Today's Groupon is good bedaubed in butter, covered with cream cheese, or hung upon a maypole before the opening ceremony of a child's lacrosse tournament. You get 13 New York-style bagels and two 8-oz. tubs of cream cheese for $7 at St. Paul Bagelry in Roseville (a $14 value). The Roseville Review hailed St. Paul Bagelry's flavorful foodstuffs as the Best Lunch Under $10.
The baristas at J. Arthur's Coffee strive to cultivate appreciation for artisanal coffee by focusing on unblended coffee with unique characteristics. The shop trades directly with farmers that use sustainable methods, developing relationships with individual coffee-bean producers who are dedicated to distributing high-quality beans that taste magical but don’t sprout into beanstalks. J. Arthur’s blends espresso drinks with whole and 1% milk from Autumnwood Farms, a local family-owned operation that only raises grass-fed cattle. As patrons sip lattes and scarf down house-made sandwiches, live musicians fill the air with soothing tunes.
The chefs at Finnish Bistro channel Scandinavian culinary traditions to conjure a menu of European-tinged bistro fare. Breakfast is served all day to roust slumbering appetites and give late-rising roosters a false sense of accomplishment. Commence breakfasting with the Finnish Perinteiset breakfast, a platter piled high with smoked salmon lox, pickled herring, salami, and eggs mingled with cucumber, tomato, swiss cheese, and bread. A loaded baked-potato pizza remixes a comfort classic with fresh onions, cheddar cheese, and applewood-smoked bacon resting on a foundation of buttery garlic-mashed-potato set deep into an earthen crust and served with a side of sour cream. Sautéed spinach and grilled seasonal vegetables accompany grilled daily fish specialties, which allow diners to sample the flavors of the Nordic sea without the discomfort of wearing cumbersome diving bells at the dinner table. Evening diners can potably punch-up their meals with a variety of wine and imported European beers, including the cider-like Kataja Olut from Finland. Though not valid with today's Groupon, Finnish Bistro features happy hour specials Monday–Saturday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Fru-Lala celebrates the healthier side of dessert by arranging marriages between a selection of four frozen yogurts and a plethora of flavor-enhancing toppings. A small cup of the classic California tart flavor ($2.99) should be enough to convince your paranoid palate to lower its jawbridge and let in an invasion of French vanilla, espresso, and pomegranate flavors. From there, advance to more-adventurous flavor concoctions by nose-diving into a large cup of pomegranate yogurt ($5.49) garnished with a pleasant sprinkling of toppings ($0.35 each) such as kiwi, lychee, and grapefruit. Or go a little crazy by adorning a coneful of French vanilla with gummi bears, blueberries, and mochi and then smearing it over a tinfoil hat while making bird noises. Crumbling bits of graham cracker over an espresso scoop, on the other hoof, will bring back nostalgic memories of cooking coffee s'mores over your computer's heat vent during long cubicle campouts.