Each week, I set out to dig into at least one of Dallas’ best desserts. This quest has landed me everywhere from dumpy little dives to some of the city’s most elegant restaurants. Whether I’m gulping down a milkshake or savoring dessert/art that’s almost too beautiful to eat, I love a sweet treat. With our Best of Dallas issue approaching, I’ve whittled down a list of favorites and give you my top five.
5. Whiskey Cake: Whiskey Cake
A cake so good they named the whole restaurant after it. Do you really need to know more? If so, there’s this: It comes with its own bowl of whipped cream. Like, a huge mixing bowl. If you so desire, the server will leave the whole bowl at your table so you can dollop accordingly. The moist toffee torte floats in a bourbon Anglaise moat and is topped with slightly peppery pecans — flavors that go perfectly with “The Nuts” cocktail.
4. Kitchen Sink Milkshake: Grub Burger Bar
Read the menu’s description aloud (pretzels, peanut butter, salt, butterscotch sauce, caramel sauce, chocolate chips, coffee grounds and potato chips), and you will probably get a nostril curl from your date. Take a sip through the fat straw, though, and you’ll be ordering a second one so you won’t have to share. Much the same way we love Koko the gorilla because she doesn’t squish that kitten the way kind of expect her to, the kitchen sink milkshake will defy your misconceptions. The only way it could get better is if they added booze … Oh, wait. They did. The “dirty” kitchen sink is spiked with chocolate vodka.
3. Butterscotch Pie: Bowl and Barrel
You don’t have to bowl to eat here, and with a menu designed by Sharon Hage (former chef-owner of York street), Bowl and Barrel has piqued the curiosity of many food-lovers. Though not everyone has been uniformly impressed with the resulting food and price point, the pie does not disappoint. Its silky sweetness, accompanied by a sea salt caramel sauce, strikes the perfect sweet-salty balance. It’s the only dessert on the menu for good reason.
2. Warm Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies: Braindead Brewing Co.
Some desserts are loved for their comforting nostalgia factor. Perfect example: cookies and milk. Braindead Brewing’s take on the classic is right on the money. Their version includes brewer’s oats, giant chunks of chocolate, and comes with a cold glass of stout-spiked chocolate milk. My plateful of cookies attracted whining pleas to share and unsolicited advice from all corners of the bar. This is why I dubbed them “the cookies that saved Deep Ellum.”
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1. Candied Fresno Pepper Ice Cream: Café Momentum
People often associate dessert with feelings of guilt, but at Café Momentum you can feel good about indulging. Swing by, and you’ll not only enjoy the best dessert I’ve ever tasted, but you’ll be supporting the nonprofit’s efforts to provide training to young interns who truly benefit from the experience. Their lime-scented scoop of candied Fresno pepper ice cream rests on a bed of honey popcorn, alongside three squares of pepper-glazed polenta financiers. The result is a dessert that is both elegant and slurp-worthy. The ice cream itself is slightly spicy, but not overwhelming. The contrast in flavors and textures is a delight for your senses that goes easy on your conscience.