Adam Greenberg refers to himself as “the world's pickiest eater,” which may explain Bagels 'n Grinds’ distinctive take on the celebrated baked good. Greenberg’s self-professed culinary perfectionism led him to create a secret 10-step bagel recipe that involves a colossal water-purification system, visible to patrons through a glass wall. With scientific precision and occasional mad-scientist cackles, the newly opened shop's staffers create 16 types of bagels that manage the tricky balance of crisp surfaces and soft insides.
Patrons can smear their bagels with low-fat, housemade cream cheeses infused with ingredients such as strawberries or lox, or opt for one of the café’s other creations, such as Bagnini sandwiches topped with piles of meat or marinated portobello mushrooms. Water from the café's purification system also goes into free-trade organic coffees and three different iced-coffee brews. Custom salads incorporate gourmet ingredients such as hormone-free chicken, candied walnuts, or toasted-parmesan crisps, while six distinctive soups are served in cups or bagel bowls. Non-edible amenities inside the new shop include free Internet access, a semi-private conference area, an 18-foot coffee bar, outdoor patio, and flat-screen TVs.
The staff at Phubs can't wait to introduce visitors to the Vietnamese favorites they grew up eating. High ceilings, bamboo accents, pale-green walls, and an open, stainless-steel kitchen cultivate an airy feel in the dining room, where taste buds meet bánh mì and pho for the first—or hundredth—time. Crusty loaves of french bread clasp a bánh mì cargo of pickled vegetables, cilantro, and meat such as barbecued pork and spicy chicken.
Pho is a broth-based soup in which the likes of meatballs, shrimp, or chicken bob alongside sprouts, herbs, and veggies. Phubs also seves noodles, fried rice, and spring rolls, which are named for the spring-loaded cannons they traditionally fly out of. For those new to the flavors of Vietnamese food, Phubs 101 educates with brief histories of their best-selling dishes.
The Chesapeake Bay Wine Festival is a scenic tasting space for fledging and seasoned oenophiles eager to sip a succulent selection of global wines. Over the course of two days, guests can enjoy breathtaking views of Chesapeake Bay while tasting locally fermented elixirs from Mark Cascia Vineyards, St. Michaels Winery, Layton's Chance Winery, and more. In addition to arts and crafts displays, each day of the festival plays host to live musical entertainment—attend on May 14 and engage wine-soaked senses in the roadhouse rhythms of Chris Sacks Band or the funk-pop grooves of Sweet Leda. On May 15, get belted with the rocking blues backlash of Uncle and the R&B riffs of Big Daddy Stallings.
If you're all dressed up in chainmail with no place to go, today's deal is an excuse to wear grandma's mail hood and mittens out of the house. Today's Groupon to Medieval Times gets you a sensuous four-course feast and live show, featuring horse-mounted combat, falconry, and mace-wielding professionals, for $39, a $64.75 value for adults, including tax. Call Medieval Times to schedule your outing soon, as this Groupon expires on January 31, 2010, the centennial of the Blue Knight's battle against Chaucer's time-travelling sword. An expansive stone castle bedecked in flags awaits you in Shaumburg, where you can satisfy your New Year's resolution to spend more time with the other family you've secretly been keeping in Shaumburg.