The line to enter 4 Rivers Smokehouse in Winter Park, Fla., is as lengthy as any theme park ride (or airport security screening!). Hungry diners queue up even before noon to feast on the smoky, Texas-style barbecue. But as enticing as the barbecue is, not everyone is there for the piles of meat and country sides. Below an "Eat More Sugar" sign hung from the ceiling, kids and adults alike satisfy their sugar cravings at the Sweet Shop with some over-the-top desserts that will send the tooth fairy into overtime.
The candy-colored confections perfume this little corner of the barbecue house, drawing fans to skip the barbecue and head straight for the goodies arrayed here. Think 3/4-pound cookies, red velvet "Twinkies," and quixotic flavored cupcakes guaranteed to bring a giggle at the names alone.
Although the too-cute Birthday cupcake and Mississippi Mud cupcake are sure to please, the best of the bunch must be the Junk Food Collection. How can you not love a Mountain Dew green cupcake festooned with orange Doritos? That's right. It's a Mountain Dew and Dorito cupcake designed for those who love sweets but love sweet with a hit of salty the best. There's a screaming purple Nehi and Nerds (we all remember Nerds, right?) cupcake, a Coke and potato chip cupcake, and, because this is the South after all, a pretty in pink Cheerwine cupcake.
Want to go even more over the top? How about a cupcake dropped in a milkshake? No joke. You pick a house-made ice cream flavor. You pick a cheerful cupcake. And the two shall become one, with the help of a heavy-duty blender, begging the question — do you use a straw or a spoon (both!)? Staff members say these shakes are especially popular amongst the mothers-to-be who frequent the Sweet Shop. But you don't need to be in the throes of crazy cravings to hit them up — just ready for an epic sugar buzz.
If you can't make it to Florida, try your own hand at a junk food cupcake with this recipe.