(Cheese) Cake, Cake, Cake (And It's Not Even My Birthday)

00:00 June 26, 2014
By: 2Fik

Sometimes when you are talking about something incredibly fabulous, like July 30's National Cheesecake Day, you have to do some deconstruction - that's just how it is if you want to really take advantage of a holiday sent straight from the cloudy heavens. So without further ado, here goes: First of all, cheesecake is comprised of two things: cheese, and cake - both of which can easily stand on their own and have really awesome taglines like "The cheese stands alone," "Let them eat cake" and for the Double Jeopardy bonus round: "Can you have your cake and eat it too?" (I think we can all agree it's confusing. Does it count if you've eaten the cake and it's still in your stomach?). Anyhow, this is going to bring up your Farmer in the Dells, your Marie Antoinettes, and if she's lucky, Kristen Dunst might even get a piece of the action.
Pause. What are we talking about again? Oh, right, the best day ever: National Cheesecake Day. What makes this year's National Cheesecake Day extra special is that this will be my first year celebrating. Thankfully, I was alerted in plenty of time and was able to set myself up with a rigid cheesecake conditioning regime—I needed to set the bar high and hit the ground running so that when the time came, I could have the cheesecake experience I deserved. For this reason, I didn't waste a moment before heading straight to Cheesecake Bistro by Copeland's to do some research.
Naturally hooking it up come July 30, Cheesecake Bistro by Copeland's will be offering a free slice of cheesecake for every slice enjoyed (one per person). In addition they are giving $10 off the purchase of any whole cheesecake. Woah! Now, with a name like Cheesecake Bistro by Copeland's, I probably don't need to waste my theoretical breath by telling you these people know what they are doing. Of course, don't take it from me, take it from the man himself:
"We incorporated bakeries into our Cheesecake Bistro locations in 2000 and have focused them around our signature cheesecakes," said Al Copeland Jr., Chairman of the Board for Al Copeland Investments. "Cheesecake Bistro by Copeland's is proud to be voted America's Best Cheesecake, and on National Cheesecake Day, all of our locations will celebrate, for its 11th year."
I live what my mom (Hi mom!) calls "the charmed life," and this was never more evident than when I was eating 11 years of award winning cheesecake. My life is so charmed, that when I hit up Cheesecake Bistro by Copeland's for an "assessment" (aka an excuse to eat cheesecake), I skipped dinner and went straight for the wine/appetizer/cheesecake trifecta. Was I impressed by the creamy style original cheesecake, buttery pecan crust, 6 Chef Crafted cheesecakes, and 10 different fresh homemade toppings? Absolutely. And since we are on the subject of trifectas, I'm going to go ahead and recommend the trio. For just $7.95 you can sample three of Copeland's decadent masterpieces . . . and let's be honest - you couldn't decide between the Hawaiian, Crème Caramel, or the new Red Velvet Cheesecake anyway, so it's the only solution.
When I left Cheesecake Bistro by Copeland's I felt like I was dancing on a whip cream cumulonimbus, which is an optimistic way to feel on a Wednesday night if you ask me. The problem was how anything else was going to compare. Next up on the docket: Jacques-Imo's… because who wants to live life without trying their Shrimp and Alligator Sausage Cheesecake? A play on the traditional dessert, the cheesecake appetizer adds some Gouda, sprinkles with green onions, and includes a healthy serving of Nawlins style. But the sauce, which is the part you will be wishing you could swim in, is made with Creole Cream and is a perfect complement to a certain Louisiana beer.
The 3rd stop on my journey through the best of the best (cheese and cake) - Creole Creamery. Does Creole Cream Cheese Cheesecake ice cream count as worthy of celebration on July 30th? What about Gingerbread Cheesecake Crunch? Grand Marnier Cheesecake? How about Coffee and Sambuca Cheesecake? Let me run that back for you: coffee, liquor, cheesecake, and ice cream. Creole Creamery's seasonal flavors rotate out so none of the above are a guarantee, but some variation of cheesecake and booze is always on the menu. Can I get a hell yes?
If you are still on the hunt for authenticity, port at Commander's Palace where chef Tory McPhail recently brought home "Best in Show: Sweet" at NOWFE. Though the Commander's menu is constantly being updated, you can still sample a selection of rich, seasonal housemade Creole cream cheesecake with a honey graham crust if elegance strikes your fancy. And if you're anything like me, you'll want to pair this with some refreshing summer bubbly so consider taking your dessert out to eat in the gorgeous tropical courtyard. I recommend the "Perfect Thyming" created by Bar Chef Ferrel - this recipe for warm Southern sophistication blends Kentucky Bourbon, bubbles, lemon juice, pecan liqueur, muddled thyme and decadence - Yes, please!
I am actually going to slow down here and admit that it is possible that I am beginning to sound a little bit gluttonous - guilty as charged. That being said: Did you know that Cheesecake Bistro by Copeland's also has a low carb, low cal version of their famous cheesecake? If you're ballin' on a caloric budget, this is the way to go. With only 4 grams of sugar per slice, even the health conscious won't have to feel guilty for ordering the Sweet Deceit. Is that what they call having your cake and eating it too? Am I going to get my head chopped off now?
Alright, back to the gas pedal. There are great places to get cheesecake all over the city if you're willing to look. Lots of the cheesecake around town is made with Southern Louisiana Creole Cream Cheese which makes it taste that much better. Red Fish Grill does a version using the local flare, white chocolate mousse and a dark chocolate cookie crust.
At Café Dauphine in the Bywater you can get traditional cheesecake, but if you're a boss, you're going to go ahead and get the strawberry sauce and whipped cream. If you're on that Machiavelli type of thing, you'll probably get banana foster topping (eh? eh?). The famed Acme Oyster House does a Bananas Foster Cheesecake too - but that's only in the Quarter, so if you're in Metairie or Baton Rouge you'll have to settle for Bananas Foster Pie. Oh, the horror. You can also try the Warehouse Grille - they do it two ways with their Ameretto Cheesecake plus Praline Cheesecake and if just one slice of the praline isn't going to do it, you can get your life loving self on over to Haydel's which has a full Praline Pecan.
The last stop on my journey through cheese, cake, ice cream, coffee, liquor, nuts and all things better than everything else was the tried and true Uptown mecca, Whole Foods @ Arabella Station. It's not where it used to be, but it's still there - just go to the refrigerated section where the slices of white chocolate, chocolate, traditional, and fruit are chillin. Grab one on the go, put it in the freezer with some fresh fruit of your choice and enjoy a couple hours later when the temperature is optimal. (This is available at other Whole Foods locations as well).
On that note, stay classy NOLA, and on July 30th please remember the importance of cake, ice cream, and 11 years of greatness by Cheesecake Bistro by Copeland's.

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