At CoffeeTime Café, the air fills with the rich, earthy scent of organic fair-trade coffee beans and the satisfying buzz of espresso machines as baristas whip up frothy tops to cappuccinos and lattes. They build drinks and shakes with Lavazza espresso, chilled fruits, or rich chocolates amid dark varnished-wood accents, plasma screen TVs, and plump, leather couches. The shop's free WiFi enables students to study while live musicians strum acoustic guitars and sing musical versions of their upcoming Scantron answers.
Ruggles Cafe fills breadbaskets with seafood specialties, monstrous sandwiches, and soups created in-house. The sustainably raised organic chicken tenders bathe in a hickory-smoked barbecue sauce ($7), a bowl of baked-potato soup is made from scratch and garnished with sour cream, bacon, and scallions ($5), and the Veggie O sandwich houses spinach, avocado, tomato, red onion, shaved radish, cucumber, coleslaw, perforated swiss cheese, and russian dressing in multi-grain bread ($7). Entrees, such as the lobster mac 'n' cheese gratin, which is lathered in brie, parmesan, and sherry cream ($17), fill the body's culinary safe-deposit box with valuable taste. Ruggles' burgers ($8 to $10) hail from naturally raised beef and are void of hormones, antibiotics, and barely audible whimpering.
Many restauranteurs are inspired by the food they ate as kids. The owners of The Corner Carhop take this principle one step further: they're also inspired by the bygone culture of mid-20th century America as immortalized in movies such as American Graffiti and Greasers 2: Kickin' Up Grease. The year-round drive-in makes good on its nostalgic promise with burgers and other classic fare??trays are even delivered directly to guests' cars by fleet-footed servers. A literal white picket fence hand-painted with vintage ads and other imagery surrounds the parking lot and picnic tables, making for some unique mealtime scenery.
A colossal inflatable ice cream cone guards Sweet Treats, beckoning patrons to stop in for a frosted treat on a blistering hot day. Tongues cool off with ice cream or swirls of Only 8 frozen yogurt, which is kosher-certified and fat-, preservative-, and gluten-free. It's also fortified with calcium and contains four active yogurt cultures. To celebrate birthdays or 4:59 p.m. on a Friday, the Sweet Treats team crafts ice cream cakes.
Before Pam Turkin flung open the doors to the first Just Baked in 2009, she was just baking cupcakes on the weekends. But after her corporate travels took her past a growing number of cupcake shops outside of southeastern Michigan, she decided to turn her hobby into a career. She now helms 17 shops in the area, where she and her staff of dessert experts whip up eclectically flavored cupcakes such as red velvet cheesecake, chocolate chip cookie dough, and grumpy cake. In addition to the mouthwatering flavors, all of their items boast real butter, real eggs, and real milk as opposed to artificial ingredients from artificial cows and chickens.
Located in an English country cottage, the English Tea Garden hosts idyllic afternoon tea times with traditional British bites and a menu of 11 loose-leaf teas. Mother and daughter tandems and men's rugby teams can spend an afternoon quaffing tea from fine china. Parties can choose tea selections such as the Organic Earl Grey tea or the Tippy Assam Leaf tea, in which black tea mingles with exotic fruit flavors. Guests also can nibble on assorted tea sandwiches and scones while marveling at how large their hands look when holding miniature pastries. Devonshire cream, preserves, and lemon curd accompany dishes for dainty delectability.