Though Andrea Ballus's wedding frustrations propelled her into reality-television fame, the camera never focused on personal drama—instead, it zoomed in on the cupcakes. As she planned her marriage, Andrea couldn't find a bakery innovative enough to cater her reception. Rather than settle for tired designs, she decided to create her own cupcakes, mixing confections in signature flavors and garnishing them with edible art. These concepts led to the first incarnation of Sift—a dessert venue whose ingenious edibles have since won first place on the Food Network's Cupcake Wars and returned to compete on Cupcake Champions.
Sift's current cupcake menu pays homage to classic tastes as well as cunning combinations, from the snickerdoodle and red velvet cakes to the Knock Your Sox Off—a bavarian-cream-filled vanilla cake dipped in chocolate ganache. Visitors can pluck their favorites from the onsite displays or order custom servings that suit a wedding or party theme. In the past, Andrea and her staff have festooned cakes with images of cheerful dragonflies, company logos, and Pink Floyd album art as well as holiday graphics for New Year's and Christmas. They can even infuse the cupcake batter with a chosen wine, resulting in nearly perfect food and drink pairings.
Alongside their signature item, Sift prepares a separate catalog of nostalgic desserts, including whoopie cookies, macarons, and ice-cream sandwiches.
Since its first pizzeria opened in 1978 in Palo Alto, Mountain Mike’s Pizza has stretched to encompass more than 150 restaurants throughout the West Coast. From the meat-laden Pike’s Peak to the vegetarian-friendly Mt. Veggiemore, 12 specialty pizzas—most of them named after mountains—arrive in portions from small to extra large, which can feed up to eight patrons or spark nostalgia in homesick, city-dwelling mountain goats. Diners can also choose their own conglomeration of ingredients, ranging from Louisiana-style hot links to sun-dried tomatoes, and supplement pies with an all-you-can-eat salad bar or a quintet of appetizer options including wings and jalapeño poppers.
Following Baja Fresh’s ethos set in 1990 as a healthy take on fast food, never-frozen meats sizzle atop the grill before they're tucked into made-to-order tacos and burritos. Grilled corn and flour tortillas embrace fish, carnitas, chicken, and steak, and smoky queso fundido sidles onto nachos and into burritos. Between bites, chips scoop up salsa made from farm-fresh produce rather than poured out of a can or fabricated in a space-age replicator. A complimentary salsa bar ensures no mouthful goes unspiced, and guests can scoop up their favorites as they await their dine-in, takeout, or catering orders.
The massive amount of press heralding Nick's Cove's fresh seafood dishes almost overshadows its iconic history. The Tomales Bay eatery's lore intersects with Abraham Lincoln in that his chief of staff once owned the waterfront property before it became a refuge for area fishermen and farmers. As tourism to the region boomed, the site transformed into a popular spot for shrimp and crab cocktails. Today, the coastal property is an award-winning destination, replete with cabins for lodging and a farm-to-table restaurant where guests can sample the bounty hauled in from Tomales Bay.
Executive chef Austin Perkins and his kitchen crew braise California white bass, sear American wagyu flat-iron steak, devil duck eggs, and find a way to work Dungeness crab into anything from mac 'n' cheese and eggs benedict to the dinner bill's black jacket. They also boast a raw oyster bar and masterfully detailed wine list.
With a stay at Bodega Bay Lodge in Bodega Bay, you'll be within the region of Tomales Town Hall and Bohemian Grove. This 4-star resort is within the region of Tomales Regional History Center and Marimar Estate Vineyard.
Treat yourself to a stay in one of the 84 guestrooms, featuring fireplaces. Rooms have private balconies. Premium TV channels and CD players are provided for your entertainment, while complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected. Conveniences include desks and refrigerators, and housekeeping is provided daily.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Relax at the full-service spa, where you can enjoy massages, body treatments, and facials. You're sure to appreciate the recreational amenities, including a spa tub, a sauna, and a fitness facility. Additional features include complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and gift shops/newsstands.
Enjoy a meal at a restaurant, or stay in and take advantage of the resort's room service (during limited hours).
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include business services, audiovisual equipment, and complimentary newspapers in the lobby. Event facilities at this resort consist of conference/meeting rooms, small meeting rooms, and banquet facilities. Free parking is available onsite.
Although it now has more than 430 locations in 28 countries, Hooters wasn?t always welcomed by the public. In fact, when it opened in October 1983 in Clearwater, Florida, the founders of the restaurant were ?quickly detained for impersonating restaurateurs,? according to the company's website. But the restaurant was able to prove it was more than just a pretty face?that it was serious about serving tasty American food and frosty brews?and its popularity exploded in the decades to follow.
Amid its beach-themed vibe and flat-screen TVs, Hooters still fuels appetites with original chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, and fresh salads. Of course, nobody carries those casual eats and icy pitchers better than the Hooters girls. To complement their friendly smiles, their uniforms harken back to the ones the original waitresses wore in 1983: orange hot shorts and white tank tops with the emblematic owl on the front?though that owl has lost its Lionel Richie perm.