Goodway Bakery uses natural, high quality ingredients to handcraft a menu of fresh baked goods from scratch every day. The coconut craving can order the coconut macaroons ($12.95), a thick, chewy blast of tropical sweetness, with a crisp, toasted exterior and a nearly molten, sticky-sweet interior. Those vying for a chocolaty treat can sink delighted dentures into a collection of old-fashioned gourmet brownies with nuts ($9.95). Made with real butter and Madagascar bourbon vanilla, these fudge-like bastions of joy are packed with walnuts and copious amounts of chocolate, treating mouths to a symphony of textures, flavors, and sugar-induced outbreaks of uncontrollable giggles.
Winner of the 1999 GIFTY Award for design, A Gift Basket Connection assembles custom-designed gift baskets for any and every occasion. For the Italy-obsessed hostess, order the Mangia Italian Gourmet ($55), a cornucopia of pasta, sauce, cloth napkins, breadsticks, cookies, crushed garlic, and a shaker of cheese, all nestled in a comfy colander bed stuffed with red, green, and white confetti. New parents and old parents with man-children may enjoy the baby baskets ($30 and up), which include plush stuffed animals, soft blankets, noise canceling headphones, adorable clothing, plates and bowls, teething rings, and picture frames, all arranged in a sturdy miniature crib. For a last minute holiday gift, order the party time basket ($40) stuffed with crackers, pepper jelly, shortbread, peppermint cookies, assorted iced teas, and cashews, sure to please even the pickiest snacker.
When Nord Brue and Mike Dressell began perfecting their recipe with the help of a professional NYC bagel maker in 1983, the bagel was still an anomaly in the food world—it was, for the most part, geographically and culturally isolated in New York City. Fueled by a desire to change this reality, the duo opened up the first Bruegger's deli with the hope of eventually introducing the rest of the country to the bagel. Brue and Dressell have since realized their dream, sharing their distinctive recipes and culinary traditions at 300 locations spread across 26 states. To this day, they oven-bake their center-less bread rolls every morning and afternoon, populating counter displays that also brim with daily made breads, Vermont cream cheese, and custom-roasted coffee.
Executive Chef Philip Smith and his network of gourmands use the original five-ingredient recipe for their bagel dough, which they shape into more than 20 varieties. Certain menu items may vary from store to store across the country; they draw from each region's local recipes garnered from dialogue between local consumers and store bakers, eschewing the homogenized approach to food adopted by many national chains and preprogrammed chef bots.
Sometimes staffers slather bagels in eclectic cream cheeses such as wasabi, garden veggie, pumpkin, and smoked salmon, or they sandwich them around meats, cheeses, and spreads to evoke the flavor of chipotle or a california sushi roll. Culinary crews assemble meals from local, and often organic, produce and craft bagels and breads from locally milled flour. Baristas also pour house blends of only 100% arabica coffee that is certified sustainable by the Rainforest Alliance.
Baristas at Altamont Coffee Café froth fresh-ground coffee drinks made from locally roasted beans, and dish out quiches, crepes, and sandwiches stuffed with healthy local ingredients. The bistro's menu tells the savory story of a daily vegetarian quiche ($6.95) and a rotation of fresh fillers. Spicy curry powder balances sweet mango chutney in the chicken curry wrap ($6.95), and the caprese panini unites basil, tomato, and mozzarella on a crispy baguette ($5.95). Fresh off the griddle and confident, the blueberry crepe ($3.95) steps into the ring with a pastry chef who lands blow after blueberry blow as orange marmalade shouts encouragement from the corner and sour-cream maple syrup watches with an expression bordering on concern.