Ice cream cools hot mouths, gives spoons a purpose, and turns into soup, so it's both a dessert and second course. Try one of Baskin-Robbins's ice cream cakes—including flavors such as fudge crunch, Oreo Cookie, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and brownie a la mode—or indulge in soft serve, ice cream, sundaes, and more. For other sweet treats, go with doughnuts, which are renowned for being a superior form of bread; standout flavors include blueberry cake, Bavarian creme, Boston creme, glazed cake, jelly filled, French cruller, apple crumb, and more. If you prefer non-sweet food, bite into a bagel or one of the oven-toasted flatbread sandwiches that come in flavors such as chicken parmesan, ham and swiss, and turkey, bacon and cheddar.
The bakers at the sister-owned cheesecakery use fresh ingredients to create creamy, handmade confections. This Groupon is good for 12 two-inch microcakes, and you can mix and match among the original flavor, chocolate, strawberry, and cookies 'n' cream to assemble a delicious dozen. The bite-sized baked goods are perfectly portioned to prevent guilt-induced post-cheesecake regret, and as such make a fitting gift for calorie-counting suckers for sweet or someone who underwent a surgical procedure that replaced his or her human mouth with the mouth of a striped bass.
Perhaps Marjorie Merriweather Post was just a natural entertainer. When she purchased Hillwood in 1955, she opened it to the public—but only after decorating it with a comprehensive collection of Russian Imperial and French decorative art, and commissioning a 25-acre landscape with rose gardens, a French parterre, and a greenhouse.
Gianluigi Dellaccio was a star water polo player in Italy until the mid-90s, but it was actually his second career as a dessert chef that put him in touch with a number of global luminaries. After studying pastry-making in culinary school, he put in time at famous dessert shops in Germany, Naples, and Washington, D.C., where he had the chance to make pastries for Bono, President Clinton, and the Pope. Bolstered by the sweet taste of success, Dellaccio went on to found his very own gelato company, Dolci Gelati, where he incorporates the tenets of pastry-making into chillier desserts.
These days, Chef Dellaccio spends most of his time developing new flavors in what he calls his gelato laboratory. He rises each morning to take dairy deliveries from local farms, as well as shipments of hand-picked fruits and specialty chocolate, imported from a small, sustainable farm in Ecuador. He begins by tempering the chocolate himself to create flavors rich and dark or sweet and creamy. Then, he mixes his premium, custom-prepared ingredients into the base of what will become the gelato. He still uses a long-treasured family recipe to turn his exotic ingredients into the final product, though, developing a treat that, like a digital cummerbund, strikes a balance between tradition and innovation.
Every day, Rita's serves up fresh, fruitified Italian ice ($2.39 for a regular) in more than 30 flavors, with sugar-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, and trans-fat-free ices available. Achieve Ty Cobb–like levels of coolness with the Georgia peach ice, get caught in the rain of the refreshing piña colada, or visit the Sunshine State without leaving the comforts of your bomb shelter with the Florida orange. Other flavors include strawberry, root beer, Swedish Fish, chocolate chocolate chip, vanilla, key lime, the unearthly RitaBerrious (formerly Mystery Ice), and even a Peeps flavor. All ices are served within 36 hours of mixing, ensuring that Rita's customers are getting drinks as pure as the driven Technicolor snow.