Like Prometheus stealing fire from the gods to give it to humankind, the founders of Bagel Jay's Bakery and Cafe brought bagels to western New York in 1976. Since then, owner Bagel Jay has been crafting circular standbys with a menu of freshly baked bagels paired with savory deli meats. Diners dress their hearth-baked bagel with cream-cheese shmears of scallions, vegetable, and cinnamon honey, or construct sandwiches of sliced roasted turkey, hot corned beef, or ham. A steaming cup of Jakee's Java and a breakfast bagel with bacon and cheese help jump-start the morning, and classic tuna salad fortifies muscles after a long day of playing Jenga with railroad ties.
Linda Battaglia arrives at her bakery every morning at 7:30. She could sleep in, but then she wouldn't have time to roll every cannoli shell by hand, fill them with freshly made ricotta, and prepare the other 50 to 75 traditional items she and her team bake fresh daily. These recipes extend a legacy set forth more than 40 years ago by Romano Leonardi, who passed the eatery on to Linda and her mother in 2000. These Old World baked goods and techniques have earned a loyal following in the community and profiles on the WKBW morning news.
A bright glow spreads across the bakery's glass cases lined with cream and ricotta puffs, napoleons, and mousse-filled éclairs made that very day. The cookie selection includes fig and chocolate-ball varieties and almond and anise biscotti, all of which can be shipped across the country. Clients can work with the bakers to design a specialty wedding cake topped with newlywed figurines dancing, holding hands, or folding one another's laundry.
At Yo Betty Frozen Yogurt, customers step up to the stainless-steel self-serve machines and fill their cups with one of eight flavors of frozen yogurt on rotation. Options include low-fat American peanut butter; nonfat, no-sugar-added pink grapefruit; and lactose- and gluten-free Mango Sans Souci. Patrons may dress up their yogurt dishes with an array of healthy toppings, such as banana chips, yogurt pretzels, and sunflower seeds, or splurge with indulgent treats, including cookie crumbles and cheesecake chunks. Knowing that each serving of yogurt contains real fruit puree, certified live and active yogurt cultures, and calcium, guests can feel good about what they're eating.
The boldly colored, retro-inspired plastic chairs welcome guests to take a seat indoors, and the outdoor dining area lures them to a challenge with the sun to see who can make the yogurt disappear fastest.
Perkins began as a single humble Ohio pancake house in 1958. More than 50 years––and 440 national locations––later, each Perkins restaurant stays true to its roots by keeping those signature buttermilk pancakes the focal point of a 90-plus-item menu. Cooks layer the popular flapjacks in stacks of two, three, or even five and make the fluffy towers all the more tempting with toppings such as glazed strawberries, whipped cream, or flavored syrups. Breakfast favorites—including hearty omelets and country benedicts—are served all day, meaning kids and adults can order short stacks to accompany their jumbo-shrimp or steak dinner, instead of smuggling them in under a stovepipe hat. Unlike most other chain restaurants, Perkins also features in-store bakeries that churn out the shop's real fruit and cream pies, muffins, and chocolate-chip cookies.
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.
Vin-Chet Pastry Shop, founded in 1946, provides a plethora of high-quality, delicious baked treats to eager icing lovers. The luxurious almond ring, a Danish coffee cake infused with almond paste, iced, and then covered with toasted almonds ($8.95), provides a delicious start to the day or an unconventional token of eternal devotion. Snag a cake (starting at $9.50) to add a sweet touch to special events, or take home a gluten-free pizza ($15.95) for a dinner companion that gives you unconditional love. Customers who savor sweet sensations can delight in a variety of pies, from traditional windowsill apple to blueberry and lemon-meringue.