The pastry specialists at The Original Magnolia Bakery skillfully set fruit, chocolate, and creams into strategically layered patterns to overwhelm palates with rich flavor. More than 20 pastries populate the menu, such as cannolis, prepared with fresh ricotta cheese, chocolate chips, and a choice of chocolate or vanilla filling and wrapped inside a crispy shell ($1.99), miniature cheesecake built with New York cream cheese ($5.15/lb), and a puff éclair pastry, which, like the bakery itself, is covered with chocolate and contains a whipped cream interior ($1.99). The Original Magnolia Bakery caters to the 15 human teeth that cannot detect sweetness with a deli menu of more than 20 kinds of Italian sub sandwiches ($2.99–$5.99 for a 6-inch, $5.99-$8.49 for a 12-inch).
Armed with just a single, generations-old cookie recipe, Great American Cookies opened its first store in 1977, and the rest is history. Today, the franchise boasts locations in malls across the country and nabbed a coveted spot on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2012 Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. As the shop’s reputation grew, so did its menu as chefs churned out a mouthwatering roster of gourmet-cookie recipes, each created and carefully tested in Atlanta. The tempting options now include snickerdoodle, peanut butter with M&Ms, and chewy pecan supreme, as well as freshly baked fudge and cheesecake brownies, and cookie sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real show-stoppers, however, are the giant chocolate-chip cookie cakes, which can be customized with sweet, celebratory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.
Founded nearly 25 years ago on a frozen foundation of nonporous, 5-degree granite, Cold Stone Creamery has blossomed into a nationally recognized ice-cream parlor distinguished by its daily creations of sweet treats. Fruit, nuts, and candy collaborate with ice-cream flavors such as french vanilla, sweet cream, and cake batter to manifest a signature sundae or a personalized creation made to match customers' tastes and 5th-birthday-party footage. Smoothies and shakes sate sippers, and fruity sorbets, nonfat ice creams, and tangy frozen yogurt satisfy the need for healthy indulgences.
Each morning, the cooks at Mary's Cuban Kitchen & Bakery bake fresh pastries filled with ham, cheese, and guava, and grill breakfast sandwiches to serve with café con leche or freshly squeezed orange juice. Later in the day, they stack Cuban-style sandwiches with ham, cheese, and crunchy pickles. There's a different specialty on each weekday: Fridays, for example, bring a tender oxtail stew.
Inducing bouts of gratifying brain freeze since 2000, Ollie's Frozen Custard treats overheated pipes to nectarous invigoration with freshly crafted sundaes, milkshakes, and basins of creamy custard. On-the-move snackers can choose to stack cones and dishes with one, two, or three scoops of custard ($2.24–$3.25), and milkshakes and malts provide convenience in a cup with flavors such as chocolate, strawberry, and peanut butter ($3.49). Confectionery decorators adorn a regular sundae with the customer’s choice of toppings, including chocolate chips, blueberries, pineapple, and an optional set of throw pillows ($3.99). Spoon paladins can tame temperamental tongues with pacifying bites of a banana split ($4.49). Or experience the preferred drink of whippersnappers with a drug-store-style soda that floods mouths with sudsy carbonation to the tune of Perry Como’s greatest hits ($3.49).