Host to regular erotic art shows and sex-positive social events, Shameless Grounds serves up a dose of radical inclusiveness alongside its frothy espresso drinks. Customers 18 and older rappel down the human-sexuality lending library's bookshelves with care so as not to spill foamy lattes (a $3 value) or bold americanos (a $2.55 value) on erotic photography and gender-studies tomes. Alternatively, the S'creamer (a $3.85 value) combines ice cream and espresso with rich chocolate sauce for a dessert easily sipped during rounds of kinky bingo, fetish-themed karaoke nights, and other sex-positive events.
A red brick exterior, spacious sidewalk patio, and delectable café menu highlight the charming European appeal of Rue Lafayette, whose beginnings were documented on a recent episode of Renovation Realities on HGTV. Early-morning strollers, comptrollers, and world-weary street mimes can start their morning of artfully aimless ambling with Rue Lafayette's sweet, flaky croissants imported from France. The chocolate croissant ($2.25) matches particularly well with large cups of the café's drip coffee ($2.25) or frothy cappuccino ($3.55). Lunchers, meanwhile, can feast on the quiche ($6.99) and mix it together in their digestive centrifuge with the sinfully tasty croissant bread pudding ($5.99). Since Rue Lafayette's dishes rotate with the stately dance of the seasons, each polite café employee will cheerfully lay out today's recommendations, tomorrow's libations, and yesterday's neutron radiation gyrations. The café's mad scientists have also combined breakfast and lunch into an unholy (yet delicious) monstrosity known as brunch, which gets unleashed from its chains every Saturday and Sunday.
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.
Pint glasses fill with fresh drafts of craft beers from Parma Grill and Tap's microbrewery while cooks prepare platters of Italian fare, such as lasagna and eggplant parmesan, inside the kitchen. A selection of specialty pizzas includes buffalo chicken with blue-cheese or ranch dipping sauce and Elizabeth's Favorite, a vegetable pizza topped with roasted eggplant and fresh tomatoes.
In a city where every gooey butter cake claims to be the best, today's deal gets you the bestest, gooiest, butteriest, cakiest cake of them all, as determined in a brutal underground cake-fight tournament as gory as it was gooey. For $10, you get a 9"x13" gooey butter cake at LaFayette Square's Park Avenue Coffee—a $20 value. You can only get one Groupon for yourself, so buy one for all your friends and rescue their babies from burning buildings so they'll feel obliged to share. You may redeem this Groupon starting Monday, December 14.Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
Ice cream is to gelato as flightless superheroes are to their winged and caped companions, as you no doubt recall from your SATs. Today's Groupon to Gelateria del Leone satisfies the basic human need to one-up one's neighbor with $20 worth of gelato, coffee, and more for $10. Sauce Magazine readers named Gelateria del Leone one of their top three favorite frozen desserts in 2008 and 2009.