Tired of discovering a restaurant's delectable desserts after already stuffing ourselves full of appetizers and entrees, we're on a mission to find the places where diners should order dessert first. After all, chicken roulade and lamb vindaloo make excellent leftovers. But ice cream made in-house? Not a chance.
With its first location in Chicago, the award-winning Province opened its second location in the Westin Hotel in downtown Phoenix in March. Their dinner reportedly doesn't always live up to the hype, but they have a dessert menu that sounded out of this world, including house-made sorbets and ice creams.
There's no way we could resist what they call a Peanut Butter and Chocolate Flan "Sandwich." Our server warned us that it would be heavy and extremely rich, but hey, there's nothing wrong with that. The menu description only says that it's served with chocolate sorbet, meringue crisps, and peanut crunch, so it was tough to picture how these ingredients make a sandwich. Let's just say this is not a sandwich that you'll ever be picking up and eating with your hands.
This dessert is the perfect treat for peanut butter cup lovers. The peanut butter flan - rich indeed - makes the top part of the sandwich. Because of the peanut butter, this flan is a little dense and isn't at all liquidy. The middle is made of little pieces of meringue, the bottom is a dark chocolate crust that's much more chocolate than crust, and the plate is finished with a cocoa-peanut crunch. As if that's not enough to satisfy a sweet tooth, it's topped with dark chocolate sorbet, which was surprisingly creamy rather than icy, and it also has a salty brittle cracker. This "sandwich" is a one-of-a-kind way to satisfy a serious chocolate peanut butter craving.
Our second dessert was just as tasty. Find out what it was after the jump...
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At our server's suggestion, we also tried the Honey Crisp Apple-Almond Wafer Stack . In comparison to the Flan Sandwich, this was definitely a light dessert. It hits all of the same flavor notes as a classic apple pie, but the added texture and presentation make this dish pretty far from the pie we just had on our Thanksgiving tables. Two thin, very crispy almond oat wafers sandwich dulce de leche ice cream, which all lays on top of thinly sliced baked cinnamon apples. The stack is topped with apple crema and caramel sauce. This dessert is sure to be a hit with almost everyone; the flavors are delicate, and the dish is something familiar that's presented in a new way.
If you're in the downtown area, Province is the place to go for dessert. Skip the dinner, order a drink, and have a dessert or two. Just be careful with that Peanut Butter and Chocolate Flan "Sandwich," which is so rich it knocked us into a sugary daze. Was it worth it? Heck yeah.