For 30 years, Cakes by Karen has graced gatherings with handmade cupcakes, tortes, and cakes culled from a tasty arsenal of flavors, fillings, and icings. The colorful, creative desserts pair with a variety of occasions, from multitiered wedding cakes decked out with elegant floral designs and smooth icing to fondant-capped tortes in the shape of powdered wigs for Presidents' Day. In addition to baking eye-catching treats, Cakes by Karen furnishes partiers and newlyweds with limousine packages replete with champagne, deluxe stereo systems, and luxurious stretch-limo transportation.
Bakers fill La Patisserie Francaise with the sugary scents of fresh pastries crafted according to traditional recipes and cooking methods passed on from its French founder. Breakfast selections span the divide between sweet and savory with chocolate and almond croissants ($3 and under) and butter croissants before plates take lunchtime naps beneath warm crepe blankets snuggling a variety of fillings. Flocks of pastries such as raspberry- and chocolate-layered basilic, cupcakes ($3+), and amaretto éclairs gather behind clear panes of glass cases to collect fingerprints in hopes of finding the one that unlocks their crystalline prison. Punch cards earn their carrier large ice-cream bowls stacked with scoops of mint chocolate-chip, spumoni, strawberry cheesecake, and other flavors.
What Gluten Free Things lacks in, well, gluten, they make up for in camaraderie with their customers: The bakery knows it can be hard for anyone on a gluten-free diet to find the foods they want to eat, so the store often collaborates with other gluten-free food producers to make sure that customers know about a wide variety of locally available gluten-free foods and beverages.
That’s just in addition to the wide variety of gluten-free fare that Gluten Free Things has on its own. Like the most successful dating sites, GFT has both an online catalogue and a retail shop. They sell a selection of breads includes everything from crispy garlic crostini to soft, fresh bagels. Among the many sweets, they offer muffin bars and cookie squares in five flavors, including double chocolate brownie. There’s even a variety of ready-to-bake items are available, such as 2-pound tubs of cookie dough, balls of pizza dough, and take-and-bake pizzas.
As you might have guessed from the name, icy cold treats dominate the menu at Snow Dessert. Shaved ice?available in flavors like mango, strawberry, and margarita?is served Hawaiian style, soaked in syrup and topped with fresh fruits, rainbow jelly, and sweet beans. Meanwhile, creamy scoops of gelato crown sugar cones or banana splits, while little pearls of tapioca give boba tea drinks an added pop. Those who want to warm up after all that chilly sweetness can lead a conga line around the clean, minimalist dining room, or stay seated to enjoy one of the kitchen's savory teriyaki rice or udon noodle bowls.
The chefs at Spanky's Roadhouse perform culinary gymnastics, flipping patties, tossing salads, shaking shakes, and teaching wings how to soar with flavor. Adventurous eaters can build their own burger out of beef ($8.95), buffalo ($10.95), or grilled chicken breast ($8.95), garnishing their meat choice with multifarious toppings ($0.75 each). Or, pad your uninsulated belly cabin with one of 12 signature burgers, such as the Spanky burger, which is assembled with jalapeno-jack cheese, bacon, guacamole, and onions sizzled to a saliva-worthy crisp ($9.95). The Breakfast burger keeps lonely buns company with bacon, cheddar, and a fried egg, and the Fat burger is crowned with a golden, beer-battered onion ring and slathered in barbecue sauce, bacon, and blue cheese. After dousing a burning burger desire before it spreads to nearby stomachs, guests can dig into one of three sliders, such as the piquant barbecue pulled pork ($7.95) or a dozen Roadhouse wings, which come in six flavors, including Chinese Hot, Atomic, and honey barbecue ($8.95).
Cold Stone's ice cream inhabits a quantum flux between soft-serve and traditional ice cream, with a rich, creamy texture that whispers tales of its super-premium quality as it glides over taste buds. The ice cream generously welcomes dozens of toppings, as traditional as crumbled cookies and chopped nuts or as quirky as granola and black licorice. Choose your favorite ice cream from among dozens of silky flavors, such as Irish cream and butter pecan. Then make certain no one will try and steal a taste by topping it protectively with brownies, gumballs, and cherry pie filling. Whatever Frankencream you create, it'll be scooped cold off the grill into a freshly made waffle cone or bowl. Cold Stone's ice cream and toppings vary between seasons and location, and they also offer sorbet and an array of lighter toppings such as fruit and honey. Ice-cream creations run between $4 and $6, depending on size.