Dessert First

Miss McGee's Mud Pie at Bobby-Q

See also: 11 Favorite Barbecue Joints in Greater Phoenix See also: Top Ten Spots for Mac n' Cheese in the Valley

Barbecue isn't exactly the first style of cuisine to turn to when you want an incredible dessert. After all, isn't the point to eat so much juicy, succulent meat falling off the bone that you have to undo the button on your pants (or if you're home alone, forgo pants altogether)? Regardless, there are some of us of who need to finish every meal with dessert -- no matter how much we've just eaten or how filling it was. And boy, desserts that hail from the Deep South, the usual follow-up to a feast of barbecue, sure are rich and definitely won't leave anyone hungry.

In an attempt to find a seriously good dessert, it makes sense to go to a restaurant that takes its barbecue seriously. The Valley is lucky to have several barbecue joints that make the cut, and ranking somewhere in the top of that list is Bobby-Q, a local standby that's serves award-winning upscale barbecue. Upscale or not, the barbecue is finger-lickin' good, although the prices are a little higher than a no-fuss neighborhood favorite like The Barbecue Company. However, this Sunday, September 2, you can snag four half-orders of meat, two sides, and cornbread for $28.

And if you can manage to keep going after all that, you don't have to go elsewhere to find a tasty treat. For the super stuffed, there are complimentary cinnamon sugar doughnuts, freshly fried and small enough to finish in one or two bites. These little gems taste like home-style doughnuts and are best enjoyed hot, but are handed out in a to-go bag to save for when your stomach has finally digested that big plate of brisket and ribs.

If doughnuts aren't enough, Bobby-Q offers all of the desserts you'd expect to go with barbecue: banana sweet pudding, fresh baked peach cobbler, death by chocolate cake, and mud pie. Miss McGee's Mud Pie was to hardest to resist, but the actual thing didn't match expectations. That's not to say that this dessert is bad, but it certainly isn't a saucy, messy Mississippi mud pie. Instead, this mud pie is made almost entirely of ice cream. The size is the most impressive aspect; it towers to about 8" tall, large enough for a standard mixing bowl to have been used as the mold.

The crust is made of Oreo cookie crumbs topped with a thin layer of peanut butter icing, which is tough to cut through with a fork but worth the effort. The peanut butter in the crust makes it a little more special than other cookie crusts and complements the chocolate and vanilla ice cream.

Peanut butter makes another appearance in the "chocolate ice cream laced with peanut butter." Yet the nutty flavor is really mild, not even enough to call it a peanut butter chocolate dessert. That's a smart move, though, because this dessert is so large that one person could never (or should never attempt to) eat it alone. Since not everyone wants a heavy, oily peanut butter dessert, especially following a bunch of barbecue, it's a good thing that the flavors of this ice cream mud pie are kept on the lighter side.

The ice cream isn't made in-house, and while it's nothing spectacular, it's satisfying enough. Although the flavor's a little lackluster and the ice cream is fairly middle-of-the-road in most respects, the texture is nice, and, thankfully it doesn't have the gummy feel of many grocery store brands. This mud pie doesn't seem like much, but once you start eating it, it's really difficult to put down the spoon. Bobby-Q certainly isn't a place to visit for dessert on its own, but the final course isn't entirely neglected (too often the case when it comes to barbecue).

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Dominique Chatterjee