The warm aroma of freshly baked waffle cones envelops every nook and cranny of Marble Slab Creamery, revving up guests’ senses with the promise of impending decadence. As the hand-rolled cones tan in their ovens, the store’s staff bustles about the premises whipping up fresh batches of super-premium ice cream in the on-site creamery and helping patrons select a flavor from a list of more than 50 options. This chef-driven dedication to gourmet ice cream began in 1983 with the company’s founding in Houston, Texas, when two French chefs were enlisted to create a recipe for Marble Slab Creamery’s signature sweet-cream ice cream using their culinary expertise.
Today, staffers utilize the frozen-slab technique of ice-cream architecture, scooping each customer’s choice of ice cream and mixins onto a chilled marble slab to mix the separate elements into one customized mélange. Though specializing in cone-based ice-cream treats, Marble Slab Creamery also offers a menu full of other scream-worthy confections including cakes, shakes, and ice cream cupcakes.
Phat Spoons is the brainchild of Viet Le and Tuan Anthony Pham, who joined forces to assemble frozen yogurt, smoothies, and taiwanese bubble teas all under one health-conscious roof. Purple, blue, and neon-green walls guide visitors’ eyes to six self-serve frozen-yogurt machines, each capable of dispensing three different flavors and one piece of sage advice. Once cups brim with yogurt, they make their way to a toppings bar littered with 40 add-ons such as graham crackers, seasonal fruits, and nuts. Phat Spoons also blends up 20 varieties of fruit smoothies and 10 flavors of bubble, or “boba,” tea––a Taiwanese drink infused with sweet, chewy tapioca balls.
An enormous wall mural shows pandas munching on bamboo and peeking their wide eyes out over the dining room. Nearby, a flat-screen TV casts a glow on an alcove peppered with leather chairs and colorful, mod-style tables and stools.
The staff at Jiggle Berry Juice Bar takes juicing very seriously; they know that timing is vital in the juicing process, as valuable enzymes and nutrients perish within hours of being exposed to open air. Bent on serving the healthiest concoctions, the skilled servers squeeze fresh fruits and vegetable within minutes of their customer's order, and pack lactose-free smoothies with natural sweeteners and a choice of more than 11 boosts. The team even grows their own wheat grass, which they regularly trim and serenade with soft jazz music.
The cousin tag team of Livia Woodburn and Lizzie Smith embraces fresh ingredients and creative cooking to deliver breakfast, lunch, and baked goods. Myriad cupcake experiments stand out against the mundane—like a rebellious teenager who wears a suit—to fulfill special requests and cater parties. It might be said that Livia’s parallel career as a graphic designer acts as the secret ingredient that gives each cupcake its inventive, artistic flair. The friendly café invites early-morning or afternoon diners to feast upon hearty eats crafted from locally acquired ingredients and accompanied by house-made pickles, olives, and dressings. Lizzie, the lead chef behind many of Pan-Handlers Café’s dishes, cut her teeth as a cook during familial dinner routines and several cooking courses, and the cuisine enthusiast earned her degree in biology from Lewis & Clark College, which is inexplicably not where Lewis and Clark went to college.
After Richard and Deana Zaccardo realized their dream by buying Belmar Bakery in 2002, they continued to let their dream grow, expanding with a sit-down café and a Cake Land area dedicated to the design of their signature cakes. With such dedication to their craft, it's no wonder why the bakery was voted Best Baked Goods in Amarillo by the readers of Amarillo Globe-News for 10 years in a row. In the bakery, sweet aromas of pastries, cookies, and pies waft under customer noses followed by rich scents of brewing coffee from the café. Upon adding the café to their offerings, the Zaccardos expanded on their ambitions by including hot sandwiches, soups, and salads, and their Cake Land shows off their extravagantly decorated cake samples and a photographic history of how their cakes heroically toppled the tyranny of Candy Land. The cake area is also available for cake and cookie-decorating events for kids, as well as birthday parties.
Mama Krusty taught her 13 children to memorize her family's famous kolache recipes, just as her father taught her to do at his bakery in Czechoslovakia. Carrying on the tradition at Kolache Cafe & Baking Company, 1 of Krusty's 13 students fills bakers' racks with pastries made by following that long-remembered formula. Inside the café, red walls surround glossy wooden tabletops, and a long rectangular rug emblazoned with Kolache Cafe's logo leads up to the cash register and chalkboards bearing a written menu of kolaches. Each golden pastry is crowned with sweet or savory ingredients including sweet chocolate cream cheese, blueberry, and jalapeño cream cheese with bacon, and signature stuffed kolache pockets surround their cargo with a pastry shell, like a backpack carved out of a large flaky biscuit. Cake bites in flavors such as tiramisu and key lime wait to ride waves of Peet's coffee or fountain drinks into hungry mouths.