There are a lot of steps to creating bagels. But rather than take shortcuts such as freezing dough and pre-baking items, the staff at Top of the Bagel Cafe complete every step in the early hours of morning. This helps them ensure their bagels are fresh, soft, and ready for customers by their 5:30 a.m. weekday opening time.
They begin by mixing the dough, which they then boil into perfect circles before baking them into fluffy, unsliced rounds. Once bagels have cooled slightly, chefs can slather them with one of the seven styles of cream cheese or lox, or slice them in half to create the shop's signature sandwiches. These include breakfast items made with scrambled eggs, or even open-faced melts topped with a gooey layer of cheese. In addition to bagels, they serve up a range of drinks, such as cups of coffee, smoothies made from fresh fruit, and sodas squeezed from fresh vending machines.
Cupcake Love opened in 2008 and has since led an assault on sweet teeth with its decorative gourmet cupcakes. Baked from scratch, the shop's cupcake selection features 10 flavors daily, including chocolate peanut butter, red velvet, and coconut cream. Over the years, Cupcake Love has added cake pops, small cakes, handmade fudge, and cookies to its repertoire. The shop also offers cupcake party packages, which make special days extra special with costumed hostesses, craft projects, and goodie bags.
Loralei Schafer calls upon more than 10 years of dessert-making experience when designing Have Cake!'s menu of handcrafted, colorful confections. Snatch up a dozen moist cupcakes in an assortment of flavors, including traditional chocolate, red velvet, and carrot, or more creative tastes (for an additional fee), such as german chocolate, cream soda, or butterfly thoughts. Icing outfits sheathe bare baked goods with scrumptious dollops of cream cheese, precisely placed layers of peanut butter, or barely-there whipped-cream bikinis. Have Cake! also whips up Schafer's personal cupcake creation, an almond-flavored base encasing a chocolate-cake center and topped with purple icing, black polka dots, and a pink bow tie.
A lifelong surfer from Southern California, Ryan Black—joined by his brother, Jeremy, and his friend Ed—ventured to Brazil in 1999 in search of perfect waves. During their explorations of the vibrant country, however, the ocean fell second to a new obsession: deliciously good-for-you açaí berries. They immediately knew that it was their calling to introduce the organic superfood to their native California culture.
With a clearly defined philosophy of caring for people inside and out, they launched a line of açaí products and eventually opened their first Sambazon café—there are now two locales—earning props in fitness and health magazines including Men's Fitness and InStyle. At both cafés, staff members serve 16-ounce smoothies blended with the star berries in addition to supergreens, fresh fruit, and chocolate. The signature açaí bowl features a blend of frozen açaí purée with banana and a sprinkling of granola.
Both of the restaurants were designed and decorated by eVocal, a group of local artists who specialize in eco design. They kept things environmentally friendly by using reclaimed materials for furniture and fixtures, recycled planks of century-old acacia wood for counters, and energy-saving bulbs to slowly toast oats toppings.
Maeve Rochford has an unfair advantage when it comes to baking. After all, many of her recipes come from her Irish great grandmother, who cooked for the English court. Maeve’s Irish coffee cake, house-made marshmallows, bread pudding, and more than 30 sweet and savory pies taste just as good as they did in 1936.