Since 1967, Henry and Esther Whetstone, of the aptly named Whetstone Chocolate Factory, have infused bellies with a sweet selection of chocolate confections, from fudge and truffles to decadent bars. Let your cacao-covered dreams become sweet, sweet reality with a 50-minute traipsing through the Whetstone historic facility, which fills hungry minds with saccharine stories and chocolate-based sestinas about Whetstone's past, as well as facts about chocolate manufacturing. The tour also includes a chocolate tasting, a four-tiered affair that mixes and matches flavors of dark chocolate, milk and white chocolate, creams, truffles, and more, all selected for their percentage of cocoa butter, granule fineness, and vocal range. Sweet seekers can learn and taste the subtleties and ingenious customs that define and represent artisan chocolate.
The Spice & Tea Exchange treats taste buds and olfactory sensors to a smorgasbord of hand-mixed seasoning blends and gourmet steepables. Freshly bagged daily, custom-concocted blends and rubs, such as the Moroccan blend or the tandoori seasoning, enliven dull dishes with worldly flavors. Massage Butcher's Rub ($4.29–$16.80) into steaks, burgers, and stressed-out cows prior to grilling for extra-zesty grub, or sprinkle it upon vegetables to confuse carnivores into eating greens. More than 170 spices create piquant provisions sure to tantalize taste buds, including beer powder, a nonalcoholic dehydrated version of the popular brew ($4.89–$19.17), or Dutched cocoa, a mellow chocolate suitable for sprucing up warm beverages or supplying and army of microscopic confectioners ($3.89–$15.25). Sprinkle maple syrup granules ($4.29–$16.82) onto ice cream, fruit salad, or other sweet treats to enhance saccharine delights with a hint of nature.
Chef Thomas blends fresh, local produce and spices into colorful, stick-centered concoctions ready to greet taste buds in need of flavorful resuscitation. Achieve brain freeze without embarrassing yourself on Jeopardy by exploring chilly inventions ($3.50) such as the popular pineapple cilantro or an oxymoron-inspired frozen mexican hot-chocolate pop with cocoa, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. The Banilla Vanana captures pureed bananas in a Madagascar-vanilla embrace, and the refreshing cucumber-lemon-mint pop gives summer heat an elegantly cold shoulder. Chef Thomas flash-freezes his amalgamations in less than 20 minutes, giving the popsicles a smoother, softer texture. These icy indulgences pack a variety of vitamins, making them a far healthier snack alternative to butter on a stick and cheeseburger-ice-cream sandwiches.
Scamper across Gilmon's Bakery's checkerboard floor to view colorful display cases stocked with freshly baked cakes, cookies, and cupcakes, and watch confectioners decorate their wares at a visible frosting station before smuggling home a variety of cakey cups. Each day, batter-whisperers bake 9–12 different flavors for customers to serve at weddings, parties, or successful parole hearings. Chocolate-chip cookie dough nestles next to red velvet, and tangy key lime and sweet strawberry shortcake gossip about the carrot cake's latest frosting hat. Always stylish, cupcakes regularly step out in sugar decorations that reflect the season, sports teams, or aesthetically pleasing psychic visions. Cleanse palates between cupcake courses with coffee ($1.25), bottled water ($1), or a mini cannoli ($1.25), which are not included in the price of this Groupon.
Rifle through the pages of the menu at Nirvana Cafe, and you'll see dishes inspired by cuisines from across the globe—there's tender gyros and kebabs from the Mediterranean, plump perogi from Eastern Europe, and tangy Korean-style carrot salad. But there's also a variety of American favorites, such as chicken salad wraps and creamy new york cheesecake. As chefs bring these dishes to life in the kitchen, diners lounge on banquettes amid the bold red walls of the bright dining room, sipping freshly squeezed juices and imported Russian beers.
When the founders of 3 Sisters Chocolate & Bakery sought the perfect inspiration for their chocolate shop, they looked no further than three sisters they knew—one really creative, one really sweet, and one a perfectionist. When they founded 3 Sisters Chocolate & Bakery more than a decade ago, they combined these ideals to craft creative, sweet treats from family recipes with supreme attention to detail. Today, the 3 Sisters repertoire includes gourmet cupcakes, brownies, and decadent truffles. It also features the unexpected, such as chocolate pizzas and shoes, adding to the shop's mantra that chocolate is an experience, not just something to eat or pump through an IV.
Substituting fat for more healthful probiotics, Yobe refreshes taste buds with guilt-free spoonfuls of all-natural self-serve yogurt. Made with organic milk, real fruit, and no artificial sweeteners, each ounce of yogurt packs just 25 calories, letting diet-conscious taste-testers engorge stomachs while tightening belts. The shops' soft-serve machines dish out 31 classic and exotic flavors such as açaí berry, passion fruit, lychee, and vanilla ($0.49/oz). After piling bowls high with toppings, such as fresh banana, kiwi, pineapple, or m&ms, cookie dough, or peanut-butter cups, tone-deaf taste buds find themselves serenading incisors with John Fogerty lyrics.