In 1937, something hot, delicious, and glazed rolled through the sleepy town of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Seventy-seven years later, Vernon Rudolph's secret doughnut recipe lives on within the hundreds of Krispy Kreme locations scattered across the globe as well as within the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History, where Krispy Kreme is heralded as a 20th-century American icon.
The entire doughnut-making process, which customers can view up close and personal at many of Krispy Kreme?s outposts, begins with fresh ingredients and ends with the click of a fluorescent sign bearing the words, "Hot Doughnuts Now." From the original, mold-breaking glazed doughnut to newer doughnut varieties, such as Chocolate Iced with Kreme Filling, Glazed Raspberry Filled, and Glazed Chocolate Cake, each round dainty pairs with piping-hot coffee for a compact snack easily tucked into a pocket or clown shoe.
It seems the inmates are running the asylum at Psycho Donuts. Not only do the shop's donuts often use ingredients that, at first blush, make you wonder if the person behind them is all there—including everything from cereal and green tea icing to bacon and liquor-infused fillings—they also take menacing forms such as the Jasonut, a delicacy of chocolate-raised dough dressed in powdered sugar that's sprinkled to resemble a hockey mask. The shop embraces its insane-asylum theme in other ways, too. Employees dressed as nurses dole out all the treats, and clients can take pictures in the shop’s padded cell after enjoying their donuts with a cup of coffee. Guests can also peruse artwork by local artists or take turns guessing which donut comes filled with nothing but a disembodied cackle.
Steaming bowls of soup rest atop the tables at Lunch with Tony, inviting diners to dunk corners of sandwiches into their seasoned depths. It’s a perfect illustration of what the eponymous chef calls "approachable" gourmet food. These made-from-scratch soups teem with tempting ingredients, such as the morsels of corn and chicken in the southwest chowder, or the certified Angus beef and genuine sass in the chili. Bowlfuls find flavorful soulmates in hot and cold sandwiches, laden with Italian meats or pan-fried eggplant pressed between focaccia. The eatery also serves breakfast sandwiches and provides catering, recognizing that hunger can strike in any location at any time.
In 1997, friends Dena Tripp and Debra Shwetz set out to create a luscious, melt-in-your-mouth bundt cake. What began as an endeavor in their own home kitchens soon blossomed into a bustling business with bakeries in 13 states. Rich cocoa browns and soft pastels lend a nostalgic feel to each bakery, where every day lava-powered ovens warm up batter made from fresh eggs, real butter, and cream cheese. Flavors such as chocolate chocolate chip, pecan praline, and white-chocolate raspberry remain constants on the menu, and a new flavor makes a guest appearance each month. Cakes come in several sizes, from the standard 8- or 10-inch bundt to the single-serving bundtlet and the bite-size bundtini, all frosted with a signature blend of cream cheese and butter. Each Nothing Bundt Cakes location also houses its own stock of gifts. Patrons may come across the brightly hued handle of a confetti cake knife or opt to take home an old-fashioned tin, perfect for stowing coffee and imprisoning gingerbread men who have tried to run away. Contact the location of your choice for gift pricing and availability.
Raised in Germany, La Lune Sucr?e founder Bettina Pope further cultivated her passion for carefully crafted baked goods while living abroad in Paris and Sussex. So when Ms. Pope moved to America, she ached for the crusty baguettes and puff-pastry quiches she had savored in European patisseries. She began gathering family recipes and seeking out apprenticeships with pastry chefs such as Olivier Grimaud of Aux Delices de Pierre in France. Now, as head chef at La Lune Sucr?e, she fills plates with her favorite French and German cafe fare, from flaky, light croissant sandwiches to crisp salads and homemade soups. Additionally, Ms. Pope enfolds European cheeses and cream sauces into crepe batter she makes from scratch and doles out fresh-baked French baguettes to picnickers and arcade-goers short a mallet for Whack-A-Mole.
Experienced baker Sepi, her husband Mark, and their daughters, Shakila, Shay, and Nirvana, spend family time at C'est Si Bon Bakery making a visually stunning and delicious array of wedding cakes, cupcakes, Persian cookies, and French pastries. Along with help from a close-knit staff of long-time employees, the family conjures creamy chocolate mousse cups, delicate chiffon opera cakes, nutty halva, and cupcakes customized with colorful decorations of buttercream frosting, custard fillings, and playful shapes. The bakers' well-honed dessert-making skills shine forth in their cakes, from multi-tired wedding cakes of smooth fondant and shiny sparkles to graduation cakes with frosting mortarboards and diplomas baked inside.