The Dessert Oasis' expert baristas conjure more than 300 kinds of coffee drinks out of caffeinated air and matchmake them to the sundry eponymous sweets baked fresh every day. A café mocha ($2.85–$3.95) or a latte ($2.45–$3.45) might arrive adorned with an artistic dollop of milk foam in the shape of a flower, heart, or eerily accurate portrait of Queen Elizabeth. The full-bodied house blend ($1.45–$2.10) or a complexly flavored cup of 100 percent Kona beans ($3.50–$5) fuel inject a more straight-up jolt into drowsy commuters. The eatery's signature cheese or chocolate fondue ($9.95–$19.95) add a delicious coating to any dippable delight, be it a hunk of bread or neighbor's car keys.
Owned and operated by Sharon Bienkowski and family, Sweet Simplicity’s recipe rolodex stretches back through three generations of bakers specializing in old-fashioned, made-from-scratch treats. Sweet Simplicity’s ovens turn out a steady stream of cookies (3 for $2), jumbo cupcakes in gourmet guises ($3, $30/doz.), and warm apple pies, all with fresh fruit, fine flour, and real butter folded into their batters and crammed into their crusts ($10.99). Secure the dessert course and impress dinner guests' tongues with one of Sweet Simplicity’s handcrafted cakes, such as a 9” Neapolitan cheesecake with an Oreo cookie crust ($29.99) or an eight-inch triple raspberry tort—moist dark-chocolate cake obfuscating a center of raspberry mousse, enfolded with rich chocolate ganache, and topped with Belgian chocolate shavings, fresh raspberries, and several pending liability claims for flavor-induced overdoses ($32.99).
Timbuktu pumps high-speed Internet into 28 computers and gaming systems such as Wii and Xbox Kinect, giving guests an opportunity to virtually compete against opponents or watch Netflix and Hulu. Customers can use the game card on numerous occasions for 10 months after activation, splitting time up as they please in virtual tennis matches, educational games, and classics such as Zelda and stickball. The gaming zone has turned columns into playful palm trees and painted tropical murals on the walls, letting players shun Mother Nature in favor of a gamer's paradise, and stocks snacks in the café to satisfy hungry players after virtual sporting events.
Sweets! punctuates any occasion with an exclamation point by dishing out high-quality treats. Inside the charming Auburn Hills shop, sunlight stretches across the floors and brick walls, and visitors kick back while sipping iced lattes, iced espressos, and other coffee drinks—each crafted from locally roasted Great Lakes beans. Hungry visitors can also fill up on housemade soup and chilli.
As much as it appears to be a full-on café, Sweets! doubles as a source of fresh baked goods and premium ice cream, too. In fact, the shop stands as Michigan’s sole retailer of Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream. It serves the frozen treat in a seemingly endless array of flavors, including seasonal specialties.
From its humble beginnings in Kankakee, Illinois, in 1938, Dairy Queen has grown from a delicious experiment in soft-serve ice cream to a household name with more than 5,900 restaurants around the world. The shop's signature frozen delights are built upon a frosty foundation of creamy chocolate or vanilla soft serve, which swirls idyllically into cones, cups, overturned top hats, sundaes, Peanut Buster parfaits, and the chain's iconic Blizzard treats, blended with crumbled candy and other mix-ins. Ice-cream cakes cleverly conceal a surprise filling of fudge and chocolate crunch between layers of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, providing sweet, sliceable sustenance for birthday parties and other special occasions.
Fruit rules the roost on the other side of the slushy emporium, where Orange Julius blends its signature frothy drinks crafted from fruit juice, ice, and a "magic” powdered sweetener that explains why they disappear from most customers’ cups minutes after the first delicious sip. Real fruit purée forms the basis for the shop's smoothies, which also come in diet-friendly light versions that boast 150 calories or fewer.
Almost 100 years ago, Peter J. Oberweis found himself with a surplus of milk. Rather than throw it out or freeze it into popsicles, Peter began selling it to his neighbors, an endeavor that was so popular that he began a milk-delivery service in 1927. Fast-forward to today, and Oberweis Dairy still delivers glass bottles of creamy milk to doorsteps. The small family-owned dairies that produce milk exclusively for Oberweis pledge never to use artificial growth hormones, therefore imbuing craft cheeses, super-premium ice cream, and yogurt with fresh, unobstructed taste. Oberweis partners with other like-minded companies to deliver such items as certified-humane Phil’s Fresh Eggs, Chuckanut Bay Foods cheesecake, and Connie’s Pizza to homes or to sell them at the company’s various retail locations.