At El Burrito Cubano, a family of epicureans funnels three decades of restaurant experience into a menu of build-your-own burritos and classic sandwiches. The clan's Cuban heritage infuses sandwiches stuffed with roasted pork, ham, swiss cheese, and pickles, which diners may recognize from the lunch menu of one of their other restaurants, Conga Latin Bistro. Brimming with seafood ceviche, curried tilapia, or shrimp creole, the Burrito Marinero summons maritime flavors as vibrant as Poseidon's party yacht. Tropical beverages such as pineapple-mango smoothies and strawberry-melon punch add a dose of sweetness.
The first IHOP?the dream of founders Al and Jerry Lapin?opened in 1958 in Toluca Lake, California, and was originally dubbed the International House of Pancakes. Since then, rapid expansion has led to myriad milestones across the company's colorful history, from introducing its modern IHOP acronym in 1973 to its 1,000th restaurant opening in Layton, Utah, in 2001.
Today, the company stands strong with around 1,500 locations across North and Central America, each one an enthusiastic dispenser of pancakes, french toast, and tables constructed entirely out of bacon. Though IHOP is known as a bastion of breakfast, it also stays open during the day and into the evening, delivering lunch and dinner as well.
When Doug and Jane Oyen founded C. McGee's in 1987, their goal was "to be the Cheers of the deli business." Given their restaurant's friendly atmosphere, dependably tasty food, and secret tunnel to Boston, it's clear that the Oyens achieved their dream. Chefs at C. McGee?s build sandwiches and soups from scratch, creating meaty works of art such as the cheddar-laden avocado turkey and the Cowboy, stuffed with hot horseradish and medium-rare roast beef. Box lunches pair sandwiches with sides, such as clam chowder and cream of broccoli soups, and breakfast burritos bundle morning meals.
Generally speaking, there's not a bubble to be found in bubble tea. Instead, the "bubbles" that the cold Taiwanese drink takes its name from are chewy tapioca pearls or jellies resting at the bottom of the glass, waiting for a straw to suck them up. The tea is there, however—but it's not alone. Mixed with it is the flavor of mango, matcha, or peppermint. In fact, at Steepery Tea Bar—owned by the same aficionados as the Tea Garden—more than 30 flavors combine with 10 bubble varieties to exercise creative muscles and comfort anyone who's afraid of repeating themselves.
Bubble tea is just one of the drinks at Steepery Tea Bar. And it's not even the only drink that can contain bubbles. Shakes and coolers can also hold the chewy treasures in their depths, as well as the cafe's signature drinks such as the royal tea latte. Of course, being a tea bar, Steepery brews up hot drinks too. More than 50 kinds of green, black, white, and herbal loose-leaf tea—most of which are fair-trade, organic, and inclined to give only positive fortunes to tellers—fill cups and pots.
SiP Coffeebar is an independently owned and operated java joint, serving up tasty bean-juice beverages made from organic and locally roasted coffee, as well as freshly made bakery bites, sandwiches, salads, and soups. For a no-frills caffeine fix, throw back a couple shots of classic espresso ($1.75/medium), or tempt your tasters with a specialty drink such as a raspberry almond latte, caramel latte, or Nutella mocha ($3.45/medium). Impeccably pair liquid power with the sweetness of homemade scones ($1.80) and gooey chocolate-chip cookies ($1.50 for three), or couple coffee with a protein-packed bagel sandwich ($3–$3.75) that will give your step the extra pep it needs to avoid back-breaking sidewalk cracks. All sandwiches, such as the veggie sandwich ($5), are made fresh and served on your choice of a baguette, croissant, multigrain, focaccia, or ciabatta bread, or wrapped up like a strongman wrestling an anaconda. Soup and sandwich combos can be customized for $7.75.