Located in a restored 250-year-old farmhouse, The Talking Tea Cup is a full-service tearoom offering freshly prepared sweet and savory treats, as well as a selection of more than 100 teas. Visitors can settle in next to the home's original fireplace and attempt to recollect where they’ve buried their stash of Spider Man comics during a one-hour four-course meal. Freshly made cranberry, orange-maple, and pecan scones are paired with cinnamon-and-orange-spice tea to get stomach-juices flowing, and are followed by a cup of the day's soup and sweet-cranberry tea. Assorted finger sandwiches are topped with chicken salad, apple butter and cheese, cucumber, and more, and are served on perfectly precious plates. Meals end on a sweet note of ginger-snap tea and straight-from-the-oven's-mouth sugar cookies.
Simply Good Café's culinary technicians fix up traditional European fare for morning and midday diners with breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch. During breakfast, a variety of homemade quiches silence stomachs before they peer-pressure mouths into shouting out their owners' credit card numbers, with robust flavors including salmon and tomato, roasted vegetable, and chicken ($6/slice). Spicy mustard adds zing to lettuce and tomato blanketed by roast beef and cheese inside a cozy sandwich ($6.50), and all handheld eats can be paired with a soup or side-salad buddy ($9.50) for plated activities including lettuce crocheting. Weekend brunchers dive into pillows of oatmeal pancakes, made with oats, whole wheat, yogurt and honey, or the strata dish, featuring baked bread, bacon, cheese, and egg. Inside Simply Good Café, yellow walls host black and white accents, and coffee pictures hang to entice java connoisseurs to lick the interior and figure out its flavor profile.
Blue Bell Inn teems with American history. The building began serving food and drinks to visitors in 1743, and 34 years later it became a frequent resting spot for George Washington, who needed to recharge after the Battle of Germantown while dreaming about the invention of ray guns.
Careful restorations through the years have helped Blue Bell maintain its historic character. Today, though its exterior is still that of an imposing, 18th-century structure, the restaurant spreads contemporary style through several distinct spaces complemented by an upscale menu of surf 'n' turf. In the fine-dining area, patrons cut into center-cut filet mignon and North Atlantic lobsters; in the bar area, they sip on specialty wines and martinis. Those rooms join an outdoor café, a bistro, and multiple banquet rooms, and every night, the building pulses with the sounds of live music.
Though Manhattan is just shy of a hundred miles north, Manhattan Bagels keeps its namesake version of the New York culinary tradition alive from afar with fresh-baked bagels the staff smears with thick cream cheese to order. Mornings call for one of the food stop’s sandwiches lined with bacon, turkey sausage, and fluffy eggs, with fresh-brewed coffee and cups of OJ. Closer to lunch, the Tribeca turkey sandwich lines focaccia with chipotle mayo and red onions, and the Times Square ham is served with Swiss, onion, and mustard on a plate made out of a giant LED billboard.
Upon entering, modern spotlights smear light across the glossy ceiling and beige walls like butter on toast––an appropriate evocation of the baked goods to come. There they wait at the counter: gooey fresh-baked brownies, crunchy biscotti, jelly-filled Danish, and crumbly scones that are as large as calzones. Maine Star Coffee lures patrons with the aroma of confections baked onsite, then encourages lingering with locally roasted coffee, steeping teas, and sweet espresso drinks made from locally sourced milk products. The café is also a haven for artists of all types, housing such entertainment as spoken word, acoustic music, and competitive whittling showdowns.