For bakers Nancy and Carisa Newsom, no cake is too difficult to master. They specialize in both decorative cakes that are sculpted into three-dimensional pieces of art, as well as allergen-free cakes that can be made without gluten, sugar, or dairy products. No matter what goes into their cakes, they take great pride in creating their own signature flavors, such as pink champagne cake with mimosa filling. For special occasions, they can customize their creations both inside and out, adding a splash of liquor to the cake or piping polka dots or bows on the icing. The two also whip up cupcakes, cookies, and cake balls if you prefer desserts that fit in the palm of your hand or the tailpipe of your neighbor's car.
Affectionately dubbed "a little piece of France" by Christina Rowland of Real Frisco, Cafe Trottoir et Patisserie transports taste buds with Parisian-style bistro fare for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. Dishes feature simple, elegant preparations, with numerous sauces and vinaigrettes drizzled across seared tuna steaks and roasted duck breasts. Mimicking money-booth contestants, pear and goat cheese step into a salad arena, where they compete to snatch the most pecans out of a slippery shower of lavender-honey vinaigrette. The steak frites' Black Angus terres major is pan-seared with red-wine pan jus and laid on a plate of pommes frites and baby greens.
Indoor meals unfurl under brass chandeliers bearing clusters of golden lamps. In fair weather, the sun-dappled outdoor terrace surrounds tables in tall trees bookended by stucco walls and a large outdoor fireplace.
After being widowed in 1982, Ruby Lorraine Feagan, better known as Tootie, began supporting her family one pie at a time, building her reputation as she won a succession of baking contests throughout Texas hill country. Investor Don Merrill came into the fold after reading a flattering article in Southern Living magazine and subsequently tasting one of Tootie's crusty, buttery, 6-pound apple pies. Today, Tootie and her daughter continue to ensure the quality of Tootie Pie Co. Gourmet Café's 13 signature pie flavors — which also include lemon velvet, coconut supreme, and the Rachael Ray–praised pumpkin pie — as they're carefully crafted and delivered to customers' homes nationwide. The bakery's burgeoning fame has extended to the Food Network's Kid in a Candy Store, which featured Tootie's pie-on-a-stick, slices of signature desserts skewered and dipped in chocolate.
Inside Tootie's café, the menu of gourmet sandwiches includes sweet chicken salad with red grapes and pecans and italian grilled chicken panini with roasted red pepper and pesto or chipotle mayo. Sips of house coffee and espresso-based Milan mochas clear palates between bites better than vigorously shaking them Etch A Sketch–style.
Touting more than 50 flavors of low-calorie, flavor-packed frozen yogurt, Tutti Frutti earned a feature on CNBC and has continued to expand since opening its first shop in 2007. Inside each store, self-service yogurt machines unleash velvety-soft yogurt into accommodating cups or empty purses. The constantly rotating flavors include royal red velvet, refreshing guava, and chocolate peanut butter. Most flavors fall within the range of 30–40 calories per ounce, with dairy-free options and no-sugar-added concoctions also available.
A toppings bar allows eaters to further customize yogurt creations with a spoonful of fresh fruits or a sprinkling of nuts. The flavors contain ample amounts of probiotics, known for potential health benefits that may include strengthening immune systems and lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.
SmoothieZone mixes a fruity, frosty menu of smoothies using fresh juices, frozen yogurt, and powerful shots of vitamins and nutrients. Fruit smoothies such as the blueberry-banana cooler ($3.65–$5.85) inundate sippers with 18 grams of whey protein, and fresh-squeezed juices such as the organic carrot juice ($2.95–$4.95) spare teeth days of tedious crunching. A kids’ menu sneaks protein into diminutive bellies with treats such as the Chunky Monkey, a protein smoothie with peanut butter, milk, chocolate, and bananas ($4.35). Shots of vitamins and nutrients such as B-12 ($0.99) and muscle building creatine and glutamine ($1.49 each) bolster beverages and imbue drinkers with the energy open the doors at a grocery store without touching them. Patrons can also enjoy waffle cones or cups filled with vanilla, chocolate, or swirled fat-free frozen yogurt ($2.95–$3.95).