Rolling Pin Bake Shop houses a veritable cornucopia of tarts, cookies, pastries, and other handmade goods. The bakery––highlighted by the Food Network's Rachael Ray and E!'s Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?–– is manned by David Dombroff, a 15-year veteran with a degree in sweet, sweet satisfaction from the Culinary Institute of America. Stop by the cozy bakery and scarf down some scones (three for $1) while chatting with the attentive shop keep. If you don't want to gobble your goods in house, you can always order an eye-catching occasion cake ($18+) for real-world consumption. Born from the hands of caring chefs, these creations are laden with moist sponge cake and loaded with fresh fruit and other palate-tickling treats.
There’s love in Fanny Cakes: love for baking, love for surprising the tongue, and love for family. As a young girl, chef Kristyn spent long days baking alongside her nana, Fanny. Those hours spent in flour and those moments waiting by the oven planted seeds in Kristyn that sprouted into a passion for baking and, eventually, the start of Fanny Cakes—named in honor of the woman who inspired her. Kristyn now relies on formal culinary training as well as the lessons learned from her nana while she crafts personalized treats for birthday parties, wedding receptions, and everything in between. She pays further homage to her nana as she works by using the sorts of ingredients Fanny loved—sweet creamery butter, belgian chocolate, and natural citrus zests—but finds inventive and eye-catching ways to showcase their flavors.
The fondant-draped tiers of Kristyn's full-size cakes conceal flavorful fillings such as lime curd or coconut custard. Cupcakes also feature inspired combinations, such as strawberry daiquiri with rum-spiked buttercream and snickerdoodle with a dusting of graham crackers and cinnamon sugar. Even with all of these flavors speaking for themselves, Kristyn still commits to presentation, designing cakes shaped like everything from a Gulfstream jet to an electric guitar. She also expands her menu beyond traditional bakery offerings by creating treats such as grown-up cake shots with doses of liqueur and cupcake push pops in plastic cylinders. She even shares her techniques with the public by leading classes that teach students how to decorate cupcakes without covering them in old two-cent stamps.
For four decades, Benkert’s Classic Delicatessen has been loading patrons with ample portions from a menu of breakfast eats, salads, sandwiches, and hot-lunch dishes. Customers can jump start their day with two eggs any style ($2.50) while gulping complimentary coffee, tea, or hot chocolate and surfing the free WiFi on a free wireless surfboard. For midday breaks, specialty salad sandwiches cover beds of bread in quilts of egg ($4.25) and shrimp ($6.25) salad. Gourmet wraps and sandwiches ($6.95) include the Fat Tony, packed with six cold cuts, mozzarella, peppers, greens, and vinaigrette, and protected by a hero bun toasted for its noble deeds. Hot sandwiches such as the barbecue chicken ($5.75) are hearty enough to scare away the most intimidating hunger hauntings. Accessorize entrees with sides of mac 'n' cheese ($4.99/lb.) or mozzarella sticks ($3.99), and cross the finish line with a sweet slice of pound cake ($1.95).
At each Tropical Smoothie Cafe location, healthy choices abound with drinks consisting of fresh fruit and snacks loaded with veggies and premium meats and cheeses. The café’s colorful repertoire of smoothies runs the gamut from creamy, dessert-based indulgent creations to light and refreshing low-fat fruit options or frosty drinks boosted with supplements. Strawberries, bananas, and peaches mingle with exotic açaí and goji berries to form mouthwatering concoctions designed to deliver health-boosting antioxidants, essential nutrients and laser-vision-inducing vitamins. Drinks pair with ciabatta and griddled flatbread during breakfast and lunch, as well as with made-to-order salads and a host of wraps and sandwiches.
Sweet Lucille's started with one homemade recipe: Aunt Annette's carrot cake. From that one little cake, the business has grown into a bakery and cafe with omelets and pancakes for breakfast, and sandwiches and salads for lunch. But regardless of the expanded menu, the cakes still reign supreme. Sweet Lucille's bakes mini red velvet, lemon, and chocolate cakes, gourmet cake pops, and artful special-occasion cakes in addition to fruit-filled pies and a variety of cookies.
Drop in for a bite and a quaff and scan the appropriate breakfast or lunch menu. Start the day with an innovative omelette such as the Down Port (lump crab, asparagus, crisp bacon, roasted red pepper, and smoked gouda served with home fries and choice of toast; $11.95), or maintain a flavor-fueled daytrip with a wrap such as the house-made chicken salad with apple, mixed greens, and tomato ($9.95) or the half-pound gorgonzola and roasted red pepper burger, with lettuce, tomato, and red onion served with fries and a salad ($10.95). Bring a special someone for a tandem plunge into the molten goodness of cheese or chocolate fondue ($25 for a couple), or bring a crowd of friendly strangers to bond over tasty tapas ($9–$12).