Wednesday, September 30, 2009

You can't have pudding unless you eat your meat!

As it turns out we often don’t mind missing out on the pudding. Quite surprising to me the dessert poll ended with ‘almost never’ getting the most votes. That is 41% of those polled say they almost never order something sweet off the restaurants dessert menu. In a close second 35% of the pollsters claim to be tempted with sweets only half the time they eat out. I’m also somewhat interested in the fact no one was interested in cheese to end their meals. Manchengo cheese topped with goat milk caramel and truffle honey at Momocho was one of my favorite ways to end a meal ever.

Since I have this platform I can explain myself. I am much more inclined to order dessert at a restaurant that either employees a pastry chef, or operates a bakery. Sure we could stick with the no-brainers….crème brulle, molten chocolate cake, or berries blah blah blah. But what’s the point; it all tastes the same everywhere. I almost always order dessert if there is a pastry chef, and never order any of the 3 options previously mentioned. The French toast at Lola is one that I’ll never forget.

I will admit that most of the time I go out it’s a stop for ice cream on the way home that rounds out the evening. There is a dual purpose to this. First, most times eating out means putting a lot of food down the hatch in a short period of time. Think about it, apps, salad, and entrée all in 45 minutes or so. I’m stuffed after that. Even if I have a taste for something sweet I need to take some time relax. The drive home provides exactly that. Second, I can get a whole lot of ice cream for $8. Two or three helping at least compared to a one time shot with that restaurant dessert. Pure economics. Mitchell’s blueberry chocolate chip is really good, but my all time favorite is a classic mint chocolate chip.

I strongly encourage everyone to support their local pastry chefs and bakeries. I’ve worked with a few very talented pastry chefs and recognize the great work that a few others are capable of. Plan ahead when you dine out. Try sharing an appetizer to save room for dessert. Be brave and try something new or creative. I’m guessing that you’ll be disappointed a lot less than you think.

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