From the Heart Pastries' staff bakes each of its rich pastries fresh, and creates oven-born treats including cakes, cookies, and praline candy. The bakery's Signature Series praline candy, creamy, smooth butter and brown sugar embedded with macadamia nuts, walnuts, or almonds ($2), makes the perfect holiday gift or apology to the neighbors for taking a nap on their lawn. Miniature ($2.25) or whole ($12) pecan pies settle squarely onto Thanksgiving tables, and a diverse collection of cookies stars classic flavors such as chocolate chip ($1.25). A luscious german-chocolate cake ($27) crowned with a rosette of pecan halves helps celebrate the season, a birthday, or a successful toothbrush purchase.
Peña’s Donut Heaven & Grill elevates earthbound appetites with a luscious litany of breakfasts and lunches, earning a CityVoter nomination for the city’s best breakfast in 2010. As the sun is carefully winched up and hoisted into the sky, Peña’s bakers craft delicious donuts ($5.79/dozen for glazed; $6.45/dozen for iced) fresh each morning, while plates of bagel, croissant, or biscuit breakfast sandwiches ($2.50 each) and savory chorizo-and-egg stuffed kolaches ($1.49 each; $15.99/dozen) hone in on hunger with surgical precision. At lunchtime, specialty sandwiches such as the 8 oz. california burger ($6.95) pose for pictures in an edible attire of sprouts and avocado, a slice of swiss cheese, and a dollop of tangy ranch dressing. In addition to classic American eats, Peña’s Donut Heaven catapults diners across the border with helpings of ham-and-spinach breakfast tacos ($2.50 for three) and lunches of beef burritos topped with pico de gallo ($6.99).
Guests dally daily between Four Friends Tea Room's bright walls, supping on quality loose-leaf tea and simple sandwiches and purchasing art right off the walls. Chat up a chum in the intimate Gold Room, or reserve the main dining room, which seats up to 30 people, to host an extended pinkie-jousting tournament. The sumptuous selection of sandwiches, soups, and salads includes the triple-decker club ($7.50), the flaky croissant sandwich ($8.50), and a lovingly concocted salad of tender grilled chicken ($8.50). In addition to day-to-day high ($16) and low ($10) teas, the café carefully pours out tea-room samplers ($8) that give guests a tongue-tickling taste of the shop's leafy luster. The community quenchers at Four Friends Tea Room keep fans abreast of the latest menu items, events, and their incipient tradition of murder-mystery dinner theater on the café's Facebook page.
When patrons pop into Berri Swirl, they don't just come for the tasty frozen treats; they come for the chance to take control of their own dessert destinies. As they march confidently to the self-service dispensers stocked with 12 flavors of frozen yogurt, they're already calculating which bits of Butterfinger chunks, blackberries, and gummy bears they're going to pluck from the do-it-yourself toppings bar packed with more than 40 toppings. Swirls of delicious low-fat yogurt infused with tastes ranging from snickerdoodle-cookie-dough to triple chocolate descend into holders including cups, cones, wafer bowls, and 55-gallon drums made of marzipan. Along with this variety of toppings and flavors, the fro-yo gurus maintain their healthy standards by concocting their creamy creations from genuine dairy, milk, and fruit purées and handpicking their ingredients from a variety of sources. After patrons take one last look at their creamy creations, they can browse magazines or surf free WiFi while wolfing down their sweet achievements.
Supreme Kakes' Chef Veronica spent 19 years in the kitchen mastering the sugary, floury basics of baking cakes great and small, an effort that earned her customizable-cake business enough traction to risk moving from her home kitchen to a 6,000-square-foot bakery in 2009. There, the chef and her equally adventurous staff craft statuesque sweets from a rich palette of 50 flavors and fillings such as almond amaretto cream and chocolate raspberry truffle. Veronica's artful baked-to-order cakes become the centerpiece at weddings and birthdays, channeling the honorees' personality and passions through vivid likenesses of cartoon characters, architectural marvels, or favorite sports broadcasters. The bake masters supplement their repertoire of towering sweets with their diminutive cousins, buttercream- and fondant-based cupcakes, and can often accommodate dietary and allergy restrictions with wheat- and gluten-free goods or cakes shaped into enormous antihistamine capsules.