Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Micanopy Mud Pie - Pearl Country Store & Barbecue

Looking for some new scenery outside of Gainesville? Head on down to Micanopy - only 20 minutes south of Gainesville!

Micanopy is sometimes called the "town that time forgot," and it's loaded with historical buildings, antique shops, and that classic Southern charm. For lunch, don't miss the Pearl Country Store & Barbecue on Highway 441. This gas station & convenience store holds one of Miconopy's hidden gems. The restaurant inside serves finger-lickin' barbecue and pies that can't be beat!

This is the Micanopy Mud Pie:

The fluffy, light mousse is sprinkled with chocolate morsels and pecans, and sits in an excellent flaky, homemade crust. It has just the right amount of sweetness, and it's the perfect compliment to a sweet & savory barbecue meal!

They have lots of other pies, and an almost-famous banana pudding! Take a day trip to Micanopy and stop in at the Pearl if only just for dessert!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Nero's Pasta & Pizza - Two-Timing Cheesecake

Nero's Pizza & Pasta works is not your typical Italian restaurant. They really strive to make you feel like you're part of the family. After barely crossing the threshold, you're greeted by a resounding welcome in a thick Italian accent. These guys are no joke - words like "badda bing!" flow out of their mouths as easily as us Southern folk say "ya'll." The dining room is decorated with large Italian murals, including a slightly cloudy sky on the ceiling, and gives the impression that you're eating in a small cafe in Italy.

The menu describes the Two-Timing Cheesecake as "layers of white chocolate cheesecake on top of a layer of milk chocolate cheesecake, topped with vanilla cream, all sitting on a thin layer of chocolate cake."

This very tall slice of cheesecake is rich & creamy but still fluffy & light, pleasantly coating the mouth as you eat. There is a noticeable difference in flavors between the vanilla and chocolate cheesecake layers, but the chocolate is not overpoweringly sweet. As the menu describes, the whole thing is sitting on a thin layer of chocolate cake. They're not kidding about the thin part! It's so thin, I almost didn't notice it. However, I think it is the perfect thickness for this dessert. It reminds me more of a crust rather than a piece of cake, but it's certainly delicious. To my chocoholic delight, they top the whole thing with whipped topping, fudge drizzles, and chocolate morsels!

This summer, take a day-cation to Italy via Nero's Pizza & Pasta - just for dessert.

Nero's Pizza & Pasta
5240 NW 34th Street
Gainesville, FL 32605
(352) 372-7430

Friday, June 12, 2009

Too Jay's - Key Lime Pie

"Key Lime Pie: A cool and creamy version of this Florida favorite beats the best of Key West," reads the dessert menu at Too Jay's.

Is it their most popular dessert? Considering it's listed second to last on the dessert menu, I'd guess not. Regardless, it deserves a tasting! What better way to jump into the summer season?

Upon my first taste, I was intrigued. It's not really cake...not cheesecake...and not pie...so what is it exactly? The texture is thick yet fluffy, custard-like yet slightly reminiscent of cheesecake. The entire thing sits on a homemade graham cracker crust and is topped with light, airy whipped topping. Overall, the Key Lime Cake is refreshing and perfectly portioned for one hungry diner or two to three just wanting a taste. Does the Too Jay's version beat those in the Key West? That's for you to decide. One thing is for sure, though, each bite will conjure up old memories of childhood summers and images of carefree days in Key West.

So visit Too Jay's, order the Key Lime Cake, and allow them to take you on a mini vacation - just for dessert.

Too Jay's Original Gourmet Deli
3410 SW Archer Road
Gainesville, FL 32608
(352) 244-0793

Stay tuned: We'll be returning to Too Jay's soon! They have an abundance of desserts - we have to try more than one!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Where to Next?

What does the future hold for "Just for Dessert"? Here are a few places on our list of restaurants to try. This map is interactive - you can drag it around to view more of the state, click the push-pins to get restaurant information, and zoom in and out. You can even change the view from map to satellite or to terrain. Give it a spin!

Don't see your favorite dessert hot spot? Leave a comment, and we'll be sure to add it to our list!

View Dessert Hotspots in a larger map

Monday, June 8, 2009

Gourmet Chocolate Lava Cake - At Home!

One of the most popular desserts at a restaurant is a chocolate lava cake. Top it with fresh fruit and sprinkled powdered sugar and it's unbeatable! Watch this video to learn how to create a gourmet-looking lava cake in your own home:

The recipe:
4 4-ounce ramekins
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/4 pound unsalted butter
3 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
garnish: powdered/icing sugar, strawberries (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare ramekins by generously buttering sides and bottoms. Place a parchment paper circle in the bottom of the ramekin and coat the inside with granulated sugar.

Melt the chocolate and 1/4 cup butter on a double boiler.

Whisk together the eggs, sugar, and flour just until blended. Gradually add the chocolate/butter mixture to the flour mixture. Divide the batter evenly among the ramekins, filling each with approximately 1/3 cup of batter. Place ramekins on a cookie sheet and bake at 400F for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops are firm and edges are set.

Cool slightly. Run a butter knife around the inside edge of the ramekin to loosen the cake. Invert on a plate and garnish as desired.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Nobleton Canoe Outpost

Nobleton Outpost
29295 Lake Lindsey Road
Nobleton, FL 34661

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mochi Frozen Yogurt

It's new! It's fresh! It's hip! It's frozen yogurt! And it's fat free???

Yes, it's true! Mochi's mission is to "provide the community with a nutritional dessert alternative. [They] offer 100% non-fat, cholesterol-free tart frozen yogurt that promotes good health, not only by providing a good source of calcium, but also by boosting the immune system and maintaining a healthy digestive system."

Mochi is quickly causing a stir in Gainesville, and they've already jump-started their presence on Facebook, My Space, and Twitter. So what's all the commotion about?

(Photo courtesy of the Mochi Facebook site.)

Mochi is not just any frozen yogurt shop - it specializes in tart flavors and it's completely self-serve! As you enter, you're handed a few 1-oz sample cups so you can taste some of the 8 flavors, which will aparently rotate each week. This week's flavors are:
Coco-Nilla (coconut & vanilla)
Original (reminiscent of vanilla, but not as sweet)

You can fill your cup with any combination of flavors, and then make your way over to the toppings bar. They offer 30 different toppings, including fresh fruit, Fruity Pebbles, Captain Crunch, sprinkles, and mochi. What is mochi? According to their facebook page, "mochi is a popular Asian rice cake made of sweet rice flour that is usually eaten as a snack or dessert." And it's actually pretty delicious on the frozen yogurt!

Once you've loaded your cup with frozen yogurt and toppings, place it on the scale near the cash register. It's only 45 cents per ounce so the small cup can range from $3 to $5, depending on the toppings you choose.

And for all the greenies out there, the cups and spoons are completely biodegradable. Even better - eat at Bento and receive $1.00 off at Mochi on the same day! Another great reason to try Mochi Frozen Yogurt - just for dessert!

3841 SW Archer Road
Gainesville, FL 32608
(352) 371-7575
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