When you’ve got five kids at home, making birthday cakes becomes part of your regular routine. But it wasn’t before too many birthdays had passed that Cherie Berget’s cakes started gaining the attention of her friends and family, and soon enough, Nola Belles was in business creating custom decorated cakes. Now serving the area for more than eight years, Berget has tackled everything from elegantly tiered cakes for weddings to colorful fondant-topped desserts for a child’s birthday. Underneath the layers of customized decorations lies a base of fluffy cake in a range of flavors. While clients love the fresh flavor of her cream de mint cake or her creamy coconut sponge cake filled with coconut pastry cream, her signature dessert is a white almond cake filled with fresh strawberries and topped with layers of vanilla buttercream and chocolate-dipped strawberries. She can pare down the sizes of her cakes to create dozens of cupcakes, or create cakes using cookies for a fun alternative celebration centerpiece.
The recipes at Tee-Eva's Old Fashioned Pies and Pralines roll five generations deep. Eva Louis Perry—known as Aunt Eva—opened her shop in 1995 to sell pralines and pies made from her grandmother's recipes. After making a name for herself with features in national magazines and on television, she passed the entire business, recipes and all, down to her own granddaughter in 2000. The pralines tempt sweet teeth with creamy richness punctuated by the crunch of pecan, while the pecan and sweet-potato pies are crafted with authentic, never reconstituted, Louisianan Cajun and creole spices.
Though the dishes at Cat's Coffee may seem simple, the chefs pack big flavors into each of their 11 handcrafted sandwiches, 5 salads, and breakfast and dessert options. White, wheat, or french bread is crowned with layers of protein such as ham, turkey, and meatballs before being introduced to slices of swiss and provolone cheese and exchanging polite bows. Fresh beds of lettuce are decorated with colorful ingredients, such as fresh tuna, ripe tomatoes, and croutons, before being topped with a splash of ranch, italian, or caesar dressing.
Peek across the counter at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory's resident chocolatiers, who massage creamy loaves of chocolate on sturdy marble slabs daily. For additional culinary theatrics, feel free to cheer on the expert orchard orderlies as they kettle-dip Granny Smiths into caramel-coated creations. Caramel apples range from the classically simple ($5.25+) to the Rocky Road Caramel Apple, rolled in walnuts and marshmallows before being drizzled in milk chocolate and white confection with liberal discretion ($9.25). For additional brain pampering, snag a tote of freshly fangled fudge ($13.25/lb.).
Beaucoup Juice blends local flavors with South and Central American flair in an array of sippable fruit concoctions, as well as breakfast and lunch fare. The bayou berry smoothie melds blueberries, bananas, strawberries, soy milk, and Brazilian superberry açaí ($5), allowing customers to ingest enough nutrients to achieve superhero status without the pesky side effects of radioactive spiders. Patrons seeking to cool their corpuses the natural way can gobble up a juice-drizzled snowball ($3 for a small; $4 for a large) in distinctive flavors such as pineapple-mint and local blueberry. To complete thirst-quenching quests, patrons can opt for fresh fruit juice ($5) that transforms watermelons, pineapples, and mangos into their 16-ounce liquid alter egos. Those seeking solid sustenance can inaugurate the morning with a New York bagel and cream cheese ($2.50) or launch lunches with the Treme wrap, which bundles hoisin grilled chicken with feta cheese and an array of vegetables ($6).