Owner Melissa Vias originally unveiled Malanga Café not only to share the exotic dishes crafted from her meticulous collection of Cuban recipes, but to transport diners to the music- and amusement-filled atmosphere of Cuba itself. Head chef Haydee Porras blends traditional ingredients to forge from scratch items such as crispy croquettes, steaming tamales, and a traditional suckling pig that smokes and crackles as it rotates in its sweltering roaster. Meanwhile, succulent morsels of shredded pork nestle into pillowy baguettes to craft the pan con lechon, whose popular recipe arrived from Santiago de Cuba via Vias's husband. Postmeal, patrons can amuse other senses with games of Cubilete or the rhythms of a live band, then sign a giant mural awash with famous Cuban sayings to personalize a part of history and provide an effective alibi against sushi-eating accusations.
In 1937, something hot, delicious, and glazed rolled through the sleepy town of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Seventy-five years later, Vernon Rudolph's secret doughnut recipe lives on within the hundreds of Krispy Kreme locations scattered across the globe as well as within the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History, where Krispy Kreme is heralded as a 20th-century American icon.
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 ice Kreme, glazed raspberry, and glazed chocolate cake, each round dainty pairs with piping-hot coffee for a compact snack easily tucked into a pocket or clown shoe.
The culinary craftspeople at Java Factory populate a menu with breakfast eats, sandwiches, and build-your-own pizzas inside a café with tile floors and a long wooden coffee bar. Like a wake-up call with a stun gun, flavors from the espresso bar, including a white mocha ($3.50–$3.85) and Java Factory coffee blend ($1.45–$1.85), deliver a morning jolt, and smoothies ($5.50–$6.75) blend fruit and yogurt for hybrid frozen drinks that please palates at all hours of the day. For empty stomachs, smoked ham, egg, cheese, and peppers huddle inside a warm breakfast burrito ($4.75), and the mediterranean tuna panini ($7.75) infuses tuna salad with black olives and chives before topping the medley with a mediterranean spread. Build-your-own flatbread pizzas ($6.50) come with a choice of nine toppings, such as pepperoni, turkey, and olives. Tall chairs line a dark wood coffee bar where beans roast and baristas tell secrets via cryptic foam formations. Shorter seats rest below individual tables clothed in white linens and illuminated by candlelight not emitted by jack-o'-lanterns.
From its perch inside Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Lighthouse Cafe's wooden patio overlooks a mile of Atlantic shoreline. In the distance stands the Cape Florida Lighthouse, Dade County's oldest manmade structure. The landscape and salty sea breezes complement the open-air restaurant's seafood-stocked lunch menu, which is served until sundown. Dishes range from salmon burgers and fish fingers to fried cuts of red snapper or hog snapper, which often leap out of the water to attack passing piglets.
The catch that gets the most attention in the Lighthouse Cafe kitchen is shrimp, which is tossed in asopado, spiced up creole style, served in ceviche, or, for breakfast, stuffed into an omelet. Breakfasts at Lighthouse Cafe include traditional items like ham and cheese omelets and french toast, as well as cups of café con leche and cuban coffee.
Sweetness Bake Shop & Cafe's cupcake list is overwhelming in the best possible way. The treats are made from scratch everyday, the buttercream a slight yellow due to the use of real butter, and the vanilla bean cake rich with Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla. But the careful, delicious craftsmanship aside, the sheer number of cupcake options on the menu is enough to floor even the most mild of cupcake enthusiasts. The menu divides into several categories. These include house flavors, such as red velvet, and classic flavors such as maple bacon. Then there are even more whimsical categories such as "candy jar", which includes Twix- and Snickers-flavored cupcakes, "top shelf", which has mojito and tequila sunrise cakes, and "global a go-go" which includes flavors such as tiramisu and churro con chocolate but excludes the flavor of passport stamp.
But Sweetness doesn't stop there. Their menu expands to cover more treats such as ice cream, cake balls and donuts, and cakes. They also cater to the non-sweet tooth with sandwiches and salads for lunch and eggs and pancakes for brunch.
With the deft hands of a veteran baker, Vincent Benoliel keenly measures almonds, eggs, and sugar, because accuracy is essential when making macarons. The ephemeral sweets come in a rainbow of colors and might taste of chocolate, rose petal, or lemon, but every single one has that je ne sais quoi of a macaron made by a native Frenchman. Vincent grew up in France's ubiquitous restaurant industry, ascending to the rank of sous chef in a Parisian brasserie when he was only 18. In 2005, he brought the richness of French cuisine to South Florida by importing the Eiffel Tower in 3-pound chunks and by opening Le Boudoir in Miami. His handiwork includes delicacies such as escargot, steak tartare, and fresh pastries.