At Black Bear Bakery, every batch of Lickhalter sourdough-rye bread, sweet pastries, and crunchy granola is made with the care of a shop owner. That’s because each staff member serves as a partial owner of the communal shop. This makes each staff member feel a personal responsibility for creating a shop they’d like their family to come to, encouraging them to use eco-friendly processes and locally sourced, organic ingredients. Along with whole-grain recipes filled with specialty ingredients such as kalamata olives and rosemary, bakers use century-old recipes passed down from the owners of Lickhalter Bakery. These recipes create hearty sourdough-rye loaves sprinkled with caraway seeds or twisted together with pumpernickel dough.
While breads are their specialty, bakers fill their ovens with more than just bread loaves. They craft handmade, boiled bagels that come sans holes, as well as cookies, baked granola, pizza crusts, and a variety of buns. On the weekends, they welcome the community for a vegetarian and vegan brunch, which features staples such as pancakes, quiche, potatoes, and bread pudding made from their loaves. These dishes can be washed down with pours of fair trade coffee, juice, tea, or pastry filling.
Touting more than 100 flavors of low-calorie, flavor-packed frozen yogurt, Tutti Frutti earned a feature on CNBC and has continued to expand since opening its first shop in 2007. Inside each store, self-service yogurt machines unleash velvety-soft yogurt into accommodating cups or empty purses. The constantly rotating menu may include flavors such as royal red velvet, refreshing melon, chocolate peanut butter, and multiple hot chocolate offerings. Most flavors fall within the range of 30?40 calories per ounce, are low-fat or fat-free, with dairy-free, soy, kosher, and no-sugar-added concoctions also available.
A toppings bar allows eaters to further customize yogurt creations with a spoonful of fresh fruits or a sprinkling of nuts. The flavors contain ample amounts of protein, calcium, and probiotics, known for potential health benefits that may include strengthening immune systems and lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Tutti Frutti also offers fresh smoothies, Belgian waffles with an array of toppings, hot tea, coffee, and lattes.
Butter, farm-fresh eggs, cream cheese, cake flour, confectioners and granulated sugar, baking powder, vanilla extract—those seven ingredients are all it takes to make a Gooey Louie gooey butter cake. Owners Kirk and Debbie Stieferman and their crew make each cake from scratch in small batches, following a recipe four generations old, which has led to them being named the "Favorite Gooey Buttercake" by the Riverfront Times five years running. From scratch means the ingredients are all natural and put together by hand—they even sift their own flour. Customers can pick up an original cake, or choose from different flavored iterations, such as chocolate raspberry, peanut-butter cup, and pumpkin. They even craft miniature versions of their cakes for catered events such as weddings and food fights.
In the 1920s, Grace Viviano Piccione saw the first glimmers of Delmar Boulevard's impending heyday. At the time, it was a multicultural neighborhood, perfect for raising the four children she would have with husband and Italian immigrant Paul Piccione. Today, Delmar is part of the Loop?a thriving shopping district. But Delmar is still a perfect place for Piccione Pastry, the bakery founded by Grace's grandson Richard in her honor. Fittingly, its menu includes classic Italian cannolis, as well as a lighter version; pastries, tarts, and Italian tiramisu; and cookies, coffee, and espresso. The selection also includes gluten-free, vegan, and sugar-free alternatives for customers.
Far from the sloping prairies of Eastern Europe, John and Jerri Banks were hard at work bringing pastries from the Old World to consumers in Houston, Texas. The year was 1982, and though it would be several years before Food Network would name Kolache Factory one of the top five drive-thrus in the country, the on-the-go bakery was becoming a popular destination for breakfast, lunch, and leakfast. The menu is simple: traditional slavic pastry rolls filled with savory and sweet ingredients accompanied by gourmet coffee. Today, the Banks' Texas bakery has spread to several American cities, though all franchises continue to serve the centuries-old baked goods.
Each day, the chef at Pairings Wine and Dessert Bar utilizes fresh, locally sourced produce and ingredients to prepare artisan, wood-fired flatbreads and entrees such as maple-bourbon salmon or crispy duck breast in a red wine reduction sauce. For dessert, try a treat such as the deconstructed key lime pie with candied lime zest. Whatever you choose to eat, servers can recommend a wine pairing that works to enhance the food's flavor. The restaurant's cellars hold more than 40 varietals, including specialty vintages and limited-production wines.