The Bagel Factory's industrious bakers kettle-cook fresh, hand-rolled bagels each morning, providing solid foundations for rich cream cheeses. The menu's avalanching array of regular bagel varieties includes cinnamon raisin, whole wheat, garlic, egg, and pumpernickel, great for silencing tummies' grumbles and garage-band practices. In addition to preparing an array of freshly baked pastries and desserts, the kitchen staffers sandwich Boar’s Head meats and cheeses between bookends of bagel, roll, or panini bread slices. They also provide lighter options such as build-your-own salads, which come topped with the customer’s choice of meat, dressing, and toppings.
Meats, cheeses, fruits, and veggies line the counters and display cases at DaVinci Gourmet Market, where chefs draw upon a palette of fresh ingredients to compose take-home entrees and catered meals each day. To-go containers nearly overflow with wild-rice salad or crab cakes, and entrees of grilled salmon or roasted chicken make for ephemeral table centerpieces. The sun rises over omelets and traditional two-egg breakfasts, and the lunch menu’s specialty paninis invoke the Leaning Tower of Pisa with their stacked toppings and unstable groundwork of toasted ciabatta bread.
Each morning, the bakers at Gourmet Bake Shop fill pan after pan with large batches of dough, kicking off the process of baking fresh, piping-hot breads, pastries, and cakes. After cooling, cake rounds are stacked with layers of fruit fillings, topped with buttercream frosting, and sometimes carved into a custom shape such as a champagne bottle, heart, or Dora the Explorer. The shop also whips up Italian and French pastries and seven-layer cakes, which dazzle palates and geologists with a variety of cakes and fillings in each bite.
Avenue Wine Café introduces guests to dozens of wines and more than 70 distinct beers designed to imbibe in-house or at home. Wines hail from diverse lands including Italy, Argentina, and Spain, and patchwork a robust menu fit for a variety of occasions. Toast to the splendor of Argentinian grapes with a glass of Trumpeter merlot ($8) or savor a sweet glass of Harlow Ridge chardonnay ($8). Patrons pining for a thick beer can grab a bottle of Left Hand Brewery's milk stout ($6) or sniff out the scent of gingersnaps and citrusy hops in a draft pint of Hennepin Belgian-style ale ($8).
Panorama Cafe's staff delivers vegetarian and vegan fare to bright-red tables boldly positioned against powdery-blue walls. Onion panini bread ensconces the Chevrole sandwich's goat cheese and tomato innards, and mozzarella and tomato sauce blanket the soy-chicken-parmesan wrap's faux poultry, tucked in with greens and swaddled in a whole-wheat wrap. Duos selecting sandwiches can also imbibe organic loose-leaf teas and pour-over cups of java, or use their fruit smoothies to paint "I'm rather thirsty" on the table. Baristas pull double ristretto shots to steam into velvety Panorama lattes, flavored with chocolate and caramel, as well as red-velvet lattes that combine the powers of raspberry and mocha to jolt taste buds out of their torpor. Each Sunday, all-organic brunch specials import international flavors; the list of previous hunger obliterators has included sweet and savory french crêpes and turkish flatbread stuffed with cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and seasoned vegetarian beef. Vegans can request dishes to be made with dairy-free Daiya cheese, which melts, stretches, and forms itself into moons in the same way real cheese does.
Though the staff at Oradek's Coffee House make an excellent espresso and serve up delicious desserts and Belgian chocolates, their signature dish easily outstrips the rest for one simple reason: it combines all three. Staff blend together shots of their house espresso with a scoop of ice cream to create their signature shake, the shottie. To this energizing dessert they can add mix-ins of the customer's choice, including chunks of Heath bars or the interweaving flavors of dark chocolate, peanut butter, and banana.
Just because their signature dish is a shake doesn't mean the house baristas don't know the secrets of brewing the proverbial perfect cup of coffee. They grind and brew a rotating selection of single-origin coffees using French-press, pour-over, or cold-brewing techniques, allowing them to control the drink's strength and taste. The nearby chefs complement the house beverages with cafe dishes from a range of cuisines They offer spicy sushi rolls alongside flaky chocolate croissants—uniting Japanese and French influences, like cutting a baguette with a samurai sword.
Tasty Crêpes's capable crepe craftsmen flip sweet and savory griddle cakes, artfully dressing them in delectable toppings that include local and sustainable fruits and vegetables. Strolling down a cafeteria-style line, patrons belly up to the serving counter to admire cooks as they sizzle traditional or whole-wheat batter on hot plates and then shout out specialty ingredients to customize their edible pouch. In honey-mustard crepes ($6.50), chicken, honey mustard, and herb crème shimmy through fluffy caverns, and chocolate brownies and bananas sweetly cohabitate inside the Brownie Passion crepe ($5.50). For satiating self-expression, diners can color a plain flour canvas ($3.99) with an assortment of cheese, meat, fruit, and nut toppings ($1 each). To wash tender morsels down hatches, nibblers can sip a 100% juice fruit smoothie—a much safer way to get your daily dosage of fruit than ransacking a still-life art class.