Leaves of vegetables and herbs sprout from the ground near Sweet Potato Cafe, providing the arsenal of ingredients that chefs Karen Patton and George Pollard draw from as they construct their seasonal, upscale dishes. The chefs—who boast decades of baking experience and finesse with Caribbean, French, and American Southern cuisines—pluck a daily crop from the onsite garden, bolstering their fresh harvest with organic ingredients, such as cage-free eggs and grass-fed beef, that are sourced from nearby sustainable farms. The verdant bounty yields a rotating menu of dishes, many of which star the sweet potato and its natural entourage of nutrients.
The chefs till their lush garden just beyond the eatery, which is housed inside a renovated, 1930s craftsman-style home. Rich, burnt-orange walls, dangling lights, and lustrous wooden floors and tables modernize the dwelling, but every other Friday evening, live jazz music and telegraphed ticker-tape readings enhance the historic ambiance.
Under the guidance of the Sarma brothers, who own and operate Haveli Indian Cuisine, the chefs take care to turn out traditionally crafted Indian dishes that showcase tender lamb and chicken baked in clay ovens. Each geographic region of India has its own variation on common recipes, and Haveli's menu mirrors this broad culinary scope. Plates of vegetarian saag paneer spice up spinach cooked with cubes of cheese, and fiery vindaloo entrees send bites of shrimp or chicken blazing across taste buds. Platters of rich curries and sides, such as freshly baked roti or samosas, keep the lunch buffet packed for people on a break from work or spelunkers searching for something that's truly bottomless.
Since opening more than 22 years ago, Taste of Thai Halal has celebrated the traditional flavors of Thailand with a halal menu of curries, noodle dishes, and seafood. In addition to classic dishes such as pad thai and fried rice, adventurous palates can sample squid tossed in tamarind-spiced curry, or duck flavored with fresh ginger root and hot peppers. Dessert takes the soothing shape of coconut ice cream or bites of rasmalai, an Indian delicacy made with cheese dumplings and sweet cream.
Each delectable chocolate at Yum Yum Candies brims with flavors that only homemade treats made by a trained chocolatier can possess. Along with gourmet chocolates, such as turtles, peanut-butter cups, and marshmallows dipped in chocolate and topped with M&Ms and sprinkles, bakers also craft gooey cookies in flavors such as chocolate chip, lemon pucker, and Bailey’s cream. Handcrafted fudge satisfies customers' sweet teeth with delicious tastes of dark chocolate, white chocolate, walnuts, and slow-roasted diced pecans, and Yum Yum’s café serves up drinks, such as smoothies, hot teas, and coffees. Additionally, Yum Yum’s shelves teem with nostalgic novelty candies, such as jellybeans, candy buttons, Wonka Bottle Caps, and Pez.