Cooking was always LaDonna Andeel's passion, but when she opened LD's Specialties & Gourmet Cafe in January 2009, it became her business as well. Now, she spends her days doing what she loves: baking fresh quiche, crafting gourmet sandwiches to pair with pots of fragrant tea, and getting to know the patrons who stop by. She also bakes specialty desserts for private events held in her café or at offsite locations. For children's parties, LaDonna brings out a castle backdrop, pintsize tables draped with shimmering pink or powder-blue tablecloths, and other whimsical decorations.
Under the guidance of new ownership, you'll find more than just classic slices of cake inside Mimi's Piece of Cake. That's because the chefs specialize in putting a unique spin on the dessert, both in flavor and in the way it's served. They can wrap up cakes in sculpted fondant for theme parties, mold cakes into bite-size portions with cupcakes and cake balls, and even create mess-free treats with cupcake push pops. The treats come in a range of flavors: alongside classic cupcake options such as red velvet and birthday cake, bakers craft unique varieties such as blueberry soda, chocolate peppermint, and maple bacon. They top these with a choice of 13 icings, including two flavors of fondant, as well as buttercream, whipped frosting, and cookie-infused frosting.
This European-American bistro serves up a miscellaneous menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner delights, including many vegetarian options. Let a dashing Italian panini served on grilled ciabatta bread with provolone cheese, roasted red peppers, and a side of pasta salad ($7.48–$8.49) sweep your mouth off its chin-feet. If you prefer pre-flattened sandwiches, try a grilled croissant sandwich served with pasta salad ($7.49–$7.99), a wrap with avocado ($8.99), or a spicy New Orleans–style po' boy served with red-potato salad or cubed fries ($8.99). The menu also includes a variety of gourmet salads ($4.49–$8.99) and soup ($3.49) that can be enjoyed separately or as part of a half-and-half combo meal ($7.49–$8.49).
As pedestrians peer through the floor-to-ceiling front windows of Full Cup Bakery & Café, they spy colorful local artwork hanging on the walls, vibrant lights dangling from the ceiling, and cushy couches crowding the floors. Inside, the enticing aroma of baking focaccia bread and handcrafted pastries fills the air as staffers whip up the café’s signature Rastafarian Leprechaun—a frappe-style coffee drink with mint and coconut flavors—and dispense sprinkle- and frosting-topped donuts from glass cases. Full Cup hosts art shows and local live musicians throughout the week, along with open-mic nights, where guests have a chance to perform or publicly confront a roommate who has been eating their Chinese leftovers.
Sugar artist and pastry chef Cherry Duran has been turning whole eggs and pure vanilla extract into edible works of art for 20 years. Simple sheet cakes can be transformed into favorite animals, popular cartoon characters, and beloved bank tellers at the bidding of her capable hands as she carves three-dimensional, icing-covered likenesses and uses photo-scan technology to imprint images onto frosting. She also whips up bunches of delectable cupcakes, cookies, and brownies to suit any type of get-together and helps home bakers to hone their batter-wrangling form in cake-decorating classes for differing skill levels.
Sisters Monica Best and Jenny Laube cultivate an inviting and youthful ambiance in their eclectic store⎯which includes a bakery, bistro, and onsite boutique⎯with a vibrant color scheme of lime green, yellow, and orange. The duo also exudes a sense of comfort and warmth with a down-home menu of oven-fresh treats and café-style lunches. Behind the glass display case brimming with freshly baked treats, the sisters whip up American classics such as chicken pot pie and sandwiches that feature savory deli meats slathered in house-made thousand-island dressing or chipotle mayo.
Outside the kitchen, the market's boutique area overflows with women's shoes, accessories, ceramics, and enough candles to turn any black hole into the homiest quantum space-time rift in the entire galaxy.
The founders of Orange Leaf started their business with the goal of finding a middle ground between rich scoops of ice cream and bland yogurt. Mission accomplished: they have created more than 65 tasty flavors, including pumpkin pie, gingerbread, blueberry banana, white chocolate, and Dole pineapple, that are both nutritious and tasty. After customers self-pump their selected flavors—which rotate regularly—they add toppings such as cereal, candy, nuts, and fruit. With finishing touches in place, a staff member weighs creations to price them or to determine their class in the shop’s underground yogurt-fighting ring.