Monday, March 07, 2005

Best Blog Post in the World! ...About Cheesecake...In Vancouver...Written Tonight

I love walking through the city on a clear day, discovering shops and cafes. So I was walking through downtown after work, when I saw a white sandwich board with big, black, blocky letters simply proclaiming "Best Cheesecake in Vancouver." I was sucked in with one of the oldest and most annoying marketing tricks around. Not so much by being fooled into thinking that this here is indeed the best cheesecake in town, since it says so (literally) in black and white right in front.'s more of a "geez, they have some gall to say that outright. I bet they're wrong. I'm going to try some, and prove them wrong, and then blab (blog) it all over the place!" kind of thought. Still, I admit it, I was sucked in. So whatever way you look at it, that sandwich board is effective. This sign was in front of Trees Organic Coffee (450 Granville at Hastings), a place well-known amongst those seeking free WiFi internet and coffee downtown. This was my first time though, and I like the idea of organic and fair trade coffee. It also looks quite nice and cozy, as well as having a nice little patio area out front. I ordered a banana cheesecake, and I mentally prepared myself for disappointment.

Just so you understand where I'm coming from, I love cheesecake. I go to Cheesecake, etc. fairly often, and have generally considered that to be the best I can get in Vancouver, aside from my own homemade ones of course (for example, I do a blueberry-lemon one during blueberry season that I think about fondly the rest of the year). Cheesecake, Etc. (on South Granville, near the bridge to downtown) does these wonderfully fluffy, cloud-like cheesecakes, that are only slightly less than ideal (in my opinion) because of the lack of crust. I really like a graham cracker crust. Anyway, back to Trees' banana cheesecake - it was really very nice, at least to start with. It was a very generous slice that really should have been shared with another person, so by the time I got near the end, I was getting a bit of a C.O.D (cheesecake overdose). It was smooth and creamy, and nicely banana-y. My second favourite type of pie is banana cream pie (love that banana goo) and this was like the offspring of a banana cream pie and plain cheesecake cross. AND it had a graham cracker crust. I didn't wind up finishing the slice, and it was VERY sweet, so it might not be for everyone, but it did make a nice first impression on me. At least enough for me to relinquish any plans to vandalize their sandwich board...but then again, food usually appeases my destructive tendencies. In the end though, I'm more likely to urge you to have a slice at Cheesecake, etc. if you haven't had one before. Plus, it's a late-night kind of place, which is usually when my cheesecake needs arise. But I can definitely see myself stopping into Trees for coffee if I'm in the area in the daytime. Tonight they closed at 8 pm. Other desserts, as well as blueberry, raspberry and chocolate cheesecake were available too.

By the way, here's another fun discovery I made this evening: I found food-related novelty items (I won't specify, in case you know me, and get presents from me) in a cute, kitschy, little store called Funhauser Decor, in Chinatown (35 East Pender St., across and down a block from Tinseltown) a couple of doors away from a big Ming Wo (also fun to browse).

One last note about Cheesecake, etc.: it's a lovely place for a first date with someone who likes cheesecake (that's important to find out, btw. For goodness sakes, do NOT bring someone who can't eat or doesn't like cheesecake to a place called Cheesecake, etc.), since it's nice and dark, candle-lit (read: flattering lighting), and you can hang around and talk for a long while if things are going well, because you generally get ignored by the staff anyway, or you can bolt right away if things aren't since there's nothing there but beverages and cheesecake (and because you generally get ignored by the staff anyway... so it actually takes an effort to get another drink). Plus, even if it doesn't go well, at least you get to eat some nice cheesecake!


Jeanette said...

I love cheesecake... a lot. And, cheesecake loves me back. At least, it sure likes hugging my hips and refuses to leave! At one point, I decided that I wanted to buy a cheesecake recipe book for a friend, and at the time, couldn't find one. I realized I probably had enough recipes stashed away to put together my own book, so I did! I even got some kids to draw pictures of cheesecakes, (one drew a SWISS cheesecake)which I scanned and printed out to add to the finished product.

Since then, I have come up with even more cheesecake recipes, including one I got to name! Now think about this... I wrote a song before, and named it "Ophelia standing in running water"... which is indicative of how quirky I can get when naming anything.

Anyway... I love crust. I like soft and fluffy. And... as I mentioned before in another post - I love pineapple. I can't claim it is the best in the world, as it's still in development. Fortunately, I am rarely lacking in cheesecake guinea pig tasters. My hips thank everyone for that as well!

Elaine said...

I have to say cheesecake is awesome! If you like it light and fluffy, Cheesecake, etc. is definitely the place to go.

If you like it heavy, that's a tough one. Home made is probably your best bet, but Bread Garden makes a good heavy cheesecake. Any other suggestions?

Elaine said...

Stopped in at Trees over the weekend all because of your comments, and had to try the cheesecake. Had the blueberry cheesecake and it was delish! The other half liked it better than Cheesecake, etc. but he likes heavier cheesecakes.

Thanks for the write-up, I don't think we would have tried it otherwise.