Sweet Dreams evokes a cozy New York lounge with large windows, ample table space, and several plush sofas. But the real centerpiece is the dessert case, filled with fruit tarts, homemade apple pies, and fresh-baked cupcakes. Those who don't slip into a sugar trance can grab a warm focaccia sandwich or throw back a few espressos. Diners may also put in a bakery order for a custom cake; past designs include a circus tent, a guitar, and a giant Brussels sprout.
For three decades, the bakers at Melrose Baking Company have used all-natural ingredients to lovingly create fresh, crusty breads from scratch, and without the use of preservatives. Today, the bakery crafts more than 200 different doughy creations, from rosemary-garlic focaccia to soft and salty pretzel rolls disguised as non-pretzel-shaped loaves.
One of Sugar and Spice Bakery's cupcakes is like an edible choose-your-own-adventure novel. The customer guides every step of its creation, starting by selecting mini, regular, or jumbo cupcakes. Next, they pick one of 11 flavors?such as spice or vanilla?and decide on fillings such as banana cream. They then opt for cream-cheese, peanut-butter, or housemade buttercream icing. Final touches might include sprinkles and slices of strawberry.
The talented bakers use the same ingredients to create round and sheet cakes, which present larger canvases for designs. Icing and fondant transform into superheroes, logos of favorite sports teams, or even a photograph of the birthday boy or girl.
And Sugar and Spice Bakery isn't limited to sweets. Customers can nosh on sandwiches such as hot meatball and mozzarella, corned beef on rye with swiss cheese and pickles, or the veggie sandwich, topped with avocado, mozzarella, and peppers.
The chefs at Simple Touch Veggie Cuisine believe that just because something is healthy doesn't mean it has to taste healthy. This belief has inspired their menu of American dishes, which swap out meat for alternative proteins and produce. They start with slices of tofu, which they coat in barbecue or spicy Cajun sauces to create hearty sandwiches. For other recipes, they rely on a medley of vegetables cooked in spices to create tongue-searing Thai curries or burritos. One of their most iconic dishes, however, is their mac 'n no cheese, which features 100% plant-based "cheese" that they make in-house.
Though Snowopolis got its name from the shop's 100+ flavors of tropical shaved ice (from cherry cola to white coconut), they don't just make desserts for the summertime. When the cool breezes start rolling in, the staff outfits each table with a tiny hibachi grill that roasts marshmallows to a crispy yet gooey finish, which diners use to spackle the ceiling or assemble into s'mores. Each creation can be customized with three flavors of graham crackers, indulgent spreads, and five brands of chocolate. The Snowopolis team has even curated their favorite flavor combinations, such as chocolate graham crackers with Ghirardelli mint chocolate, and a strawberry Nutella s'more.
Blends Soft Serve Creations sets their frozen treats apart and puts the power of invention in the hands of the people by offering them the chance to blend individual flavors into their own new creation. Patrons can choose a base of ice cream or frozen yogurt or opt for a smoothie or fruit-juice freeze to sip through a straw. Next, they can infuse the treat with one or a combination of 30 available flavors, including watermelon, cinnamon spice, and peach, and top it off with candy and fruit mix-ins. Blends also lists its recommendations for tasty treats that have passed flavor-quality and brain-freeze-probability tests, including cake-batter ice cream topped with vanilla-wafer crumbles and sprinkles, and fruit punch with cherry and orange flavors, highlighted by cherry, strawberry, and raspberry mix-ins.