Though Malika and Adeyinka Awobajo's baked goods are decorative and tasty, they are made with more than dessert in mind. The pair, who founded Mika?s Cupcakes in May of 2011, began constructing confections years prior in order to help feed and care for homeless families in the area. Today, they apply a portion of proceeds toward helping the homeless population in the Bay area, as well as set some money aside for a future youth transitional shelter.
Mika's ovens breathe life into a multitude of signature cupcakes, which come in both classic and inventive flavors. Nearly hedonic ingredients such as amaretto and mocha infuse Indulgent Treats cupcakes, whereas sundae cupcakes come with a cherry on top to render them as sweet as a kindergartner's plea to go see CSPAN on Ice. Fondant-coated gourmet cakes serve as personal-sized desserts for giants, and cake pops offer convenient sugar consumption during games of double dutch. Strawberries and pretzel rods doused in chocolate take a dip into chopped almonds or chocolate chips, whereas granny-smith apples submerged in caramel break the surface smothered in chocolate or nuts.
Dr. Ronald T. Weiland doesn’t “believe in fad diets,” as he notes on his website. Rather, he trusts in simple mathematics: fewer ingested calories plus more burned calories equals weight loss. At Ameri-Cal Weight Clinic, he and his staff put this equation into practice during comprehensive weight-loss programs that rely on healthful foods, aerobic exercise, and prescribed appetite suppressants. This mix of support, services, and tools is readily available at eight clinic locations throughout the Bay Area and one that only appears on leap years.
The Vegan Garden designs meal plans for a variety of clients. There are more long-term plans available, which include two months' worth of custom or preset menus. There are also specialty packages for weight loss and gluten-free diets. Other specialty options include the Dine and Dash meal package, which includes 14 fully prepared microwavable dinners and desserts.
The Vegan Garden also offers a three-day cleanse with a month's supply of garcinia cambogia to help slim down and jump-start metabolism. The Pink Cadillac, for example, contains strawberries, bananas, and orange juice, and the The Tropical Breeze is jam-packed with peaches, mangos, strawberries, and orange juice.
Tandoori Paradise?s chefs stock the kitchen with many of the same ingredients found in Indian homes. They use myriad herbs and spices to add bold flavors to chicken legs, shrimp, and pieces of tofu. A traditional clay oven helps them cook marinated proteins, Indian cottage cheese, and fresh vegetables. On the stove, they simmer cauliflower and lamb in creamy curries, resulting in such dishes as gobi aloo and lamb vindaloo. Each dish can be customized according to the diner's tolerance for spiciness, ranging from mild to "I eat molten lava for breakfast."
The Alameda outpost of Martinizing Dry Cleaning has a clear strength: getting clothes back to customers quickly. The franchise earned the Martinizing company’s 100% quality and service rating five separate times in recognition of its ability to return clothes promptly. Credit the outfit’s same-day service guarantee, which holds that clothes brought in by noon can be returned by 5 p.m. Other policies are equally convenient for customers; the store is open late on weeknights and doesn’t vandalize local street signs to make it harder to find your way there.
Recently featured in the New York Times, Thrillist, and other popular publications, Peasants & Travelers proffers packs that turn an overburdened buck into a refined gentleman carrying off class, taste, and multifarious personal effects. Made with attractive, nontraditional materials, the Urbane Village saddle bag offers an alternative to a messenger bag and carries with comfort using a cross-body strap that extends up to 60 inches ($95). Lend a warm shoulder to the Metro-Envelope iPad bag, a flat, compact organizer with magnetic closure, dress-shirt lining, and plenty of room for stowing protective eye cushioning when not engaged in rough-and-tumble staring contests ($59). For short business trips, the Metro-Weekend bag has a lightweight design, interior and exterior pockets, and enough room for several days of travel or one day of travel spent collecting state birds ($139).