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.
Fox and Hound’s chefs modernize comfort foods, such as mac ’n’ cheese with cracked lobster meat and english peas and wood-grilled bruschetta with bacon, which patrons devour amid exposed bricks and a floor-to-ceiling fieldstone fireplace. The original Fox & Hounds Grille first opened in 1936, but despite its popularity, it couldn’t stay open, as it was beset by fires and various transient owners. It almost burnt entirely to the ground after a dragon sneezed in the mid-’90s—all that remained was the original stone hearth fireplace that still exists today.
Finally, in 2004, it underwent massive renovations and reopened as Fox and Hound, an homage to the local history. Since then, patrons have been regularly stopping in for upscale American fare coupled with live entertainment on the weekends.
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.
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.
After nearly 20 years in the fast-food industry, Jim Williams made a command decision—he no longer cared for food that was served fast. He still loved burgers, but wanted to prepare them in a way that prioritized flavor and quality over speed. In 2001, he opened the first Wild Willy’s, a burger joint where no patty hits the grill until it’s ordered. Customers can build their burger foundation from a variety of quality proteins, including certified Angus beef, bison, or Pineland Farms beef, which are all hand-formed into burgers and kissed by flames over an open grill. These patties then welcome the restaurant's signature toppings, which range from hickory-smoked bacon to New Mexican green chilies.
Since growing into a small family of independently owned stores, each location now has its own personality, which manifests in one-off menu items such as fried pickles, wings, and foot-long franks. Each store also maintains its own unique gluten-free menu built around gluten-free buns and kitchens designed to prevent cross-contamination or invasions from bad-intentioned wheat.