Kolache Factory sates handheld cravings with its sweet and savory sachets stuffed with more than 25 flavorful fillings. The pastry purveyor's innovative bakers put a tasty twist on the traditional fruit-and-poppy-seed kolaches that originated in Eastern Europe, packing them with delectable stuffings, such as pepperoni and mushroom ($1.65 each, $17.82/dozen), bacon, egg, and cheese ($2.19 each, $23.65/dozen), and sausage, jalapeño, and cheese ($1.45 each, $15.66/dozen). Greet the slowly receding swirling darkness of morning with nibbles of sausage and gravy kolaches ($1.69 each, $18.25/dozen), or take a bite-size break with one of seven fruit options ($1.09 each, $11.77/dozen).
The dexterous bakers at I Luv Cake Pops rival the cupcake's portability with elegant, hand-held cake bites kept aloft by finger-friendly sticks. Decked out in red, green, and white holiday hues, an assortment of individually wrapped pops woo taste buds with six cake flavors. Red velvet orbs of cake draw seasonal excitement and calm anxious reindeers with a single lick, while vanilla globes cloaked in white become miniature snowballs worth throwing at yourself. Sprinkles top each baked-to-order pop’s chocolate shell, adding another dash of holiday color and gifting mouths a sweet crunch.
Bagel Express fashions its bagels from scratch every day, dishing up breakfast and lunch fare alongside delectable dozens of its homemade baked goods. Unfurl eyelids with a three-egg omelet, such as a quartet of american, swiss, provolone, and cheddar cheeses ($5.95) or a version as stuffed with lox, eggs, and onions ($8.95) as an Old World teddy bear. At lunch, sandwiches including a classic reuben ($9.95) and deluxe grilled cheese ($5.25) arrive on palanquins of the restaurant’s signature bagel bread. Extend the epicurean excursion by scoping out the deli case’s panoply of Boar's Head meats and cheeses, available by the pound for picnics and back-to-school salami socials, and browsing a selection of gourmet cream cheeses whipped into such enticing flavors as walnut raisin and garlic herb ($2.95–$5.95).
The owner and head baker of CRUMBdiddlyumptious took a circuitous route to achieve her pastry-baking dreams. After completing law school, she knew the scent of legal briefs was not enough to soothe her appetite for creation. Instead, she studied to become a pastry chef, pursuing her true dream because she simply “always loved to bake.” However, after working at several bakeries, she discovered that many merchants “throw out left-overs and re-use day-old products.” Envisioning herself in a different kind of bakery, she opened CRUMBdiddlyumptious, where she now makes only custom orders to reduce waste and delivers only fresh products to keep mouths smiling.
In her kitchen, she bakes the custom cakes, cookies, and brownies that she delivers to customers and sells at the Farmers Market at Imperial. With these custom orders, her patrons can indulge in breakfast muffins dotted with fruit, strawberry cupcakes spangled with sprinkles, and crumbly cookies coated in caramel. They can also order a chocolate cake, shaped and decorated to look like everything from a golf course to a guitar.
Chef Michelle Stalling studied the culinary arts at the University of Houston, but her education began way before college. Hailing from a long line of bakers and chefs, Chef Michelle practically has frosting running through her veins and cake batter dripping like sap out of her family tree. At All About Cakes, she harnesses her experience and inherited passion for pastries to create sweet, decadent, and beautiful customized treats. Her cupcakes come in flavors such as butter pecan with French buttercream, bananas foster with caramel cream, and German chocolate. Sheet cakes and round cakes likewise include many options: tres leches and red velvet flavors, Bavarian cream fillings, and chocolate ganache icing are just a few examples.
Chef Michelle also bakes tiered and sculpted cakes with detail in fondant and customizable designs that make them almost as beautiful to look at as they are fun to faceplant into. Other treats include French macaroons, tuxedo-dipped strawberries, and dessert bars.
With 12 varieties of frozen yogurt that rotate daily, creating a custom treat at YoFresh Yogurt Cafe can be a little daunting. So the staff encourages guests to try samples before fully committing to one flavor. After deciding what yogurt they want as their base, patrons head to the topping station—a colorful conglomeration of buffet-style bins and wall-mounted dispensers—to finish off their creamy treat with any combination of more than 65 fruit and candy toppings.
The staff does more than help customers choose frozen-yogurt flavors. It dishes out coffees, bubble teas, and smoothies, as well as a selection of fresh pastries. Every Tuesday and Friday at 7 p.m., YoFresh invites customers to show off their sweet teeth while singing karaoke. It boldly stipulates that talent is not required to participate in the event, so long as you have a bit of enthusiasm and more sass than a cat in heels.