Although it seems hard to imagine now, less than a third of the population had ever tasted a bagel in 1983. Back then, it was pegged as an ethnic food and unpopular outside of New York City. Thankfully, two Vermont residents by the names of Nord Brue and Mike Dressel realized that the rest of the nation needed, nay, deserved to experience the deliciousness of boiled and baked yeast with it's crusty exteriors and doughy innards. They knew it was finally time for America to put cream cheese on something other than cats.
So, after two and a half years of diligent baking research, they honed their formula to create Bruegger's Bagels, starting the craze that has become a breakfast staple for millions. Now with more than 300 Bruegger's across 26 states, the franchise beckons bagel fans to come enjoy the bevy of breakfast and lunch options at their casual cafes. In addition to baking up a parade of bagel varities that range from classic poppy to cheddar pesto, they make a slew of their own Vermont-churned cream cheeses, including bacon scallion and smoked salmon. A wealth of sandwiches, soups, and salads round out the menu, and Rainforest Alliance Certified hot and iced coffee drinks pack a caffeinated punch and a social conscience.
Drinking tea is more than just imbibing a delicious beverage made by infusing hot water with dried, tasty herbs and leaves. For many, it is a social engagement that eventually leads to common-law marriage and an excuse to nosh on mouthwatering sweets and tiny sandwiches. Get today's Groupon to tahCha Tea House, where you'll get $25 worth of tea, pastries, and more for just $10. Click here to discuss Groupon the Cat.
Inside Mister & Miss Einstein’s pink and brown storefront, ice cream shares table space with cups of coffee and rich fruit smoothies. The shop’s homemade desserts include ice cream sandwiches, shakes such as the Georgia peach with peach pie and vanilla ice cream, and cherry-topped banana splits. An ice cream club held throughout the week entertains kids with treat-making lessons that teach them to craft their own ice cream and sorbets, better preparing them for the impending snowman apocalypse.
A cozy, red-brick neighborhood hotspot, Grant Park Coffeehouse serves up piping-hot or frosty iced cups of java alongside a packed menu of savory breakfast turnovers, healthy wraps, and freshly baked pastries. Stamp taste-bud passports with the piquant punch of European-inspired brews such as the espresso ($1.95–$2.25), or perform daring high dives into a frothy cappuccino ($2.75–$4.50). The homebrew ($1.50–$3.50) brims with classic flavors, and the pumpkin-spice latte ($3.50–$4.50) puts palates in mind of autumnal romps through raked leaves. Turn punches into lunch fare like a wizard during a boxing match with the three-cheese grilled-cheese sandwich ($4), welling with cheddar, swiss, and provolone, or keep lunch fare company with a chips and large drink combo for $2.
A non-profit destination for fresh-brewed coffee and gourmet sandwiches, SkyTop Cafe is powered by Elevate Church, with all profits going toward community outreach programs. Each morning, the staff brews fresh batches of One Village Coffee served alongside a variety of breakfast options, including egg sandwiches and bagels. For the remainder of the day, they construct sandwiches lined with fresh ingredients such as zesty pesto, turkey, and sun-dried tomatoes. On Friday evenings, SkyTop stays open late to host open mic, karaoke, and live jazz.
At first, Tin Drum Asia Café's rapid service and bright decor evoke the aromatic street stands of Hong Kong, where founder Steven Chan ate throughout his childhood. The traditional ambiance is no accident—the franchise's name also harks back to a bygone era, when a tin drummer would awaken citizens and regale them with current events as they ate the day’s first meal. The electronic kiosks dotting the café, however, plunk this traditional scene in the middle of a cyberpunk setting. They allow patrons to customize their orders based on taste preferences and nutritional content, accommodating dietary endeavors such as vegetarianism and weight-loss goals.
This merger of technology and urban convention reflects a penchant for edgy ideas that also affects the menu. Items inspired by the culinary techniques of Japan, China, Vietnam, and Thailand share space in the savory catalog, taking the form of street tacos, soups, and mango chicken, a take on the general tso's staple that's sweeter than a syrup-soaked army helmet. Music is the final ingredient that charges the atmosphere. Nation's Restaurant News reports that it typically plays at an energizing 120 beats per minute and was a factor in attracting the café's initial college crowds.
Food 101 enters its 10th year under the leadership of Executive Chef Justin Keith, whose passage through the Scottsdale Culinary Institute has inspired a passion for beautifully articulated food creations. Test your cravings against Chef Keith's seasonally-changing dinner menu, which starts with snack-sized portions of Marcona almonds and house-made pickles ($3 each), alongside appetizer rounds of citrus-cured salmon and Sonoma duck prosciutto ($4). James River cherrystone clams with artichoke hearts and Spanish chorizo ($12) and a study of beets, a trio of raw, salt-roasted, and pickled beets in goat cheese, orange oil, and mint ($7) continue the pre-feast. The entree bell sounds to the enticing aromas and tangible tastes of Georgia wild shrimp & grits, a heaping plate complemented by andouille sausage, okra, and caramelized onions in a roasted-tomato gravy ($17), while cylindrically inclined diners can bask in the geometry of the Kobe-beef-brisket burrito with cilantro-lime slaw and queso fresco ($18).