The men and women at Jessy's Tienda y Taqueria are on a mission to bring a bit of Mexico to the people of Norfolk?whether through homemade recipes or authentic luchador masks. Taking a walk across the taqueria's black and white checkered floors reveals all sorts of sights from south of the border. Families and friends sit at booths eating chips with guacamole and plates of tacos filled up with beef cheek, carnitas, and carne asada steak. Head to another area, and you'll find display cases filled to the brim with pan dulce?sweet pastries, tres leches cakes, including a new pi?a colada recipe, and other baked goods. Other new menu additions include huaraches rancheros, enchiladas in mole verde, and sopa de mariscos frescos, a fresh seafood soup.
In addition to a restaurant, Jessy's Tienda y Taqueria houses a retail store filled with colorful goods from south of the border. Sombreros line the shelves and pinatas hang down from the ceiling like chandeliers that are trying to develop a more laidback, modern style.
Tim Hortons, the largest quick-service chain in Canada, crossed the border into U.S. territory in 1995 bearing baked goods, homestyle lunches, and their best-selling offering—fresh-brewed coffee crafted from 100% arabica beans. Tim Hortons’ Timbits—bite-size donut holes that double as no-bounce ping-pong balls—come in 35 flavors, and the selection of the donuts Timbits were punched from vary by store and sprawl across a spectrum from apple fritter to boston cream. Lighter fare such as wraps, parfaits, and the recently unveiled egg-white breakfast sandwich complements custom espresso drinks and real-fruit smoothies, which each hold a full serving of fruit for those under 12 feet tall.
Born and raised in Portsmouth, Missy Kennett has always been a supporter of comfort food. As an adult, she even started a local bakery out of her small kitchen in Norfolk. Eventually, Missy needed a bigger space in which to showcase her goods, spurring the creation of Cafe M. There, Missy makes breads, pastries, and just about everything else from scratch. She has also built full breakfast and lunch menus, and hopes to one day offer her freshly made treats at farmers' markets, grocery stores, and beyond.
With hundreds of cake flavors and designs, the options are nearly endless at Pinky Sweets Cupcakes and Confections. A rotating selection of cupcakes delights taste buds with flavors such as chocolate salted caramel, chocolate turtle, lemon coconut, and red velvet. Pinky's bakers also design specialty cakes and cupcakes for weddings, and they can arrange cupcakes on custom displays.
Pinky's birthday-party packages, which have themes ranging from spa party to tea party to tax-filing party, allow kids to take on the cupcake-decorating responsibilities while munching on snacks. They often feature a professional photographer.
Bergey's Breadbasket, which originally opened as a dairy farm more than 75 years ago, continues a long-standing family tradition of serving homemade fare made with fresh, local ingredients via its bakery and its deli. Sup on bakery bites such as the sumptuous sticky-sweet cinnamon rolls ($1.99 each), warm chocolate-chip cookies ($1.49 each), and a red-velvet or carrot-cake cupcake ($2.49 each). Dessert-delighters can delve into a double dip of ice cream churned on site ($3.19) by lactose-lacking cows craving closeness to their pilfered dairy drink. For sandwichistas seeking sustenance, deli delectables include a homemade pork-barbecue sandwich ($6.95/whole, $4.19/half), the bacon, egg, and cheese quiche ($2.49/slice) is perfect for satisfying morning munchies and quiche addictions, and cups of homemade soup ($3.89) offer steaming soul satisfaction.
Chocolate is technically a condiment at Dipped Chocolate Cafe, where staffers make treats even tastier by plunging them into the sweet stuff. Aside from traditional combos such as strawberries and chocolate, they also make cake pops even more indulgent with a layer of white or milk chocolate. These can be presented in gift boxes or small or large party platters. And, though chocolate is clearly their focus, they also keep caramel on hand in case an apple needs dipping.