Confession: I don’t much care for cheesecake. Shocker, I know. There’s something about the overly dense, overly sweet nature of the dish that just turns me off. Oh sure, I’ll eat a slice or two if you press me hard enough, or if nothing else is available, but it’s hardly ever my preferred choice. Recently, however, that would all change.
While perusing the refrigerated case (just next to the order counter) at H.A.M., a new product caught my eye. A small, round plastic container, plainly decorated and rather nondescript, which held a miniature, individually portioned serving of cheesecake. The label read, “The New Cheesecake Company.” Not exactly the most captivating title I’d ever seen, but it was enough to get my attention for a brief moment. Initially, I just brushed the dessert off…I had a hankering for pork on this day, and cheesecake was not (and is hardly ever) on the shopping list.
“You gotta try those cheesecakes,” owner Brandon Brown proclaimed, “They’re probably the best cheesecakes I’ve ever eaten.” That’s some endorsement coming from Little Rock’s “prophet of pork,” a man who is teeming with taste and wisdom. So, I picked up a couple cakes to go, I needed something to wash down my sausage and lentils.
He was most definitely right. Not only are “The New Cheesecake Company’s” cheesecakes the best I’ve ever eaten, they were good enough to get me excited about cheesecake again.
The people behind this cheesecake can be found right here in Little Rock. They sell their products at a few purveyors of fine foods around town—for the moment this includes, Hillcrest Artisan Meats, Boulevard Bread in the Heights, Terry’s on Kavanaugh, and Moo Moo’s Yogurt Bar in Conway.
What made these cheesecakes special, so much better than more traditional cakes, is their unique texture. These are more reminiscent of a light, fluffy custard—airy and soft—not dense and heavy as you’d expect with most New York Style cheesecakes. They still, however, maintain that slightly tangy bite you’d expect from such cream cheese-laden desserts. I was rather impressed from the first taste. They flavor the cakes with a variety of naturally sourced ingredients—you’ll find lemon strawberry, vanilla bean, cherry almond, chocolate, and bananas foster, to name a few.
Sample one next time you’re out shopping or eating at one of the above mentioned retailers. Odds are you’ll be equally impressed with The New Cheesecake Company’s wares.