In the late 1930s, Giuseppe “Nino” Rolla’s sons watched as crackling flames browned delicate coffee beans in their father’s small Venetian café. In the mid-1990s, Giuseppe’s grandson Nicolo brought his family’s brewing heritage with him when he moved to the States, establishing Enne Caffe—named for the “N” in Nino—with his wife Samantha. Inside the café, a 7-foot-tall computerized roaster imported from Turkey prepares single-origin beans from Venezuela, Colombia, and other countries, and Nicolo, a bean-spotting virtuoso, uses finely tuned senses of sight and smell to monitor each small batch. Drawing on family lore, Nicolo re-creates Nino’s blends with a historian’s accuracy and fixes up modern english-toffee-flavored coffees whenever Dickensian orphans request them. Enne Caffe also stocks teas flavored with japanese sencha and tropical fruits, Monin flavored syrups, and smoothie bases that transform into frothy, spicy chai or white chocolate when mingled with ice in a blender. Enne Caffe fills cups in more than 80 businesses, such as restaurants and cafés, and delivers parcels directly to customers’ homes, where vacuum-sealed bags bearing the roasters’ red-and-white logo stand out against decorous porches or the dark mouths of inhabited caves.
Painted berry pink, tangerine orange, and mint green, even the walls at Sweet Tart Frozen Yogurt look good enough to eat. Along a glass-tiled wall, customers pull levers to fill their cups with their choice of sweet or tart yogurt flavors, inspired by fresh fruits or popular desserts. Next, they move to the gleaming-white toppings bar, where silver basins overflow with fruits, candies, and nuts waiting to be sprinkled atop peaks of yogurt so they can slide down them on tiny little skis. There are no rules here, so patrons can come up with their own combinations, whether they top cake-batter yogurt with peanut-butter cups and chocolate sauce or blueberry-açaí-banana yogurt with brownie bites and butterscotch.
Ryan Bros. Coffee's attentive owners match discerning tastes with artfully crafted blends of fair-trade coffees and mouthwatering café fare. Classic coffees include featured roasts ($1.75 for 12 oz., $2 for 20 oz.) such as bold Cowboy coffee or the full-bodied Broadway Blues, which are filtered for fuller tastes. Espresso drinks inject caffeine-packed shots into tongue-tickling flavors such as a warm, creamy mocha ($3.55–$3.95) or a chilly, blended Java Lava frappe ($4.25). Chompable menu items grant solid starts to the day, including the chipotle-bacon breakfast sandwich ($5.95), whereas real-fruit smoothies, including the refreshing mango patch ($4.25), rev bodies with vitamin-rich fuel. Salads ($6.50–$7.25) and freshly grilled paninis ($5.95–$6.95) are also available for consumption. Packaged portions of coffee, tea, and comestibles adorn shelves in front of burnt-orange walls and sun-sprayed indoor or outdoor seating areas offer the ideal space in which to enjoy free WiFi.
The cake decorators at Nothing Bundt Cakes adorn their bundt cakes with a similar motif: thick stripes of white frosting that fan out like petals on a daisy. But atop the cake’s hollow center, they insert colorful flourishes such as bright polka-dotted bows, silk flowers, and tiny placards for every conceivable occasion. For an even more memorable presentation, they happily arrange balloon bouquets that complement their cakes’ color schemes. Though presentation is paramount, Nothing Bundt Cakes’ bakers don’t shirk taste: they use fresh eggs, real butter, and real cream cheese to concoct flavors such as pecan praline or white chocolate raspberry.
Additionally, inside the cheerful storefront, patrons can peruse ’50s-era baking accessories such as cake tins and Mayfair cake stands that conjure nostalgic memories of poodle skirts, Cadillacs, and poodles in skirts driving Cadillacs.
What began in a home kitchen in the early 1940s is now the regional mainstay Marie Callender’s Restaurant & Bakery, which serves classic American fare and more 30 homemade varieties of their famous pies in a family-friendly dining experience. Cooks whip up dishes that are central to American culinary cannon, such as roast turkey dinners, ribs slathered in St. Louis-style bourbon barbecue sauce, and hearty country-fried steaks. They also maintain a salad bar fully stocked with fresh veggies, which pair nicely with any meal or can be piled into a 3 ft. tower and be a full meal themselves. But at Marie Callender’s dessert is the main event, and they serve up thick slices of classic pies such as apple or rhubarb, as well as more unusual flavors such as the kahlua cream cheese pie, a delicious liquor-infused treat that fits inside a flask if you squish it.