Dessert First

Butternut Squash Squares and Pear Spice Cookies at The Café at MIM

For good dessert, a museum is probably the last place you'd think to go. After all, don't they just provide food so that visitors, hungry from walking around, don't have to leave, quickly pick up some fast food, and return to finish touring the exhibitions? That's far from the attitude at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), where Executive Chef Edward Farrow -- formerly of River Café in New York and Kai at Sheraton Wild Horse Pass -- oversees a daily menu that skillfully uses ingredients, at least 75% of which are locally sourced.

See also: - Apple Pie and Butternut Squash Brulee at House at Secret Garden - The Café at MIM Celebrates "Eating Local Challenge."

This lunch spot, open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, is available to everyone, so you don't need to be a museumgoer to take advantage of all the café has to offer. Although keep in mind that "café" is a little misleading since the restaurant is set up like a fancy cafeteria (with great service, I might add). At least while you enjoy lunch options like venison Carpaccio and Panamanian roasted pork shoulder you can look out the tall windows to view the museum's garden. That's all good to know, but what I wanted to find out is whether or not the daily dessert offerings, made in-house, are as buzz-worthy as the lunch menu.