Like its minimalist interior, this historic Oliver House eatery keeps its menu simple. Peckish patrons can sample light, freshly made offerings of warm soups, salads, and sandwiches, complemented by a rotating list of daily specials ($5.50−$7.50). Between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., the Café's warm and cold sandwiches, such as the grilled-ham-and-cheese Croque Monsieur ($7.50) and the tangy-tuna Waldorf-salad sandwich ($7.25) rest contentedly on black-checkered tissue paper before meeting their delectable demise. Assuage appetites in the Café’s sleek, minimalist dining room amid tasteful artwork and warm brick accents, then retire to the breezy courtyard to season postmeal sips with fresh sunshine. Guests can sip on café au laits while they browse the web via the complimentary WiFi, or mime coffee-drinking and internet searching to the customers around them.
Like a metamorph in the Witness Protection Program, Ice Restaurant & Bar has undergone several name changes and taken a number of forms. It began as a coffee shop and later grew into a restaurant called Eddy B's before settling on its current incarnation--a nightclub where the furniture is clean and angular and the cool gray walls are peppered with modern art. Guests dig their forks and teeth into towering club sandwiches, lightly breaded lake perch, and hearty grilled steaks and pork chops.
Flying Rhino floods taste sensors with a sumptuous selection of fresh-roasted coffees, handmade chocolates, and natural fruit-smoothie purees. Flown in from all over the world, Flying Rhino's specialty coffees feature arabica beans that are grown in high-elevation areas, imbuing them with deep flavor and fearlessness of roller coasters. Roasted in-house, the bounty of brews includes the popular, rich, and velvety Rockin’ Rhino blend ($9.25/8 oz.), the nutty, chocolatey, and citrusy organic Bobolink ($7.25/8 oz.), the sweet, northern Italian-style Jungle Jive ($9/8 oz.), and more. Caffeinated-beverage sippers enjoy specialty drinks such as lattes, espresso, and chai tea. Flying Rhino also harnesses a variety of smooth and creamy chocolates from Guittard, a company that works directly with cacao-bean farms and disgruntled Wonka employees, to create a selection of high-quality, preservative- and wax- free chocolate made with fresh cream from a local dairy. Sink teeth into the gooey goodness of handmade chocolate salted caramels ($5/fourpack) or mellow in the mouth-melting flavors of lush aztec truffles ($1.75), coated with a chocolaty shell, stuffed with a rich, dark chocolate ganache, and tinged with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ancho chili powder ($1.75 each). Sandwiched between a cocoon of dark, milk, or white chocolate, turtles are infused with toasted pecans nesting amid a sweet bed of viscous caramel ($2.50 each), and handmade english toffee ($9.95/half-pound) makes for a satisfyingly crunchy, chocolaty treat for any Easter or Boxing Day-in-July celebration.
Blossoming from the original Pennywise, established in 1969, Expresso Car Wash now shoos dirt form begrimed automobiles at six convenient lube-and-detail facilities. Upholding a focus on swift service, mechanics perform quick 10-minute oil changes, towel off 12-minute full details, and scrub cloths on their eight-minute abs. As environmental stewards, the detailing staff carts off all used water to a water-treatment facility and uses fewer chemicals than home washings tend to.
Each vehicle's aesthetic and under-the-hood beauty gets continual boosts with additional services, including air-conditioner and timing-belt repair and transmission flushes. When they are not pampering autos, the Expresso staff lends philanthropic support to nonprofits, including local schools, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and teenage cars saving up for a new driver.
Pastry chef Olivia Howard knew she had found her calling the moment she learned to decorate her first cake. Now Howard custom-decorates cakes in her home for Southern Belle Cakes, a baking operation named after her Texas roots. Each confection is topped with a light dollop or rich layer of buttercream frosting, and can be filled with a variety of luscious creams and berry mixtures. The business name isn't the only way that her Lone Star heritage peeks through the traditional marble, chocolate, and strawberry cakes and cupcakes. Howard also bakes a massive "Texas-sized" cupcake that feeds about 15 people or one sentient oven. Howard also caters to children with cupcake parties, during which she teaches kids how to decorate cupcakes that they can take home.
Though the chefs at Hot Spot Cafe & Pizzeria may craft an array of classic Italian dishes, they don't limit themselves to the flavors traditionally used in Italy. Instead, they load their deli sandwiches and pizzas with a diverse range of ingredients. Chefs layer together hot sandwiches filled with beef tongue and a sprinkling of onions and parsley alongside staples such as club sandwiches. For their pizzas, they get even more creative. The Armenian pizza features garlic sauce and feta cheese, and the spicy Hawaiian pairs ham with pineapple, jalapeno, bacon, roasted red pepper, and a drizzling of hot sauce. They still offer a limited menu of classic Italian dishes, such as bowls of pasta and appetizers shaped like boots.