Jenn and Donny have long accepted their elitist take on coffee. As college students and self-professed coffee snobs who both worked in the food industry, they bemoaned a lack of sophisticated brews and attentive service, finally deciding that innovation would be the best form of protest. They dreamt up their own café where the beans would be freshly micro-roasted, the cocoa would incorporate three types of chocolate, and every drink would be handmade by the same person who took your order. The resulting venue, Coffee Break Cafe, lined its menu with libations of all temperatures and caffeinated creeds.
The café's house blend hails from locales such as Sumatra, Colombia, Africa, and South America and is shipped from specialty roasters who prep the beans in small batches. Jenn and Donny's commitment to coffee quality is matched by their enthusiasm for the natural world—they stock organic and fair-trade options, as well as dairy products from a hormone-free farm. Though they stand by meticulous barista techniques, they are hardly sugar-shunning purists. They readily infuse hot and frozen drinks with dessert flavors, ranging from red velvet cupcake to cinnamon bun, crafting a far superior breakfast sweet than grapefruit pie. Bagels and pastries, delivered daily by neighborhood bakeries, balance out refreshing sips. The morning hotspot's communal spirit is reflected in hanging pictures by local artists, live music, and complimentary story readings for kids.
Servers wind between tables at Spettu's Steakhouse, brandishing skewers of 14 different cuts of spit-roasted rodizio meats. Upon request, they stop tableside and carve slices of boneless pork loin, top sirloin, and marinara lamb directly onto diners' plates, unleashing the aromas of traditional Brazilian Churrascaria rotisserie. Between servings of regular or Halal cuts of meat, patrons can make unlimited visits to a buffet loaded with 40 different salads, meats, and rice dishes. Overhead, a panoramic photo of Rio de Janeiro unfurls placid blue seas as parrot figurines keep watch over the buffet's cracker supply.
Inside a historical downtown Quincy home that dates back to the 1850s, chef and baker Lisa Tavakoli crafts signature dishes and scones for guests to savor in a Victorian tearoom. Lisa gathers 8–15 students around her countertop to demonstrate how to top plates with multiple courses and drinks. She emphasizes the gustatory roles that all senses play, creating visually appealing dishes and steeping teas that appeal to the drinker's sixth sense. Curricula include Persian cuisine, Italian cuisine, and courses on raw cooking and seasonal ingredients.
Named after the O'Neil Family's adoring grandmother, Sadie's boasts a confectionery construction crew that builds custom cakes and gourmet chocolates from scratch and offers a variety of gift baskets and confection-making supplies. Unlike a bomb-diving ostrich protecting a nest full of donuts, a two-layered, 8-inch german chocolate cake ($16) endorses sharing among 10–12 sweet companions, while miniature handmade pastries ($.75–$1.25 each, $14 per dozen) including chocolate cupcakes, pecan and walnut turtles, and boston cream pies sate candied-cravings with individual nibbles. Customers with one-of-a-kind dessert aspirations are invited to sit down with one of Sadie's cake creators who will design a custom cake that bests fits the occasion and price range (see past works for some delightful examples).
Easily spotted by its pink-and-white awning, Ginger Betty's constructs gingerbread creations for year-round celebrations. Though it offers gingerbread in more forms than a shape-shifting forest monster, the original ginger snap is a crowd favorite and is scooped up by the dozen ($10). Creative crunchers can clamor for the cookie-decorating kit, comprising one gingerbread man and two holiday-centric cookies, such as Easter eggs, Arbor Day trees, or Boxing Day gloves, as well as two bags of colored frosting and an assortment of decorative candies ($21.99). Gourmet Easter baskets abound with sweet treats and can be customized with a choice of two dozen assorted cookies, including ginger snaps, sugar cookies, and other hand-decorated, rabbit-delivered delights.
Quincy Cafe isn't flashy. On the brick wall behind the counter, just above the coffeemakers and orange juice dispensers, a mural-of-sorts written in chalk reminds visitors of why they're there: pancakes, pasta, burgers, salads. Outside, simply a few handwritten signs in the window serve as the only clues as to what awaits inside, where diners gather around comforting breakfast and lunch dishes seven days per week. The cafe's peaceful atmosphere, free of robots screaming, "DEALS, DEALS, DEALS!", makes it an ideal gathering site for families and friends.