Dessert First

Desserts to Hit and to Miss at True Food Kitchen

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.

True Food Kitchen, a Fox restaurant, celebrates that food can be both healthy and delicious, declaring on its website: "We believe that simple, fresh, pure ingredients create the most memorable and satisfying meals." So True Food's dessert has to be good, right? That was our thought as we set off to try a couple selections, which include vegan and/or gluten free offerings.

Let's just say it was a mixed bag.

We started off with the Banana Chocolate Tart, which is neither vegan nor gluten free but is uniquely delicious. If you love bananas and chocolate, you can't go wrong here. The caramelization of the bananas that top this dessert make the slices good enough to fight over spoon-to-spoon. They're crispy on the top, much like a crème brûlée, but are still soft underneath, and the preparation brings out the natural sweetness of the fruit.

Find out what else we had for dessert after the jump.

The crust of the tart is made with mesquite flour, adding a rich, smoky flavor to the dark chocolate. The flavor profile is perfectly rounded out with Brazil nuts and whipped cream. The Banana Chocolate Tart is delectable, distinctive, and - compared to something like "Pig in the Orchard" Bread Pudding - it's not too menacing of a diet killer.

The Apple Crisp with Pecan Maple Ice Cream is one of True Food's vegan treats. Nothing about this dish betrays its vegan nature; the ice cream still has a creamy texture, the cinnamony apples are rich and satisfying, and the granola topping is sweet and doesn't read as "hippie dessert." This is a nice autumn specialty, but the flavors aren't as balanced as expected, particularly when compared to the Banana Chocolate Tart.

Although the menu doesn't mention it, the Apple Crisp is packed with dried cranberries, making for a very tart dessert. Some diners, like, say, the ones who adore Lemonheads, will be able to appreciate the competing sweet and tart flavors.

But a little warning would have been nice. This one was too tart for my personal taste, but fellow diner, Dayvid, really dug in. The biggest issue is that the cranberries and cinnamon overwhelmed the light vegan ice cream. The maple and pecan flavors were almost undetectable when blended into the apple, cranberry, and granola, and they couldn't be enjoyed separately, either.

True Food Kitchen has a long list of desserts to indulge in - before dinner, after dinner, or on their own. From $2.50 for a scoop of ice cream made in-house to $7 for a gluten free Flourless Chocolate Cake, everyone is sure to find a treat that's suited to their tastes as well as their dietary restrictions.

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Dominique Chatterjee