The Chef Next Door's owner and culinary captain as well as the executive chef at the Marketplace Cafe, Margaret Hale elucidates the art of cooking through themed cooking demonstrations. Each demonstration at the chef's gourmet kitchen is bolstered by take-home recipes, offering up to 20 students at a time the opportunity to recreate dishes at home or to use them as blueprints for crafting more effective weapons for food fights. The topic of each session rotates seasonally and often, and each demonstration rounds off with dinner-size portions ready to silence the most boisterous of hunger pangs. Classes are BYOB, so students may choose to bring a favored libation for washing down savory fare and rinsing fingertips in between courses. Check the calendar for upcoming offerings.
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.
Yogurt Twists opens its frozen-yogurt vault and well-stocked toppings bar to visitors, who swirl and decorate their own custom healthy treats. A bank of eight machines churn 16 flavors of the sweet semi-solid, whose creamy peaks of white chocolate mousse or York Peppermint Patty contain active cultures that the National Yogurt Association asserts will boost the immune system and brain-freeze resistance. Drizzle a deep cup of rocky road with liquid marshmallow and chopped pecans, or bombard it with a hail of nuts, fresh-cut fruit, and candy-bar crumbles ($0.45/oz.). Sorbet flavors such as watermelon and key lime pie invite sampling from dairy-free diners and lactose-intolerant DJs. In addition to determining their portions, patrons may whittle down their treat's calorie profile with low-fat or nonfat yogurt and perk up palates with two rich, no-sugar-added flavors. Painted in sherbet orange and pastel aqua, the airy shop boasts shiny tables and bright-orange chairs for up to 40 sets of sweet teeth.
Voted Best Barbecue in the Tennessee Valley by CityVoter, LawLers Barbecue Express 5 dishes up sweet-and-tangy delights at boot-scootin' speeds while the affable staff doles out a hearty side of laughter. LawLers’ signature hickory-smoked-pork plate rewards patient taste buds with its precisely cooked meat, plus a slice of bread and choice of two enticing sides, including barbecue beans and corn on the cob ($6.77). Carnivores needing a nourishing meal before they chop wood with their bare forehead can wolf down the half-slab rib plate ($10.97), which heeds the accompaniment of a Stuffie potato that brims with butter, sour cream, cheese, and a tasty choice of pork, beef, ham, or, turkey ($6.47 for one meat).
A stash of more than 65 teas from around the world complements Emma's elegant atmosphere and flavorful menu, which features sandwiches, soups, salads, and a variety of delectable desserts. Pair the chicken-salad sandwich with a side of fresh fruit ($8.75), or indulge your inner herbivore with the fruit salad—a citrusy mixture of mixed greens, mandarin oranges, strawberries, kiwis, and pecans, drizzled and dressed with an orange poppy-seed dressing ($8.95). For steeped drink savants interested in the quintessential afternoon teatime experience, the cozy teahouse features four tea party options ($12.50–$22.50 per person), available from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday afternoons. Gather any available friends or hire some unoccupied acquaintances and enjoy a leisurely afternoon of sipping and socializing over a medley of tea-completing noshables, including finger sandwiches, scrumptious scones, and a flowing chocolate fountain—all accompanied by a pot of the teahouse's leafy brew.
On any night of the week, customers at The Foyer might hear a standup comedy show, live music performance, or poetry slam. The café strives to stay plugged into the community by posting local artwork and hosting open-mic nights. This way, it encourages community members to showcase their musical or verbal gifts or a talent most people never discover in themselves: balancing on one leg for 45—maybe even 50—minutes. It’s also a casual place for friends to relax with a Kaffeeklatsch specialty coffee or chai tea and a slice of housemade cheesecake.