It’s been a few years since I set foot in Cheesecake Etc.
This little dessert place has been something of a local institution since the late 1970s.
The place is almost frozen in time. The menu is basically a raisin & walnut cake, and plain cheesecake, a chocolate cheesecake topped with whipped cream, and various fruit or caramel or chocolate sauces. And tea and espresso drinks.
The menu hasn’t substantially changed in over 30 years, but it seems to have served them well, since here they are all these years later, and they’re still in business. They’ve expanded the space a couple of times, taking over the neighboring stores and expanding their dining room into each.
This is the Chocolate Cheesecake, with caramel sauce, toasted pecans and whipped cream.
The remarkable quality of Cheesecake Etc’s product is the texture. It’s one of the lightest, fluffiest, airiest cheesecakes anywhere. It’s just sweet enough, and this one has a chocolate tone, with extra sweet richness from the caramel and whipped cream, and some light crunch with the toasted pecans.
This is actually a pretty large serving, and the one slice was enough for two of us.
This was the first time I’d sampled the chocolate cheesecake, in every previous visit, I had the plain cheesecake with a fruit compote topping. If I had to choose one over the other, I think I’d go with the plain over the chocolate. They’re both good, but I prefer the subtle flavors of the plain with fruit.
At first I thought this was a non-baked cheesecake because the texture, and color of the surface was so pale. It does appear to be a baked cheesecake, because it lacks the telltale gelatin texture of non-baked cheesecakes. I have to guess it uses separated eggs, with the egg whites whipped into a meringue. At a guess, it’s a lot of egg whites.
I’ve been trying to replicate their recipe for many years without success. I have developed a good cheesecake recipe to call my own, but it’s not a match for Cheesecake Etc’s.
The service is fairly minimum, but still pleasant.
The room is dimly lit, and a bit dated. But it makes for a decent intimate setting for couples.
The doors don’t open until 7pm, but it fills up quickly on weekends, and it’s not uncommon for lines to form outside.