Dessert First

Sundaes and an Unfortunate "Cheesecake" Experience at Joe's Farm Grill

Photo by Dayvid LeMmon

Joe's Farm Grill is known for doing food right - so much so they've even been featured on the Food Network. And with a namesake like Joe Johnston (of BBQ and Liberty Market fame), locals expect it to be good, too. This place emphasizes their use of quality ingredients: organic vegetables that they grow on their farm, locally sourced beef, and made-from-scratch sauces. Joe's is one of the best places in town for a classic American meal of burgers, fries, pulled pork, and more.

But, are they worthy of being on our list of places to order dessert first?

Find out after the jump.

Not a chance. We'll just come right out and say it: the dessert at Joe's Farm Grill is generic, flavorless, and receives none of the TLC that the rest of their menu is lavished with. Luckily we were smart enough to order sandwiches and fried green beans while we were there, but their dessert was such a disappointment that it killed most of the joy that our delicious dinner brought to us.

These sundaes aren't bad...exactly...but they aren't good, either. Let's just say that they have a lot in common with Miss Dairy Queen. The Chocolate Sundae pictured here was advertised as having toasted nuts, but ours didn't have a single one. Joe's boasts that their chocolate sauce is made in-house, but any restaurant worth their salt (or sugar) really should. Maybe they do make their own chocolate sauce, but it didn't taste very different from the Hershey's variety.

Sure, Dairy Queen and Hershey's bring to mind fond memories of childhood, but as an adult, we now know that that's not what real grown-up desserts taste like.

The "made-from-scratch Cheesecake" at Joe's bears no resemblance to cake. It's actually a soft cheesecake filling, which should not be eaten on its own and should instead be part of an intricate dessert like Cheesecake Choco-Berries. At first it didn't seem like this cheesecake had any crust at all, but turns out there was a thin chocolate cookie crumb lining in the bottom of the plastic cup. This dessert was topped off with whipped cream and - the only thing that made it edible - fresh strawberry slices.

If you really need to satisfy a sweet tooth at Joe's Farm Grill, it looks like the Grilled Peanut Butter & Banana Split sandwich is the best bet. However, it's not listed on the dessert menu -- and it's served with french fries.

Although all of Joe's actual desserts, including chocolate coconut bars and berry sundaes, are priced at $3 to $4, spend your money on the savory food - that is, until they redo their dessert menu, which we strongly suggest. Some seasonal mini pies or decadent strawberry shortcake would do the trick. We'll be back when you can make that happen, Joe.

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Dominique Chatterjee