Sweet Bites…

I can live without dessert, but I don’t want to. It’s a bad habit to fall into–having dessert after every meal. I had broken the habit for a while, but it’s back. I’m blaming my job (reviewing restaurants) for the return of the sweet curse, but the reality is that I simply love to end a meal with a sweet bite.

Speaking of bites, why don’t more restaurants offer dessert samplers? With some desserts reaching the price of a small entree, who wants to commit that much to an unknown? What if you shell out $10 to $12 bucks and the dessert sucks?

A couple nights ago, we were dining at a locally owned steakhouse. It was a lovely meal — perfectly dressed Caesar salad spears, perfectly cooked filet (although it didn’t have much flavor on its own, the chef topped it with a kicky corn and chipotle relish), garlicky mashed potatoes, and then the dessert tray arrives.

I crack up at those trays, laden with fake or “preserved” versions of the real thing. And steakhouses are notorious for whipping up huge, sugar bombs — dark chocolate cake, ice cream pies, monster bread puddings.

But this local steakhouse smartly put together a sampler — a taste of three of their most popular desserts — bread pudding with butterscotch rum sauce, creme brulee, and Mississippi mud pie. The trio arrived in a long, rectangular tray, with the desserts in three ramekins.

There was plenty of each for two to share. None of the desserts were spectacular, but it was fun to sample three and not feel like we invested all our eggs in one basket. I wish more restaurants would go to the trouble (and it is a little more trouble) to package up dessert samplers.

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