Espresso Metro's homey lounge space has something of a do-it-yourself feel, meaning you won't find the predictably replicated furniture of coffee chains. The owners have honed their aesthetic sense since 1988, and their eclectic collection of mismatched chairs that circle each table grants a good view of a hand-painted mural that runs the length of the counter. The mural depicts abstract figures with elongated arms folded over their heads, because they haven't had their morning coffee yet. But the baristas are as serious about their coffee as they are playful about their decor, evidenced by a sleek La San Marco espresso machine and its neighboring burr grinders, each filled to the top with beans. On any given day, the bakery counter might showcase freshly baked cookies, lemon cake, or croissants. These pair well with lattes with such foam art as hearts, bunnies, and lips.
Though Crepe Escape stays open from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m., the café never stops serving breakfast. Chefs blend gourmet ingredients to concoct unique takes on classic morning-time eats, such as the crab cake Florentine version of eggs benedict or stacks of waffles topped with fruit a dollop of whipped cream. Egg-based crepes sate sweet and savory teeth with a bevy of filling options from strawberries to curried chicken. For those who adhere to a strict breakfast regimen of one grapefruit and one boiled marshmallow, the café also dishes up light salads, sandwiches, and pastas. Crepe Escape's espresso bar and wine list provide drinks that pair pleasantly with any dish or time of day.
When all seats are claimed at three indoor tables, diners spill out to two outdoor benches to compete with the sun in a race to devour ice cream. Two fiddle-leaf fig plants stand guard over the interior and reach toward the ceiling alongside steam from simmering burgers. Ron Rekcar of Here's the Scoop aims to prepare all of his grill-garnered entrees and frozen treats from local ingredients and brands. Crunch drinks, named after the sound they make when whipped with ice in the blender, marry espresso crafted from local Coffee Works beans and scoops of Gunther's ice cream in a brief ceremony untouched by Pachelbel’s Canon in D. Quarter-pound beef patties and locally made Morant's dinner franks develop a seared coating on an outdoor grill. Soy-cream desserts and green-tea-infused smoothies cater to diet-conscious clients, including those who are vegan and lactose intolerant.
As a humble, scratch-minded shop, Freeport Bakery isn't exactly a secret in Sacramento. Along with garnishing the Best Bakery award from the Sacramento chapter of the California Restaurant Association in 2007, Freeport has also managed to lock down Best Bakery from Sacramento CityVoters for the past four years straight.
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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.