The potation crafters at Beans & Brews Coffee House whip up hot and cold beverages from perk-proffering coffee beans, relaxing tea leaves, and sweet decaf alternatives. Hot coffee drinks, such as the cappuccino ($3.60 for 12 oz.) or eye-opener brew ($2.80 for 12 oz.) gently jolt the brain awake with mountain-roasted goodness, and the dulcet notes of iced chai ($4.10 for 16 oz.) and B&B frappes ($4.05 for 16 oz.) cool off summer-scorched palates with their sweet, icy taste. Roasters get the most out of each coffee bean with Beans & Brews’ trademark high-altitude roasting, which imparts each batch of grounds with a smooth flavor that, like an angst-riddled teddy bear, maintains a high level of complexity.
Stefano’s Gelato is a frozen fantasy world of handcrafted gelato and sorbetto, whose milky frigidity boasts intense flavors free of hydrogenation. Sample gelato editions such as pistachio hazelnut, banana orange cream, and Butterfinger. Sorbettos (close relatives of gelato that are crafted with fruit and purified water) delight the mouth with wild berry, mango, passion fruit, and other zesty essences. Prices depend on how you want to eat your treat—grab a 3-ounce small glob of gelato for $3, a medium 4-ounce serving for $4, or a pint for $8. Cones are also available ($1 for kids’ cone, $2 for value cone), and carbonated throat-cleansers await your esophagus in the form of 16- or 20-ounce Italian sodas ($3.50/$4.50), retro sodas ($0.50), and Mexican coke ($1.50).
Stepping into The Sweet Tooth Fairy shop is like walking into another era: round tables and high-backed chairs surround an old-fashioned soda fountain, and oldies music plays softly nearby. Pale-blue walls and white crown molding stand behind a glass case full of sweet treats, which are baked daily and earned proprietor Megan Faulkner Brown two appearances on The Rachael Ray Show—one when she was still baking in her basement kitchen, and the next three years later, when her business had grown to nine locations.
Megan uses the "most ordinary" ingredients to whip up her extraordinary pastries, which include chocolate-chip and iced oatmeal cookies, brownies, lemon bars, and a variety of cupcakes and full-grown cakes. Signature cakebites don coats of chocolate or white chocolate flecked with sprinkles. Flavors of baked goods rotate monthly, with some favorites available on a daily basis. Gluten-free options are available, as are frosting shots designed to save time usually spent licking every drop of frosting off the top of a full-size cake.
Munch a gourmet treat from the bakery's comprehensive cookie collection ($1.25 each, baker’s dozen $11.50) or decadent display of dessert bars ($2.25 each, baker’s dozen $26.50), from german-chocolate brownies to lemon bars, which would hold only the most ascetic and self-depriving prisoners. Alternatively, delve into dairy with a slice of white-chocolate-raspberry, chocolate, or peach-strudel cheesecake ($4.95). Recently opened by two experienced bakers, Swirly Girls Bakery offers friendly customer service in a bright, colorful atmosphere backed by pink walls and 1950s-style lighting fixtures. The bakery's time-tested recipes are baked in small batches using high-quality ingredients to ensure each bite tastes like it was flown in from the isle of indulgence, a water-locked geographical location that mostly consists of frosting.
The warm aroma of freshly baked waffle cones envelops every nook and cranny of Marble Slab Creamery, revving up guests’ senses with the promise of impending decadence. As the hand-rolled cones tan in their ovens, the store’s staff bustles about the premises whipping up fresh batches of super-premium ice cream in the on-site creamery and helping patrons select a flavour from a list of more than 50 options. This chef-driven dedication to gourmet ice cream began in 1983 with the company’s founding in Houston, Texas, when two French chefs were enlisted to create a recipe for Marble Slab Creamery’s signature sweet-cream ice cream using their culinary expertise.
Today, staffers utilize the frozen-slab technique of ice-cream architecture, scooping each customer’s choice of ice cream and mixins onto a chilled marble slab to mix the separate elements into one customized mélange. Though specializing in cone-based ice-cream treats, Marble Slab Creamery also offers a menu full of other scream-worthy confections including cakes, shakes, and ice cream cupcakes.
Every morning, Rooster’s Gourmet Popcorn whirs to life with the slow crescendo of thousands of tiny explosions. Snack masters mix a palette of more than 50 unorthodox flavors into the classic confection, resulting in anything from southwest-jalapeño and spicy-queso to toffee-almond and watermelon popcorns. They dole out free samples to acquaint customers with their sweet and savory kernels before packing up handsome gift tins for birthdays, office gatherings, and trips to a corn field to gloat.