The prix-fixe menu is in constant rotation depending on the available ingredients and Magic 8-Ball of Executive Chef Darryl Harmon. Though the menu is always subject to change, current first-course options include soup du jour or a Water Works salad followed by a sorbet selection. Entrees include pan-seared airline chicken breast, grilled salmon, or risotto du jour. For the most important course, dessert, you'll just have to be surprised with the chef's duo, just like when you were surprised to wake up with your hair on backwards. As a lifelong culinary enthusiast, Darryl draws upon years of experience in preparing and eating to plate his creative take on American fare.
In 1937, Vernon Rudolph founded Krispy Kreme in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with the first location on South Main Street in Old Salem. Seventy-seven years later, his secret doughnut recipe lives on within hundreds of Krispy Kreme locations, serving premium sweet treats across the globe.
The entire doughnut-making process, which customers can view up close and personal at many of Krispy Kreme’s outposts, begins with fresh ingredients and ends with the click of a fluorescent sign bearing the words, "Hot Doughnuts Now." From the original, mold-breaking glazed doughnut to newer doughnut varieties, such as Chocolate Iced with Kreme Filling, Glazed Raspberry Filled, and Glazed Chocolate Cake, each round dainty pairs with piping-hot coffee for a compact snack.
Like a dessert-driven Donatello, Whipped Bakeshop's Zoë Lukas uses flour and a free-flowing imagination to sculpt sumptuous cakes, cookies, and cupcakes that target clients' sweet teeth and soft spots. A Jack Daniels whiskey-bottle cake will wow the guests at your daughter's seventh birthday party, while a Yoda cake is a special way to show the adorkable Dagobah-dweller in your life just how much you appreciate his or her training. Sushi cakes shine like samurai steel, and taco-topped cupcakes combine two of the world's greatest foods (three, if the taco contains a cheeseburger). Lukas also ices and dices more traditional and equally tasty baked goods. Whipped Bakeshop uses only the freshest natural ingredients from butter bushes and chocolate trees for its pieces of pastry perfection.
In a bustling shopping district among footwear stores, tattoo parlors, and record shops rests Richmond Ice Cream, a parlor with heat-squelching sundaes, milkshakes, water ices, and other chilled, sweet treats. Among their talents, the staff hand-dips cones to order, ensuring that each swirl of soft-serve is deliciously armored from hungry mouths for its first five seconds of existence. The team also blends soft-serve ice cream with a medley of toppings to make cooling blizzards.
Tucked away in the kitchen of each Paris Baguette, bakers trained in French techniques craft buttery, flaky croissants and tart crusts, and their success at this has earned attention from the likes of the New York Times. In addition to pastries and sweets such as mocha rice balls, the bakers knead bread for their namesake baguettes and yeasty creations that hold an Asian twist, such as red-bean-paste-filled donuts. The experts also create fondant-cloaked cakes that venture beyond classic flavors into green tea, cappuccino, and sweet potato, delighting partygoers bored of the same laminated sheet cake that makes its appearance at each year’s birthday celebration.
To wash down these treats, patrons sip cups of java or more exotic drinks such as wheatgrass and black-sesame lattes, persimmon smoothies, and bubble tea. At lunchtime, many locations layer sandwiches, filling hungry stomachs with croque monsieurs and baguettes stuffed with chicken and pesto.
Featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and celebrated by both ravenous residents and voracious visitors, The Dining Car & Market has earned its place in the annals of enthusiastic eats. Within its art-deco interior, the venerable neighborhood eatery sates early-morning munchers and late-night noshers alike with its 24-hour welcoming mat and its gargantuan menu. Belly up to a hearty breakfast with the special farmer's omelette, cultivated from plowed fields of peppers, onions, home fries, and your choice of meat ($6.95). Or, quell midday hungerings with a hot roast-beef-sandwich platter ($8.45) or french onion soup, which places its dapper, cheesy tam over a cluster of croutons ($5.20).