• Dessert Lady, 120 W. Church Street, Orlando, FL www.dessertlady.com

We settle in a golden, velvet love seat in the middle of the restaurant. With its scarlet draperies and French decor, Dessert Lady, in the historical heart of Downtown Orlando, welcomes us in a voluptuous atmosphere.
“Hi guys”, the waitress hands us the menu. “Have you been here before?”. “Yes”, I answer with a guilty smile. “But it’s his first time, and he has to try the seasonal special.”

“The Pumpkin Cheesecake?” “For sure!” It’s a solid, rich, milky cream, lightly infused with spices and set over a gingerbread crust. Alec has heard me talking about it for weeks and I want an encore.

To make sure we don’t miss any other bliss, we venture into the Menu and order the Dessert Sampler: “four half-size portions of any desserts of your choosing”. When our plate comes, we realize the word “half-size” was an understatement. The plate is huge.

My pumpkin delight is a confirmation. A tower of pure decadence warmly embraced by a white chocolate sauce. Best cheesecake ever. 100%. The Sour Cream Apple Cobbler, is amazing as well. Warm Granny Smith slices, baked in a sweet custard and topped with a pecan streusel, balance the cold of the vanilla ice cream tantalizing our taste buds. Devoured.

When it comes to the Coconut Brulee Cheescake a doubt arises. Its thick cream, enclosed between a macadamia nut graham crust and a warm caramelized coconut topping, is too sweet. The sugariness overwhelms the fruit’s zest. The raspberry & mango sauce that drizzles it doesn’t help. Mmmh… It’s ok.

Their Fudge Ripple Bread Pudding, a tepid chocolate and vanilla cake, served with hot fudge ganache, is ambiguous. The vanilla part is truly exquisite. So soft and dainty that you end up cutting away the white form the black part, way too firm, compact.

A month later, when I still haven’t burnt the caloric intake of the Sampler, I wisely decide to come back and please my chocolate craving. I opt for their Flourless Chocolate Torte, supposed to be infused with coffee liquor. The waitress says I should try it warm with some vanilla ice cream. “Sure. Sounds great”. The flavor is good: rich and chocolaty as I expected. The liquor though is impossible to detect. The coffee imperceptible. Its consistency, a little too frothy, needs more compactness, maybe some kind of crust at the bottom.

As an overall experience, with its chocolate ganache and raspberry sauce, the cake is pretty satisfying. The real problem rises when it comes to its chilly side. Apparently, they forget about the word “cream” in the “ice cream” combo, and I just get the “ice”. The “thing” is totally flavorless and has a slushy texture. Average. “Well, at least it’s included in my $10 dessert”, I think. I’m wrong. They charge me 3 bucks for a frozen lather that I could have better bought at Walmart for cheaper.

Failure? Promotion? I’m on the fence. This place can be sinfully good and easily earn lids. But when they accustom you to excellence, weakness sounds so delusional. If it wasn’t overpriced, a breakdown could be excused. But if I spend $10 for a slice of cake, it has to be breath taking. Always.

It would have been better if… they had never removed the pumpkin cheesecake from the menu.