Jennifer Best couldn't sleep. A bout of fibromyalgia was keeping her wide awake, and though she experimented with allopathic and naturopathic sleep remedies, it was no use. Then she tried something new: a tea blend called Sweet Dreams. The brew was so effective that not only did it give Jennifer some much-needed shut-eye, but by morning it had inspired her to change careers. She explored the local loose-leaf-tea market and was amazed to find how many good varietals were out there, varietals she thought others might appreciate the way she had appreciated Sweet Dreams.
Jennifer started small, founding Steeped and Infused in 2007 as an online store that sold 20 different teas. But her fan base blossomed, and today the website?which now sells roughly 70 varieties. Like the queen's childhood toy box, her inventory includes everyday black, green, and rooibos teas, but also features yerba mate and pu-erh?a centuries old Chinese blend made from high-quality large leaves. She complements these with a small selection of accessories, such as tea filters and mesh steeping balls.
With more than 20 specialty pies on their menu, it's clear there's very little the cooks at Cranky Hank's haven't tried putting on their pizzas. Said specialty pizzas host everything from seasoned gyro beef and ranch dressing to reuben sandwich fixings, whereas personalized pies often sport more traditional toppings, including artichoke hearts. The rest of Cranky Hank's menu spotlights other pizzeria favorites, from customizable calzones to wings tossed in roasted-garlic barbecue sauce.
To complement feasts, bartenders whip up mixed drinks and serve craft beer by the bottle, pint, pitcher, and trough. As adults enjoy their grownup beverages, youngsters can play video games in Cranky Hank's game room. Family karaoke, meanwhile, raises the roof each Sunday. The bar also entertains patrons with 12 televisions broadcasting major sporting events and every flower-arranging competition.
Home to more than 100 varieties of tea, Herbal Infusions Tea Co. immerses visitors in all things tea. Knowledgeable staffers stock the shelves with their own popular blends, including eucalyptus-grapefruit tea and organic cacao tea alongside a fleet of white, green, oolong, and black teas. They also sell tea-making accessories such as teapots and filters. In addition to offering advice on steeping the perfect cup to any customer who asks, they hold tea-themed workshops that range from pairing cheeses to developing pinkie-finger fitness regimens.
Little nuggets of pearl sugar caramelize during baking, making Wanda's made-to-order Liège-style waffles different from the typical Belgian style. The dough is infused with vanilla, maple, or strawberry flavour, and the waffles can be crowned with toppings such as Nutella, strawberries, or caramel. Toasted sandwiches, such as the croque monsieur and the signature chicken with thai sauce, sate savoury teeth, whereas espresso and coffee drinks brewed with beans from Illy wash it all down with more refinement than sucking on a garden hose.
The Marshmallow Factory, born after an inspiring marshmallow landed in a fateful latte, invites guests to create their own airy desserts from a bounty of flavoured marshmallow creams. Within the technicolor, sweet-smelling shop, guests can select a base for their dessert composition, filling a cup, tart, biscuit, or chocolate shell with flavoured fluff before layering on a choice of 20 toppings such as sprinkles, gummy bears, or powered sugar. The sweet cream can also coat fresh fruit or foam down in a coffee or hot chocolate.
The Beaver combines a contemporary menu with a lively atmosphere congenial to local artists, musicians, and otherwise creative souls. Paninis please sundry palates with sprightly taste coalitions such as grilled bocconcini with sundried tomato and pesto ($8) and vegetable and sunflower-seed pâté ($9). Amiable pairings heat things up with baked mac 'n' cheese, whose cheeses are swirled with seasonal offerings ($10) and with the lamb and chevre burger, served with mixed greens or a potato salad ($13). The Beaver’s chefs make steering clear of meat as easy as defriending your butcher with a multitude of vegetarian and vegan options, such as the dinner-hour bean and beet burger ($11).