Stepping into The Sweet Tooth Fairy shop is like walking into another era: round tables and high-backed chairs surround an old-fashioned soda fountain, and oldies music plays softly nearby. Pale-blue walls and white crown molding stand behind a glass case full of sweet treats, which are baked daily and earned proprietor Megan Faulkner Brown two appearances on The Rachael Ray Show—one when she was still baking in her basement kitchen, and the next three years later, when her business had grown to nine locations.
Megan uses the "most ordinary" ingredients to whip up her extraordinary pastries, which include chocolate-chip and iced oatmeal cookies, brownies, lemon bars, and a variety of cupcakes and full-grown cakes. Signature cakebites don coats of chocolate or white chocolate flecked with sprinkles. Flavors of baked goods rotate monthly, with some favorites available on a daily basis. Gluten-free options are available, as are frosting shots designed to save time usually spent licking every drop of frosting off the top of a full-size cake.
Majestic cannons extend from the wall of a realistic pirate ship in Pirate Island Pizza's fantastical surroundings, as family-friendly fare and adventurous entertainment satisfies swashbuckling sprouts and hungry adults alike. Esurient expeditions can set sail with a dish of Pirate Coconut Shrimp ($8.99) and follow with a choice of bread bundles such as the Buccaneer Beef Sandwich, a fresh ciabatta bun filled with grilled black Angus steak, chipotle mayonnaise, sautéed peppers and onions, and draped in melted swiss cheese ($7.99).
One of the original pioneers of the yogurt industry, Golden Spoon has been whirling yogurt since the early 1980s. With six small servings of frozen yogurt to redeem, sweet-teethed customers can enjoy a several of the rotating flavors, including tastes such as just chocolate, peanut butter, café latte, butterscotch, and boysenberry. At 25–29 calories an ounce, health-conscious consumers can enjoy licks without translating each tongueful into the number of jumping jacks or flying-starfish impersonations needed to offset it.
In business more than 30 years, La Frontera prepares an authentic menu of Mexican dishes using select ingredients, homespun recipes, and fresh hand-rolled tortillas. Kick off savory adventuring with chips and salsa made from scratch daily ($2–$2.50), or dive in with Frontera nachos, a mishmash of meat, veggies, beans, jalapeños, guacamole, and sour cream ($8.75). The chili platter boasts a lineup of red or green chili, beans, rice, salad, and two tortillas ($7.75), and the renowned chili verde, made fresh every morning, slathers savory cuts throughout the menu.
In 1993, a few entrepreneurs transformed the basement of a Minneapolis apartment building into an Italian restaurant. It became the first Buca di Beppo. The owners of that inaugural location soon found themselves riding a wave of popularity and marinara sauce as they opened new restaurants across the nation. Today, the eatery occupies 99 locations nationwide, from downtown San Francisco to Times Square, New York.
At each location, chefs maintain the northern and southern Italian flavors that made the original so popular, adding only a few American twists. They also supply family-style servings, which help make Buca di Beppo a favorite place for families and friends to gather in large, hungry groups. The chefs bake up batches of Cheesy Bread Florentine, a colorful combo of spinach, roma tomatoes, and garlic sprinkled over Italian bread and sealed in place with fresh, melted cheeses. For entrées, they prepare dishes with an eye toward quantity, both of portion and choice; they whip up Veal Parmigiana, Baked Ziti, and classic Italian-American staples like Ravioli and Lasagna. And in keeping with the convivial atmosphere, they also serve truly decadent desserts. Their Mt. Vesuvius Dark Chocolate Cake erupts with melted chocolate, and their Colossal Brownie Sundae towers with six scoops of ice cream and tiers of sundae trimmings.
The team at Sub Zero Ice Cream & Yogurt creates delectable desserts using a flash-freeze process, which minimizes the formation of flavorless ice crystals and preserves the cream?s savory smoothness. Patrons may choose from a menu of more than 30 flavors or compose an original taste by blending any two flavors together. First, choose the cream base, available in premium ice cream, low-fat ice cream, custard, yogurt, soy, rice, or almond, before adding combinations, mix-ins, and specifying texture. The skilled ice wizards then speak the appropriate incantations to flash freeze the mixture with liquid nitrogen at -321 degrees Fahrenheit, the substance used by NASA to preserve precious moon pies. This flash-freeze process doesn't just delight in stores; making ice cream with nitrogen makes it easy for Sub Zero Ice Cream to take the show on the road, which it does for science presentations and catering to both indoor and outdoor locations.