Feature

Banham's Cheesecake Gets Comparisons to Famous NYC Bakeries

The decadent chocolate and hazelnut cheesecake with an Oreo cookie crust.
The decadent chocolate and hazelnut cheesecake with an Oreo cookie crust. Banham's Cheesecake
Banham's Cheesecake in Arcadia Plaza has stolen the hearts of cheesecake lovers.

Nextdoor app user Ann Campbell was quick to post a shoutout to the store after trying a slice: "It's better than Carnegie Deli and Junior's Cheesecake in New York."

Others joined in. Lisa Lawrence said, "One brother took some home for his wife; it didn't make it home. Another brother had to talk him into just a taste. He handed me back the empty container and said he tried to save me some, but it was evil."

Others raved about the regular and Key lime cheesecakes. Cheryl Leon quoted her papaw, saying the pumpkin pie cheesecake, "Made my eyes light up, and my tummy say howdy."

Husband-and-wife team Christopher Banham and Adriana Gamboa Olalde opened the store in January 2020. Most days, it's the duo at work. On weekends, they have help.

The shop is simple and airy. Open the door, take two steps forward, and you're standing in front of the case with two long rows of cheesecake slices nestled in clear boxes. The wall behind the counter is wallpapered with black-and-white scenes from Paris, where the couple spent their honeymoon. "We loved the café scene," says Olalde. A pair of bistro tables and chairs await those eager to try their treats.

Aside from the regular flavors, there may be a few seasonal tastes. The current seasonal slices are gingerbread, chocolate hazelnut, and pumpkin.

click to enlarge The popular and perfect Key lime cheesecake. - BANHAM'S CHEESECAKE
The popular and perfect Key lime cheesecake.
Banham's Cheesecake

According to Olalde, the most popular cakes are the original strawberry, Key lime, and coconut. The strawberry and blueberry compotes are made in-house without preservatives and last about three days.

Olalde says the original recipe belongs to her husband's family. He has added his touch to it and created additional flavors. Banham says he takes customers' suggestions into account and only presents the finished product when he feels it is perfect.

Banham and Olalde live in the Foothills and commute to Arcadia Plaza. "It's a distance to drive to the store, but we are so happy with the support we are getting here," Olalde says. "People really value local businesses in this neighborhood."

Cheesecakes are sold by the entire cake or by the slice. Custom orders require 48-hour notice (because cheesecakes take 12 hours to set).

We tried a few slices. Their cheesecakes are luscious and flavorful without the stick-to-your-palate feel. Between the tangy-and-sweet traditional with its light, creamy texture, to caramelly dulce de leche, fruity blueberry, and decadent hazelnut chocolate, you are bound to find a favorite ... or four.

If none of those excite you, try the Key lime. Not too sweet, not too limey, just perfect. Or, go for the Oreo cheesecake; the crust holds an Oreo-studded main layer, covered with a thin coat of chocolate ganache. Over the ganache, a cookie perches atop a ribbon of homemade whipped cream.

Banham's has a loyalty card. If you buy nine slices, the 10th slice is free.

Banham's Cheesecake
2836 East Indian School Road, Unit A3
Sunday to Thursday, 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
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