Grab a bagel ring for all 12 fingers ($10.95 a dozen), or grab an individual for a baby bracelet ($1.14 per bagel). Many toppings, cream cheeses, and spreads are also available. Although Bagel Me!'s name is both direct and delicious, the menu expands beyond the realm of the round. Breakfast items such as gooey cheddar and egg melts served alongside cinnamon baked apples ($4.19) and freshly blended smoothies ($4.39) will cause smiles at sunrise. Afternoon diners can hang fangs on tri-tip steak sandwiches such as the jalapeno-pineapple pairing, loaded liberally with caramelized onions, Tillamook cheddar, and monterey jack cheese ($7.49). Or fork up a variety of starters, such as Irish nachos based in French fries and topped with bacon, onions, cheddar and jack cheeses, and lucky wishes ($5.79).
Mary and Bruce took the reins at ABC Cake Decorating Shoppe and Bakery a little more than a decade ago; however, the bakery and shop has been dishing out tasty baked treats for more than 50 years. The bakers craft cupcakes, cookies, desserts, and custom cakes for all occasions, with more than 10 cake flavors that include banana, carrot, lemon, and red velvet. They supplement these with 25 filling options, including cream, mousse, fruit, and other fillings. The teaching studio holds regular classes for chefs of all levels, in subjects ranging from cake decorating and chocolate 101 to gingerbread-house decorating and cookie baking.
Though it serves only desserts, Cherry on Top keeps its customers’ health in mind: each of its frozen-yogurt flavors contains live, active cultures believed to aid in digestion and overall health. The shop also allows for customization. Visitors create their own frozen treats at a self-serve bar, choosing from 12 fruit-tart flavors such as green apple, orange cranberry, and lychee and 33 cream-based flavors such as chocolate-cherry jubilee and oatmeal cookie. Cherry on Top also finishes treats with a long list of toppings, ranging from fresh blueberries, kiwi, and pineapple to gummy bears, cereal, brownies, and M&Ms. These self-serve selections are available at more than 30 locations in the United States, Egypt, Kuwait, and Hong Kong.
Arnabal International produces the gourmet infused oils and vinegars of Gourmet Kitchen O&V and Les Lavendes and features cookies from Gloria’s Gourmet. Sprinkle salads, marinate meat, or fill a hot tub with a fragrant field of lavender vinegar (200 ml. for $9.99). For an aromatic cooking choice that's finely aged but not quite over the hill, order a balsamic vinegar, naturally sweet and aged for 20 years (200 ml. for $19.99). Blood-orange oil (200 ml. for $7.99) makes a sweet and tart topping for chicken salads, sautéed seameat, and numerous veggies that would otherwise become indistinguishable to the indifferent tongue. Gloria’s Gourmet Cookies are ideal as after-dinner treats while entertaining or delectable for munching solo in a darkened room. Savor a yellow packet of caramel lemon-drop bites ($2.60), or go decadent with choc-orange sandwich cookies stuffed with raspberry jam ($5.50).
The volunteer-operated Cupcake Camp OC presents a smorgasbord of miniature cakes frosted by professional bakers and amateurs alike to raise money for the Children of the Night nonprofit. Pairs of VIP passholders walk past lines and collect goody bags and lick the frosting off of 20 cupcakes from local bakers such as Rooney Girl BakeShop, Baby Boy Bakery, and Sweet September Cupcakes. Tables groan with the weight of hundreds of decorated desserts that may compete in both amateur and professional contests for prizes such as Most Unique/Exotic Flavor or Ingredient or Most Likely to Win in Hand-to-Hand Combat with a Pie. A purple yam-and-coconut concoction won the former in the 2010 dabblers’ division, and the chocolate-sundae-smile cupcakes claimed last year’s professional title of Most Childhood-Inspired treat. Sugar-consuming companions can join the organized eating contest or compete with each other to see who can juggle the most petite cakes while standing on a pyramid of muffin tins. Cupcake Camp OC donates proceeds to Children of the Night, a private nonprofit committed to helping children aged 11–17 who are forced to prostitute in the United States.