Dining out with friends can foster healthy relationships that might otherwise be limited to impersonal group texts or overly personal bath-time visits. Get a bite in person with a person with today's Groupon: for $9, you get $20 worth of paninis, salads, or starters at Sugar Mountain Bake Shoppe.
In addition to crafting small batches of saccharine cupcakes, Sugar Mountain Bake Shoppe's founders, Riley Greider and Doni Brown, spend their days perfecting a menu of gourmet café fare. Salads shelter grilled chicken or shrimp in a false sense of security within a dense canopy of leafy greens, and arrive doused in the diner's choice of six dressing options, including caesar and raspberry-walnut vinaigrette. Foregoing meats entirely, the breaded-eggplant panini slathers taste buds with mozzarella and marinara sauce as two cows high-five somewhere off in the distance. Red Osier beef and horseradish mayo fill the horseradish-beef panini, and the country-sweet chicken panini is packed with crumbled blue cheese, barbecue sauce, and chicken.
Sugar Mountain Bake Shoppe
Riley Greider is the mind, hands, and sweet teeth behind Sugar Mountain Bake Shoppe, a gourmet bakery specializing in cupcakes. More than 128 flavors rotate across the shop’s menu in groups of 13 to 20 each day, baked daily in small batches from fresh ingredients.
With such an enormous repertoire of recipes, the cupcake case has room for classics such as carrot cake alongside fancier flavors such as cinnamon french toast and cherry crème brûlée—not to mention the decidedly outlandish, such as loaded baked potato and Game Day Chili. While retaining a home-baked look, many of the cakelets wear elaborate toppers of sprinkles, frosting swirls, or fruit. All this creativity won the shop the title of Best Cupcakes in City Newspaper’s 2011 Readers’ Choice poll.