Upon seeing the iced and sprinkled goodies that glisten under the display case at CB Scoops, it's obvious that the bakery excels in the art of crafting inventive sweet treats. Behind the counter, staffers scoop generous portions of ice cream in seasonal and mainstay flavors such as butter pecan, death by chocolate, and coffee almond fudge to cool down maws or overheated laptop batteries. The flavors pour into cupcakes as well as ice cream cakes and festively decorated ice cream pizzas divided into tasty slices. In addition to its celebratory dainties, the kitchen also churns out sandwiches, salads, and soups.
Heirloom Coffee possesses a magic door to Southeast Asia, specifically Vietnam—or at least that’s how it seems as they endlessly stock their shelves with the country and region’s best coffees. Their coffee reaches nearly every US state and territory, a feat achieved by shooting the bags of beans out of a huge circus cannon. Out of their red-trimmed office in Medford, the coffee connoisseurs also educate the public on brewing their beverages through detailed seminars that span coffee’s history and culture before diving into a hands-on brewing and tasting lesson with take-home samples and equipment.
Confectioner Deana Martin and the sugar magicians at Wildflour conjure daily-baked desserts from local ingredients, a craft they demonstrate to knowledge-hungry students. Couples or solo apprentices explore the process of creating chocolate treats that run the confectionary gamut from truffle fillings to tempered chocolate to cocoa-dust fog. While dipping and decorating the luxurious spheres, daring digits can indulge an experimental curiosity by coating other sweet treats in chocolate, such as fruit or bags of sugar. Classes run Thursdays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m. and are limited to a maximum of 15 participants to prevent chocolate bunnies from being munched into extinction.
The cooks at Hillside Cafe prepare an expansive menu of breakfasts, sandwiches, pizzas, and dinner entrees. Three-egg omelets ($4.99–$6.99) fold neatly next to home potatoes and toast daily from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., and freshly made muffins and bagels delight palates without breaking into spontaneous dance numbers. Sausage, prosciutto, and ricotta top Chris' Special pizza ($14.75 for a large), and all manner of meat and fixings sit snugly in a hot or cold sub's bun embrace ($4.75–$7.25). Zorba's dinner, which includes gyro, stuffed grape leaves, greek salad, and tzatziki sauce ($8.25), embodies Greece better than a scale model of the Parthenon made of baklava. Hillside Cafe's staff serves its fare with recycled paper products when possible, and recycle cooking oil to use as biofuel.
Cookies by Design offers all kinds of fun and tasty cookies arrangements, including baskets, cakes, trays, and their signature cookie bouquets. Cookie bouquets are superior to flower bouquets in the categories of nutrition, taste and likelihood that an inattentive cashier will allow you to spend them as coins. They're perfect for Mother's Day, Father's Day or Bad Hair Day (Bad Hair is my pet name for my secretary - I'm actually talking about Secretary's Day).
How about a Mom's Tulip Blossoms bouquet with hand-decorated sugar cookies made to look like tulip blossoms? Or the First Place Dad Basket has two hand-decorated cookies and an assortment of freshly baked cookies with chocolate chips, peanuts and/or tree nuts?! There are even cookie bouquets for graduations, wedding showers, baby showers, and cookie showers. What better gift than a cookie bouquet to celebrate your friend bringing another cookie into the world?
The mingled scents of coffee and fresh-baked donuts greet visitors at Verna's Coffee & Donut Shop, whose baked creations were named Best Donuts Around Boston by CBS Boston. Amid sage-green walls, visitors lean over a glass case that displays traditional glazed donuts and pert jelly donuts infused with cherry or strawberry filling. A pot of coffee stands at the ready to perk up tired eyes, much like a sentry who yells, "Wake up, there's a bear behind you!"