Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Desserts for Sharing at Steamworks Brewing Compay

Steamworks Brewing Company on Urbanspoon After a disappointing dinner at House x Guest, I guess we were raring to salvage the evening with a decent dessert. It was already around 9:15pm and strangely, we couldn't think of a good place to go that was in reasonable walking distance. Miku Restaurant was tossed around, but the hours were 5pm to 10pm on Saturdays. Thierry was another option and they close at midnight, but it was estimated that they would be too busy to fit our party. Finally we decided to swing by Steamworks on the recommendation of one of our party, and if that didn't work out, we could always continue on to Miku, depending on the hour. We sort-of nominated a leader for the dessert portion of our dinner outing and after she previewed the dessert menu, decided we could give it a shot.

Overall, the sharing desserts were good in a simple way. Good vanilla ice cream comes with everything. At the same time, the core of the dessert looks pretty, but is actually sort of plain. There's nothing really "special" here, but it's a portion that's approximately twice as much compared to a fine dining establishment, at a comparable price.
What Steamworks has over "finer restaurants" is the simple comfort in their desserts. There's nothing fancy -- no exotic ingredients or adventurous combinations -- so nothing can go wrong. It's a very safe choice for a good time at a reasonable price.

Strangely, I can't remember dessert #5... Which brings up another issue: It's just really not that memorable. It's probable that you will walk out remembering the good times you had with your friends rather than anything "wow" about the food or dessert.

We were six at House x Guest, but one dropped out to go to a movie, so only five of us went into Steamworks. After a bit of a wait on the busy night to get us an appropriate table, we were seated. The  "Desserts for Sharing" listed five desserts -- perfect. We ordered everything (pic). I love doing that. Turns out that was the wrong strategy.
The problem here is that ice cream melts at room temperature. If you don't eat it fast enough, you'll end up with an unappealing soup on your plates, which in turn dulls your enthusiasm to finish the plate. Instead, we should have paced ourselves and gotten one or two desserts at a time, finished it, and moved along.
  • Upside Down Pecan Pie for Two ($7.99) Sweet and sticky pecan filling tucked inside a puff pastry dome, caramel, creme anglaise, candied pecans, Mario's premium vanilla ice cream
    • Extremely sweet. Strangely, having it with the ice cream at the same time tempers that sweetness nicely.
  • Hedgehog Ice Cream Pie ($6.99) Layers of latte, almond, and hazelnut ice cream on espresso chocolate biscotti crust with chocolate sauce.
    • Starts out quite firm. Kind of like a slice of chocolate cake. For your chocolate fix, go for this instead of the Brownie Sundae.
  • Oversized Caramel Apple Pie ($7.99) House made apple pie smothered in warm caramel sauce, almond crumble, Mario's premium vanilla ice cream.
    • Uses flat slices of apple instead of chunks. The filling isn't as gooey/syrupy like most apple pies you can buy in the supermarket.
    • Nice crumbly crunchy crust on top. Of all the desserts, this was the most interesting. Something in the texture of it.
  • Brownie Sundae ($7.99) White chocolate chip brownie, fresh whipped cream, Mario's premium vanilla bean ice cream, hot fudge.
    • When I think of a sundae, I think of some sort of ice cream mixture, usually layered. This is NOT a "sundae". What you get is ice cream, whipped cream, and a bar of dense, chewy/fudgy, brownie.
    • The "hot fudge" is a very thick chocolate sauce in a gravy boat. Use it early because it starts to set and becomes thicker as time passes.
    • The overall experience here is chewing on the brownie and having ice cream separately. You can have both in your mouth at the same time, but the brownie is so firm and chewy that it has to be processed separately anyway.
    • If you need a chocolate fix, I'd say give this a pass and go for the more interesting tasting Hedgehog Ice Cream Pie.
  • #5 -- I honestly can't remember! Did we even get a 5th dessert?
    • EDIT (Aug-30-2012) - Dessert #5 was Tiramisu.
I asked for a peppermint tea, and they came out with a Tazo Refresh herbal infusion ("a bracing blend of mint with a pinch of tarragon").

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