Opening a closet at a restaurant typically means finding a mop bucket, but opening A Dash of Panache’s vanity closet means entering a costume wonderland. Stocked with jewelry, boas, and pastel-hued sunglasses, the lilac-walled closet brims with costumes clients can don for tea in the French-deco tea room, named “Best Tea House” by the A-List—among many accolades. The eatery serves more than 50 flavors of tea to tables draped in black tablecloths and white doilies, complementing their brews with petite sandwiches, scones and pastries on crystal plates. The 1920’s-era building also houses a family café, where visitors can nosh on sandwiches, salads and soups, and ice cream, rather than the typical family meal—the contents of a minivan glovebox. Beyond the family cafe, the back of the building has been converted into a party room, ideal for themed kid’s birthday parties.
More than 20 types of golden-brown pancakes populate The Original Pancake House’s menu alongside omelets, waffles, and other hearty American breakfast dishes. Since 1953, the family business’s morning specialties have been prepared with a commitment to real ingredients such as pure whipping cream, hard-wheat unbleached flour, and butter made from fresh sweet cream. Powdered sugar lines the rims of oven-baked dutch baby pancakes, and granny-smith apples simmer in oven-baked pancakes. Unique ingredients add distinction to house specialties such as gourmet crepes garnished with sweet cherry-wine sauce. To accentuate the flavors of each meal, The Original Pancake House pours full glasses of fresh-squeezed orange juice, a Southern staple, and brews its own signature coffee blend.
Big Spoon Yogurt’s special topping bar complements hot cocoa and frozen yogurt ensembles with more than 75 novel accompaniments. Beverage construction commences at Big Spoon’s topping bar, where steaming chassis of hot cocoa ($1.25–$2.59) don marshmallow tires—in mint, german chocolate, cinnamon, and toasted coconut flavors—and warm-cookie steering wheels in a rousing race to anticipating taste buds. Patrons sweeten metric-system conversions with frozen yogurt by the ounce (price varies by location), available in chocolate, vanilla, and a rotating stock of non-dairy and sugar-free flavors. Seasonal winter flavors provide the taste of frozen eggnog without the hassle of holding company Christmas parties in a polar bear’s living room, and fall flavors scour a farmer’s windowsill for apple pie and pumpkin yogurt—all customizable with the bar’s more than 75 toppings.
Each day at dawn, piping-hot circles made from fresh ingredients appear on the horizon, enchanting eyes and noses before popping into mouths. Unlike the sun, these rounds teem with sugar, spice, and in some cases, chocolate. Bakers craft each batch from scratch, using original recipes but not a pinch of preservatives. Their cookie roster beckons sweet teeth with everyday flavors such as M&M chocolate chip and day-of-the-week varieties such as Wednesday's almond joy and Friday's mint-chocolate fantasy fudge. Customers may also opt for custom wedding treats and personalized photo cookies, which serve as memories tastier than crepes rolled from diary pages. In addition to building cookie cakes for parties, the bakers construct cookies for celebrants to embellish with frosting.
KCRA interviewed Shari Fitzpatrick in February 2010. Sacramento magazine recognized the Berry Factory in its feature 2010 Best of Sacramento. Three Insider Pagers give the Berry Factory a four-star average, and three Judy's Book reviewers give it a perfect five stars.