On Thursday, Shiaw-Ling and Candace did us the great favor of babysitting Neil and Kelly so that Peter and I could check out the new Morton’s in San Jose. As we were discussing the menu, I told the waitress that I was skipping dessert at Morton’s in favor of a slice of the Charlie’s Cheesecake Works cheesecake I’d bought earlier. She told me that she wasn’t familiar with Charlie’s Cheesecake, but that the cheesecake at Morton’s came from a bakery in the Bronx called S&S Cheesecake. It was the best cheesecake she’d ever had, hands down, and coming from Chicago, she knew from cheesecake.
I didn’t try the cheesecake at Morton’s because her assertion had put another idea in my head. I’ve had chocolate taste-offs, so I can confidently tell you which local chocolates are the best. But I’ve never done the same with cheesecake, so I may say Charlie’s Cheesecake is the best cheesecake in the world, but I can’t say that with the confidence of someone who’s put the cake to a taste test. So Peter and I plotted to have a cheesecake taste-off. All the cheesecakes will be plain, to make it a fair playing field. The competition will consist of:
Charlie’s Cheesecake Works Silicon Valley Classic
S&S Cheesecake’s New York Cheesecake
Sara Lee, for old time’s sake
The Cheesecake Factory, to put the hype to the test
& Carolyn’s “Lumpy” (Homemade) Cheesecake
Who knows, we may find a philosophical difference between West Coast and East Coast cheesecake recipes, or that Sara Lee is as good as we thought it was before we knew better! It’ll be a blind test, so prejudices (or a desire to flatter the hostess) won’t be a factor.
So (among local friends & acquaintances only, sorry) who’s in? And if you are in, is there any brand of cheesecake you think needs to be added to the choices?