Quality and presentation are of equal importance to Everyday Gourmet's chefs. Whether they're preparing sumptuous italian entrees for a dinner party or elegant hors d'oeuvres for a cocktail party, they design artful table settings, ensuring that spreads look as good as they taste. They also operate a bakery on Cayuga Drive, where patrons can sip café drinks and munch fresh cookies and cupcakes—or take a box of baked goods to go.
As a child, Lorraine, the owner of The Crown and Crumpet Tea Room, lived with her family above a restaurant in the United Kingdom, eventually owning her own teahouse, Petticoat Tails, in Winchcome in the Cotswolds. Years later, after moving to Ontario, Lorraine came across a historical brick house built in 1929, and immediately saw its potential as a classic teahouse. The home gives one the sensation of having stepped into another time and place, furthered by antique tea sets and imported British candies including blackcurrant licorice and toffee bonbons.
Beneath the crisp lines of British flags hanging from the walls, the family uses produce and ingredients from local farms to make lunch, high tea, and dessert each day. Lorraine’s rotating menus have included leek-and-goat-cheese quiche with fresh local asparagus as well as lamb with mango chutney carved tableside. In a sunny outside garden, cups click against saucers painted with colourful sprays of flowers like the world’s least intimidating monster truck.
The Irresistible Bean, owned and operated by a family, serves drinks pressed from a special proprietary bean blend. These conscientiously sourced beans imbue rich flavour into lattes and traditional cups of coffee, which arrive hand-pressed or siphon-brewed. Non-coffee drinkers, meanwhile, can sip spiced chai drinks or eat one of the shop's signature paninis. Turkey, roasted red peppers, swiss cheese, and reduced-fat mayo top the Irresistible turkey sandwich, whereas the veggie swaps meat for cucumbers, lettuce, avocado, and pesto or garlic-mayo sauce. Humming with energy well into the night, the café also hosts poetry readings, live music, and game nights, to be found on its events calendar.
Delish! Cooking School, whose classes were voted as some of the Best of WNY by Buffalo Spree, is known for its quality instruction and taste. Within a comfortable urban space, customers can pick up sweet selections such as fresh fudge, scones, bar cookies, and hand-dipped chocolate. Fresh-brewed espresso drinks accompanied by baked goods or housemade ice-cream sandwiches tempt tongues, while a range of cooking tools, sauces, and spices line shelves for at-home chefs to use in their own kitchens.
Experienced chefs lead cooking classes geared toward the home cook looking to hone skills without memorizing transcripts of the Food Network’s full broadcast. Students sip wine during classes such as The Exciting Foods of Thailand, Casual Italian Supper Party, or The New Vegetarian Cuisine.
For the founders of Kung Fu Tea, kung fu isn't just a martial art?it's a way of life, a drive to constantly better oneself and push limits. Though this might seem like a lofty inspiration for a tea company, it's a testament to the staff's passion for their craft and dedication to creating drinks based in authentic Taiwanese recipes. Perhaps that's why, since being founded in New York, the franchise has spread to more than 40 locations in North America alone?not to mention branches in Southeast Asia and on all 62 of Saturn's moons. At each location, fresh fruit and teas form the base of frozen and chilled drinks?from a red bean-herbal jelly milk tea to a taro slush to a frozen caramel macchiato.
Genga Ponnampalam wanted to make it easier for people to eat healthy food, so after a long stint as a computer programmer, he founded Go Veggies—a vegetarian and vegan outfit that culls local produce and morphs it into hearty dishes, some of which hail from his native Sri Lanka. At farmers markets, grocery stores, and a café space, he and his staff delight taste buds with healthy cuisine that’s good for the environment, like carpooling or bikepooling to work. They also positively impact the community by composting their food waste and recycling their packaging.