Lee and Barrye Cohen have been roasting and brewing fresh beans into caffeinated elixirs since 1976, when they first began expanding horizons with then-unheard-of espresso and cappuccinos. Using the same trusty vintage coffee roaster they used back then, they continue to roast aromatic gourmet beans. They brighten mornings and afternoon slumps with traditional coffee or energize lattes, mochas, and chai with rich espresso. Chefs cook up a menu of updated classics daily with local farm-fresh eggs and housemade sauces, stacking egg sandwiches with andouille sausage and deli sandwiches with pit-baked ham.
On select evenings, melodies and spoken words can be heard emanating from the Troy location, which hosts an open-mic night where local artists play music or slam poetry books onto the floor as guests sip cocktails and wine. The Cohens are proud of their local roots, and give back the loyalty they've received by frequently donating to local charitable causes. Daily Grind also has an online store, which outfits kitchens with loose-leaf teas, cappuccino machines, and gelato machines from brands such as Baratza, Gaggia, and Nemox.
Whether it's the size of a dixie cup or enough to fill the bathtub, at Yeh! Yogurt, customers are in control of their servings. Amid fuchsia walls and bright-green accents, customers pull the levers on self-serve machines as the low-calorie, nonfat delight swirls into their containers. Available flavors rotate monthly and seasonally and include options such as fudge and marshmallow, spicy pumpkin, cake batter, and piña colada. More than 40 toppings such as candies, chocolates, nuts, and farthings cascade over yogurt peaks. Other sweet options include crepes, smoothies, and coffee drinks.
After a change of ownership in January 2011, David’s Fine Foods expanded its repertoire of delicacies to include a heartier new menu of sandwiches and breakfasts served until 1:00 p.m. Start the day with a fluffy three-egg omelette ($4), or indulge in brunch-time decadence with a tri-layered stack of strawberry, blueberry, or chocolate-chip pancakes ($4). Diners can crunch into a crusty, freshly baked french roll stuffed with maple-roasted turkey breast and crisp lettuce ($4.95), or quietly sink teeth into lean Angus pastrami cloaked in a soft wrap that cushions cacophonous munching and provides an ideal meal to prevent librarian shushing or to pack for covert Bigfoot stake-outs ($5.95).
Specializing in daily-made cookies, brownies, and scones, Bake For You instills confectionery creations with local and organic ingredients, free-range eggs, and smooth Vermont butter. Cookies ($18 for two dozen) come in six fanciful flavors, including traditional tongue pleasers classic chocolate chip or old-fashioned oatmeal cookie, and free-spirited savorers can succumb to Bake For You's signature white-chocolate-chip butter cookie, which erupts with dried cranberry bursts.
Bruegger's bagels are culled from fresh, wholesome ingredients and then kettle-boiled in the New York tradition, resulting in chewy centers with crisp outer crusts. Awaken your taste buds with a savory combination such as the asiago-parmesan bagel smothered with olive-pimiento cream cheese ($0.99 for bagel only, $2.29 with cream cheese). Or prove yourself to be a sweetie by adopting a family of six carb circles and washing them up and behind the ears in a tub of garden-veggie cream cheese ($7.89). Bruegger's deli menu is flanked by an array of breakfast sandwiches ($2.99–$6.79) and lunch fare; bury thoughts of the snarky snooze button with the spinach-and-cheddar-omelette sandwich, or defuse your lunchtime hunger siren with a signature sandwich ($5.69–$6.99) such as the herby turkey or roma roast beef.
When Nord Brue and Mike Dressell began perfecting their bagel recipe with the help of a professional NYC bagel maker in 1983, the bagel was still an anomaly in the food world—it was geographically and culturally still isolated in New York City. Fueled by a desire to change that, the duo opened up the first Bruegger's deli with the hope of eventually introducing the rest of the country to the bagel. Brue and Dressell have since realized their dream, sharing their distinctive recipes and culinary traditions at 300 locations spread across 26 states. To this day, they oven-bake their centerless bread rolls every morning and afternoon, populating counter displays that also brim with daily made breads, Vermont cream cheese, and custom-roasted coffee.
Executive Chef Phillip Smith and his network of chefs still use the original five-ingredient recipe for their dough, which they shape into more than 20 bagel varieties. Because they draw from each region's local recipes and from dialogue and Pictionary games with local consumers, certain menu items may vary from store to store across the country. The bagels are often served with Bruegger's eclectic cream cheeses such as bacon scallion or honey walnut, or as sandwiches with meats, cheeses, and veggies often sourced from local or organic produce. Coffee gets just as much attention, with house blends of 100% arabica coffee.