Before teaming up in 1953, Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins were seasoned business owners with their own ice-cream shops. The words “unusual varieties” shone high above each shop, signaling their respective owners’ passion for anything but an ordinary dessert experience. When the two got together, it was natural that they’d adopt the theme of “31 flavors,” one for each day of the month. Since then, Baskin-Robbins has introduced more than 1,000 flavors and opened shops with more than 5,800 franchise owners worldwide. Even their little pink tasting spoon has become a staple as a way to make flavor browsing an event by allowing guests to try specialties without paying cash or chicken-based trade for the privilege.
Tast Eatery's grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, and organic and locally sourced produce merge with unexpected flavors to populate a menu with innovative burrito feasts. Diners can choose from white or whole-wheat tortillas or carb-free bowls to entrench one of seven stuffings—one for each side on an almost properly made stop sign—from shredded chicken to meat-free tofu. Chefs then set Tast's burritos and bowls apart from others by introducing globally influenced flavor schemes, such as the peanut-sauce-soaked Thai twist with asian pickles or the hummus- and feta-packed Mediterranean. Burrito constructors also infiltrate mouth caves with a host of preconceived pockets, including the Southeast coconut-curry-shrimp creation and the classic skirt-steak version, which is decorated with rice, beans, and pico de gallo. Throughout meals, munchers can wash away crumbs with Zico coconut water or fruit-enhanced Hint water, both of which come in convenient bottles ideal for taking on the go or stacking into climbable pyramids as an extra fitness challenge.
At Bing’s Burgers, cooks focus their grilling talents into crafting flavors not found at a typical drive-thru joint. While diners at the newly opened Fort Lee location can indulge in four types of slider and Bing's own beer-battered fish and chips, the menu centers around a lineup of burgers topped with combinations of unique ingredients. The Cali Burger sports a dollop of fresh, homemade guacamole and low-fat ranch dressing, and Bing's Signature Burger layers sauteed onions, gouda, and garlic aioli while also signing for incoming shipments.
Open since 1947, Millers Bakery offers a wide array of freshly baked goodies, from seasonally themed cookies to decadent cream cakes. Early-morning risers can wake up with a ring or filled donut ($0.85 each), with tempting varieties such as oat bran, cinnamon, powdered jelly, and chocolate French. Gift a special someone a frosting-laden hazelnut cream or carrot cake specialty cupcake ($1.95 each). Pumpkin, apple, and blueberry pies ($8.50 for 8-inch pie) will be hot commodities for those looking for dessert on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Three Stooges reenactment day. Those who reject sugary pastries can simply stock up on Irish soda bread ($3.50 for 1.2 oz.) or grab a 20 oz. cup of house-blend coffee to go ($1.75).
When Palermo’s Bakery opened nearly three decades ago, it was a small storefront affair. Husband and wife team, Joanne and Jerry Bruno, baked small-scale confections at first, but over the years, Jerry became adventurous, constructing elaborate designer cakes that grew more intricate over the years. Twenty-five years later, thanks in part to those same creations, the small Italian bakery has grown into two custom cake shops with more than 50 staff members.
Still helmed by the Bruno family, Palermo's Bakery creates lavish wedding cakes bursting with fondant flowers, and specialty cakes sculpted into an array of improbable shapes, such as 3D champagne bottles. Though baked goods and pastries vary by location, they often include more than 20 flavors of cookies, Italian treats such as cannoli, and kosher desserts such as rugalech. All of the duo’s whimsical creations are available for pick-up or delivery.
Guests could dine at Park Avenue Bar & Grill multiple times, and yet leave each visit feeling as though they'd never been there before. Behind the restaurant's historic façade of red brick and arched windows await six distinct areas, each welcoming diners into a different experience. Downstairs, bartenders mix drinks at a traditional wooden bar, and upstairs, a modern lounge fills glasses amid tomato-red walls and zebra-patterned tile. After they dine on white tablecloths in the refined second-floor dining room, patrons can wander out to the private courtyard for drinks, or head up to the rooftop to watch New York's mayor give the skyline its nightly spit shine.
To match the atmosphere of each space, chef Todd Villani prepares fusion cuisine that combines Latin and New American traditions. Meticulously prepared entrees cater to guests seeking evenings of fine dining, and lighter fare, such as tapas and empanadas, facilitates socializing.
Anthony Hutchinson, the mastermind behind The Market Place, opened his doors in 2011 with the intention of running the best health-food market in Northern New Jersey. He now packs The Market Place’s shelves with a spectrum of groceries and natural products and enlists nutritionist Dr. Oz Garcia to cull a wide variety of supplements and protein formulas for their customers. Anthony also teams up with chef Danielle Saunders to craft a menu teeming with raw, vegan, and live smoothies, salads, and sandwiches. The market’s smoothies may boast coconut water or greek yogurt to add richness to fruit purées, while customized chopped salads combine grilled chicken with black beans, shredded carrots, and parmesan cheese.