In 1988, My Favorite Muffin started with a secret muffin recipe?one that remains a secret to this day. Ask even one of the loyal regulars, and you'll find that they know little about the process behind the bakery's cake-like muffins, beyond the fact that it involves soybean oil instead of butter.?
With results this delicious, the bakery can't be blamed for keeping its secrets closely guarded. Baked fresh daily, the muffins come in flavors ranging from cinnamon swirl to chocolate cheesecake. Guests can also opt for a warm, extra-large bagel, though nothing is stopping anybody from dunking their muffin in the caramel-apple cream cheese.
From behind a frozen granite slab, the staff of Cold Stone Creamery uses twin spatulas to blend custom servings of ice cream and creative mix-ins to fit customers’ exact specifications. Founded by Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone began under the hot Arizona sun, eventually spreading its frosty fingers to encompass more than 1,400 locations worldwide. Despite the size of the company, each location’s staff keeps up the handcrafted quality, making ice cream onsite every day and using those signature spatulas to create delicious pointillist art against the freezer wall.
Since 2008, the Mistry family has served up nutrition in liquid form at Fuel Juice Bar. They blend pure fruit purées into smoothies and mix Oreos, peanut butter, and other satisfying ingredients into protein-packed performance shakes. Patrons can also customize shakes with boosters such as Burn Fat Burn or sip locally grown, organic wheatgrass juice. In the warmer months, the spot also serves frozen yogurt rich with live, active cultures.
From the colorful checkered walls to the menu of hearty comfort food, the owners at Cozy Cafe strive to create a nostalgia-tinged dining experience. The vast menu is marked by the restaurant's specialty—Helen and Pat's cavatelli—as well as homemade entrees, including blue-plate specials of meatloaf, hot roast beef, or chicken and noodles, all served with homemade mashed potatoes and green beans. Staff serve up Friedrichs coffee drinks, and for breakfast, which is served all day, chefs flip the traditional array of omelets and pancakes and offer homemade cinnamon rolls as well as homemade biscuits and gravy.
Tracie Gregson loves the inherent nostalgia of cupcakes. Each bite reminds her of home. But she?s also aware of the deceptively simple dessert?s endless flavor possibilities. When a friend needed a treat to complement his gourmet barbecue, Tracie took up the challenge and grabbed some slabs of smoked bacon. After some experimentation, she emerged from her kitchen with a maple-bacon cupcake, with a vanilla-spice base crowned with brown-sugar-maple frosting, coarse sugar, and crags of smoked pork.
That cupcake memoir typifies the ongoing flavor development at Tracie Cakes. Eschewing mixes, Tracie prefers scouring online purveyors for the finest ingredients she can find. Shipments regularly arrive with gourmet dutch cocoas, velvety sour creams, and finely sifted powdered sugars that Tracie uses because they balance the sweetness?not too sweet?of her buttercream frostings without sacrificing texture. Such fine ingredients go into her more than 20 flavors of cupcakes, from her personal favorite white wedding cake to the coconut cloud, made with organic cloud flour.