Carlo’s Bakery in New York, New York

Dining Outside the Home: Carlo’s Bakery in New York, New York! He’s the Boss, that’s for sure. Luscious cakes, cream-filled cannolis, chewy cookies, and countless culinary creations will have your head swimming from refrigerated display case to bakery case. Customers in line murmur, “I want this. I’ve had that” as their fingers point to the delicious pastries behind the lighted glass. In no time at all, by the time you snake your way up to the energetic staff, you’ll easily walk away clutching fifty dollars worthy of dreamy confections.

Little Fish Coffee in Hanapepe, Kauai

Dining Outside the Home: Little Fish Coffee in Hanapepe, Kauai. Slurp on a smoothie that lives up to its name with shots of espresso, iced milk, and creamy caramel. It’s not called the “Jitterbug” for nothing. Little Fish Coffee understands what it means to be as happy as a fish. Their menu offers a variety of super-healthy açaí bowls, bagel and grilled sammies, plus delicious pastries. On a garden isle, it only makes sense to use local, Kauai-grown ingredients. The fair-trade organic coffees are great for sipping or on-the-go. Either way, prepare to be a happy little goldfish.

Dining Outside the Home: Trilogy Coffee and Tea Bar in Kilauea, Kauai

Dining Outside the Home: Trilogy Coffee and Tea Bar in Kilauea, Kauai. Beyond the back door of Hunter Gatherer in a historical stone building, the aroma of coffee is practically hypnotic. It is so alluring and powerful, you may feel drawn to enter. Once inside, the temptation begins. Pastries are in rich supply under bell-shaped glass domes to keep bakery delights fresh. Choose one cloche for gluten-free edibles that will make you drool. Whether sweet and savory or crisp and crunchy, they won’t last long. Word is out that organic and vegetarian choices are popular. Match them up with international coffees or herbal teas. Trilogy is all about putting high-quality in our bodies. Join the third wave of coffee, tea, and chocolate.

Dining Outside the Home: Café Art Hemingway in Old Kapaa Town, Kauai

Dining Outside the Home: Café Art Hemingway in Old Kapaa Town, Kauai.  At first glance, it may appear as though this quaint little eatery, in that elusive shade of French Blue, is located along a scenic waterway flanked by a pastoral countryside in the south of France. On the front terrace the prized wicker chairs, with their airy casual character, suggest this is a place where friends kick off their shoes and relax while sipping espresso coffee and nibbling on buttery baguettes. After all, the simpler things in life can be an adventure on a somewhat ordinary day. Step inside Café Art Hemingway where food becomes art. It can be a raw delicacy, a creative masterpiece, an expression of the chef, or a delight for the eyes as well as the palate. You choose the genre from the diverse menu offerings, as long as it’s Old World European blended with a shot of Hawaiian cuisine. Merci Aloha!

Dining Outside the Home: Le Peep in Carmel, Indiana

Dining Outside the Home: Le Peep in Carmel, Indiana! There’s a lot to be said for a string of restaurants that originated in a converted gas station in Colorado over 40 years ago. They must be doing something right. And becoming a Hoosier tradition, in my opinion, is one reason to experience unique breakfast creations in your own back yard. The menu alone extends the option to eat breakfast any time of day. Gooey Bun. Dutch Apple Oatmeal. Pampered Eggs. The Great Reef Benedict. And don’t get me started on the coffees. When you come in with a smile and leave with a smile, is it any wonder their slogan is “It’s always a great day when you dine at Le Peep!”.

Dining Outside the Home: Second Street, an American Bistro in Williamsburg, Virginia 

Dining Outside the Home: Second Street, an American Bistro in Williamsburg, Virginia. The moment you step through the doorway, the aroma of freshly baked cookies greets you. Next, the courteous maitre d’ offers you a free sample from the nearby pastry case. With a cookie to whet your appetite, a quick glance around the room indicates an atmosphere that is as upscale as well as it is comfortable. Be forewarned! The portions are generous from the Grilled Romaine Salad to the juicy Bison Meatloaf and popular Baby Back Ribs. Have no regrets when choosing from the tempting dessert offerings. The gluten-free Flourless Chocolate Torte is a satisfying grande finale.