Blue Sheep Bake Shop's in-house bakers conjure more than 20 cupcake flavors daily, culled from a total of 50 varietals, including red velvet, s'mores, and Guinness beer. They also create giant incarnations that serve as cakes for 10 people or temporary shelters for five. The shop's truffles spring from a mixture of cake and frosting dipped in premium chocolate and sprinkled with peanuts, raspberry drizzle, or stuffed with cream cheese. Vegan, gluten-free brownies, scones, and cookies can accompany Blue Sheep's traditional desserts to corporate events or anniversaries of corporate events.
Bagel Garden's dough slingers bake 18 to 20 types of bagels daily for a menu of sandwiches smeared with cream cheese or stuffed with meats, cheeses, and veggies. With more than a dozen spreads, patrons can blanket bagels in freshly blended flavors or pay homage to van Gogh’s masterpiece, Scalliony Morning, by daubing a blank bagel canvas with smudges of bacon, scallion, and herb cream cheese ($0.90 for a bagel; $2.10–$2.76 for a bagel and cream cheese).
The poultrygeists at Cluck-U glorify grilled, fried, and buffaloed bird with a Southern-style bill of fare devoted to the chicken. Diners debate dressings for buffalo wings, choosing from 15 different flavors such as Cluckster's hot, mustard barbecue, and Fiery 911 sauce, which requires a signed waiver and back-up set of taste buds. Six pieces of fried-to-order light meat, dark meat, or a combination of each come standard or, like an amicable bee, bearing a satchel of honey. Three buttermilk biscuits buttress main courses, and seven sides vie to rub elbows with entrees, prompting mac 'n' cheese to plump its profile with four types of dairy and mashed potatoes to reinforce its gravy boat with cannons.
Vivid Italian oil paintings adorn the walls of Milano Grille’s dining room; together with the crisp, white-clothed tables and the soft lights cast by hanging lamps, they create a facsimile of Italy on par with the plates of pasta and meat-based entrees to come. Servers’ heels click against the tile floor as they emerge from the kitchen carrying lunches of paninis, personal pizzas, and calzones or dinners of veal, chicken, and seafood. Though Milano Grille offers full delivery and catering, the restaurant lures guests in to its dining room with a BYOB policy that allows them to bring in their favorite bottle of wine or flask of virgin moonshine.
For more than 55 years, the Verdicchio family has satisfied appetites for Italian fare with a menu of expertly crafted pizzas, sandwiches, pastas, and house-made sauces. Pies are selectively bred into a mouthwatering menagerie of red- and white-sauce specimens, such as the bacon-topped bianca romano ($10.50–$16.95) and the pleasantly pastoral garlic-and-basil pizza rustica ($9.75–$14.95). Sandwiches, pastas, and entrees—such as a tantalizing pollo valdostana ($15.95) served in a white-wine-and-cream sauce—grace plates with flavorful aplomb, and a full quiver of wine, beers, and coffee beverages eagerly awaits matchmaking with sought-after meals.
For Sean Ulley, the owner Smokehouse Barbecue in Somerville, grilling meats is a family tradition; his father runs his own barbecue joint in Andover. To infuse ribs, brisket, and pulled pork with deep flavor, Sean seasons the cuts with a dry rub and smoke them for up to 17 hours—as deliciously described in the Somerville Today. The cooks also make good use of their fryer, deep-frying everything from corn on the cob to Oreos. Patrons can also opt for fried chicken, burgers, or Creole dishes such as the Louisiana Steampot—a medley of clams, mussels, crawfish, and shrimp served over rice and garnished with a strand of sautéed Mardi Gras beads. In the summer and spring, diners can head to an outdoor patio to eat in the warmth of the sun.