Heidi Tunnell Catering Company's menu of freshly baked breads, pastries, bagels, and more tickles the nostrils of passers-by. The locally sourced bakery garners seasonal ingredients from nearby farmers to concoct every menu item from scratch. Enjoy freshly seasoned, pillowy morsels by noshing on the pesto and roasted onion danish ($3.25) or the hand-stuffed ham and cheese pretzel ($3.75). Scrumptious breads such as the cheddar-onion rye, chocolate-cherry sourdough, and blue-cheese focaccia warm bellies and hearts, and the cinnamon roll ($2.50), dried-cherry scone ($2), and coconut cookie ($1.50) ensure visitors don’t have to sleep on a cotton-candy mattress to sate sugary cravings.
Beau Mollinary and Jennifer Petersen know that kolache aren’t just a great dessert—when ornamented with a dollop of jalapeño cream cheese or a blend of turkey and brie, the Czech pastries become a savory, hunger-sating morsel. At the couple’s bakery and coffee shop, Chaos Kolaches, pastries contain not just sweet fillings, such as peach and banana nutella, but also meaty helpings such as pulled pork and chicken broccoli. The café also wakes up taste buds with gluten-free muffins, housemade oatmeal, and, on Saturdays, aebelskivers, a popover-style pancake. Starting as early as 6 a.m., diners can lounge on the patio and browse free WiFi, or simply admire the café’s red, black, and white interior for five hours straight. Guests can wash down their treats with Cafeto coffee and espresso drinks until the doors close, which happens when the clock ticks to 1 p.m. or a nationwide fire drill takes place.
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Ever since Baskin Robbins began its dessert fashion show in 1953, more than 1,000 original flavors have sauntered across the nation's tongue runways, 31 at a time. With the ice creamery's iconic pink sampling spoons as your guide, taste-test as many as you like until you find the flavor that gives your soul a back rub, whether it's a classic flavor such as rocky road single scoop ($2.60) or a seasonal serving of Love Potion #31—white chocolate and raspberry ice cream loaded with raspberry-filled chocolate hearts—and America's Birthday Cake. Otherwise, keep it simple and bury your face within the flavor of the month—Firehouse #31, a crunchy cinnamon ribbon with hot-candy pieces buried in a bright-red twirl of cinnamon and vanilla ice cream. The ice alchemists at Baskin Robbins can also transmute their ice cream and sherbet into drinkable desserts such as floats, freezes, and shakes ($4.30–$6.50).
The cuisine at Vanilla Jill's Scoops and Soups strives to provide customers with a gourmet selection of health-conscious soups, desserts, and drinks. A dessert selection of grass-fed small-batch ice cream, kefir-based gourmet frozen yogurt, and vegan and sugar-free desserts helps support paleo and non-paleo diets alike. Ice cream flavors include red velvet raw and vanilla bean cheesecake with local black calf raspberry swirl.
Possessing a savory speciality, they also serve customers soups and stews. Using a base of broth cooked down from grass-fed meat bones, soups and stews are filled with pastured or organic meat, as well as organic veggies, spices, and herbs. The rotating soup selection includes flavors such as verde chicken with seasonal veggies and pumpkin stew with sausage.
Not to be outdone by other menu items, a gluten-free waffle selection contains both sweet and savory options, such as orange-poppy seed with cranberries and savory carrot dill. Waffles can also be served as a sundae or in the paleo variety. While finishing their meals, customers can quench their thirst with Kombucha tea served on tap.
From the 1940s until 2003, Mom’s Pies flanked Highway 126 in Vida. The hearty fare sustained road trippers on long drives, but it was the homemade pies that made the eatery famous and kept its doors swinging all summer long. Restaurateur Lou Sangermano’s parents owned the eatery before he purchased it from them, later selling the road-stop building in 2003. But the allure of the popular pies his parents made stuck with him, and in 2011 Sangermano reopened the shop as a pie-only destination at Valley River Center, in a space much closer to the crowds who always loved his family’s pies.
Scrapping most of the former restaurant menu to focus on its beloved pies, the new Mom’s Pies bakes 10 different pie flavors each day to sell by the slice, whole pie, or fresh-baked whiff. Visitors who ate at the original location back in the day can taste some of the same flavors they formerly craved, as each pie is still baked according to the pie shop’s original 1940s recipes that called for fresh, whole ingredients, such as locally picked berries.