The Corn Flower’s executive chef, Cecy Solano, is an artist whose medium is the humble empanada. Working from a palette of sweet and savory sundries, she balances poblano peppers with sour cream and potatoes, draws out the flavors of ground beef with red-wine sauce, and tweaks the classic combo of peaches and cream by replacing the cream with vanilla syrup. Her other authentic Mexican specialties include savory and sweet tamales, as well as breakfast and lunch burritos accompanied by homemade salsa.
Rather than keep her recipes all to herself, Cecy and her husband share their knowledge of Latin American cooking and culinary history during tours of the eatery and in-home cooking classes. Occasionally, she turns her pastry-making prowess to baking show-stopping 2-D and 3-D gourmet cakes, or trundles her gourmet eats to catered events that she decks out with artfully prepared dishes and centerpieces whittled from fruits and veggies.
At more than 2,600 stores in more than 30 countries, Dunkin' Donuts serves coffee and iced beverages, fresh-baked donuts and desserts, and savory breakfast sandwiches. Since Bill Rosenberg opened the first location in Quincy, MA, in 1950, the donut shop has blossomed into a one-stop coffee and breakfast restaurant familiar to millions of morning rushers and afternoon sippers.
Behind the counter of each location, glazed french crullers twist and curve like Parisian city streets, and Bavarian Kreme donuts are filled with a sweet, golden custard. A cavalcade of meats is available for piling onto breakfast sandwiches, such as sausage, cherrywood-smoked bacon, or ham enveloped with fluffy eggs and melty cheese between a choice of crisp crusts. Health-conscious risers can fuel strenuous bouts of lifting cars in the drive-thru line with a Wake-Up wrap, which offers options such as egg whites with turkey sausage or veggies that add up to as few as 150 calories. Both sweet and savory selections pair well with a freshly brewed cup of coffee or a creamy, frozen Coolatta drink.
Though commuters can snag a quick pick-me-up within minutes, the wafting aromas of baking confections invite patrons to sit inside and embark on nostalgic reminiscences of syrup-coated playground slides. Beyond the bakery walls, the company aims for social responsibility with its support of community volunteer efforts and use of 100% fair-trade-certified espresso beans.
The Gelato Spot’s frozen-dairy hotshots merge ingredients imported from Torino, Italy, and churn a bevy of creamy gelati and sorbets daily. The gelateria’s small tongue-chilling batches have earned the shop the title of Best Frozen-Yogurt/Ice Cream Spot in AZ Central's 2011 readers’ poll, which praises the eatery’s extravagant displays and cheerful staff. Though The Gelato Spot specializes in traditional Italian flavors, such as stracciatella and amarena, they also craft American renditions such as Snickers, new york cheesecake, and salted caramel. As diners shovel in glacial delights on The Gelato Spot's heated and misted patio, they can also cruise the web with complimentary WiFi.
When founder Bruce Baker first imagined Yumberi Yogurt, he envisioned a business that would make the world a better place through both its flavors and its respect for the environment. Now with two established Phoenix-area locations and plans to grow, Yumberi has made good on Bruce’s intentions. The shops offer organic, visually appealing store designs that are environmentally friendly. Outside those shops, Yumberi emphasizes extensive community involvement. Inside, the emphasis on sustainability can be seen with biodegradable cups and spoons made from corn, which are also what scarecrows use to eat their cereal. Perhaps most important to its mission, Yumberi quells sweets cravings with healthy, delicious yogurt, which comes in more than a dozen flavors, including non-fat Chocolaty Dreams and sugar-free lemon meringue, and can be personalized with fresh fruits, cereals, and candies.