In 1988, Auntie Anne's founders Anne and Jonas Beiler purchased a Pennsylvania farmers' market stand, where they experimented with dough until they created a pretzel that seemed to strike the perfect chord with their customers. Today, at their more than 1,150 locations worldwide, the pretzel makers still hand roll the original recipe but have added to the menu with inventive options, such as the pepperoni pretzel and eight signature dipping sauces. The team constantly explores new uses for the pretzel dough, such as wrapping it around hot dogs, slicing it into bite-size nuggets, or using it to build historically accurate Austrian villages. To transform the snack into a meal, they accompany it with specialty drinks, including frozen-lemonade desserts.
When not twisting dough, Auntie Anne's team partners with the national charitable organization Alex?s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which raises funds to fight childhood cancer. They also reach out to the community through fundraising opportunities.
Every week, 16 new flavors of frozen yogurt fill So Fun! Frozen Yogurt's coolers, from the cheery orange swirl of mango tart to the decadent savory sweetness of Reese's peanut-butter cup. Customers grab a cup and help themselves to swirls of varied flavors, mixing and matching or sticking with a single base. Next, they progress to a toppings bar, where they layer yogurt with a scoop of cereal for an added crunch or slices of fresh fruit for an easier time smuggling the dessert into the gym. At the register, treats ring up by their weight, rendering the ratio of toppings to yogurt or yogurt to dinner completely up to the customer. Since the yogurt contains calcium, protein, and active live cultures, it can be considered a healthy alternative to many traditional desserts. Sugar-free and dairy-free options also lighten the calorie count.
A world of cuisines opens up before diners at Bonu Cafe. That's not an overstatement?the menu ranges from Mediterranean gyros and falafel to Mexican burritos and quesadillas. Or take your pick from barbecue burgers and french toast sandwiches to buffalo chicken wraps and hot ham and swiss sandwiches. If there is one thing to focus on, though, it's the restaurant's trademark dish: the kolach. This Czech pastry is traditionally stuffed with candied fruit, and at Bonu, they expand on those fillings and make egg and cheese, pepperoni pizza, and vegetarian versions as well.
Three-Way Cafe's midday-meal sculptors adorn palates with a dynamic array of salads, sandwiches, and soups, with seasonal specials available daily and deli trays for catered parties. While relaxing amid colorful murals, guests strap on their tongues' rucksacks and explore lunch options such as the cuban sandwich, with thin slices of pork and ham smothered in swiss cheese. All of the café's eponymous daily specialties can be commissioned either as salads, grilled paninis, or quesadillas. The italian salad or panini holds pepperoni, genoa salami, capocollo, and roasted red peppers in a provolone embrace equal in strength to the blue-cheese bite of the buffalo-chicken salad or quesadilla. Large groups helm their own bready excursions with kaiser rolls and an assortment of ham, turkey, and roast beef on the Three-Way Cafe deli tray. The sliced-cheese tray supports a dairy-laden display, and the café's fresh cupcakes keep sweet teeth under control and provide ammunition for miniature catapults.
Newly opened Trattoria de Simonetta borrows its name from cofounder Phillip Simonetta, previously known for making some of the best sandwiches in Philadelphia. Simonetta has brought his hoagie prowess home with a menu ripe with substantial subs built atop a foundation of fresh bread delivered daily from New York. Representative beasts include the cuban–a toasted alliance of ham, swiss, pickle, sliced pork, and mayo that holds a one party rule over your mouth ($5.25 for 6", $7.25 for 12"). Pizzas allow diners to stockpile toppings like pepperoni, sausage, and bacon ($9.99 for 16", toppings $1.50 each), and the homemade minicannoli moonlights as a refreshingly conspicuous spyglass ($1.50). Hoagies and other deli delights can be consumed in the trattoria's comfortable seating area or ordered for takeout or delivery.
Since opening in March 2013, Beyond Cakes has baked, iced, and added decorative touches to a rotating selection of cupcakes. Open daily at 7 a.m., the bakery pairs fresh-brewed coffee with pastries, bagels, and breakfast sandwiches. The shop recently incorporated sweet and savory miniature pies into its daily selection of baked goods including a tomato pie on weekends. Beyond Cakes also awards a free cupcake to over-achieving students who bring in an honor roll sticker.