Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cheesecakes by Alex, Greensboro, NC

Located down the road from Woolworth's, Cheesecakes by Alex has the perfect location--and with free off-road parking.  I parked my car and walked towards the bakery, all the while noticing the lovely features outside: a beautiful covered dining area, lots of history, and a bike rack for those wanting to ride off the calories consumed at this restaurant.  Alex is a genius!

When I walked into the store I was greeted by a lively woman, who was intently helping another customer.  I took some photos of the display case, trying hard not to drool all over it.  Wow--I had never seen so many cheesecakes in one place, and they all looked so good!  They even had muffins, ice cream cones, smoothies and coffee available...but I was interested only in the cake.  I soon learned that I would not be disappointed.

Alex Amoroso came out to meet me, and what a lovely man he is!  Full of energy, happy, jovial--he certainly made a good impression on me.  Moreso, I saw him greet every single customer in the store by name.  Talk about fabulous customer service--this is something I don't see that often.  Everyone seems to love Alex.

After he greeted me and handed me a bottle of water, he told me that he was going to prepare a tray for me.  ..on the house!  (Thank you Alex!)  While he was gone, I took note of all of the lovely art hanging on his walls, and all by local artists.  The patio outside was full of people enjoying coffee and cakes.  My mouth watered as I watched one young man eating a red velvet cake, and hoped that I was so lucky.

Alex returned with a tray full of calories I mean cheesecakes and cakes.  My mouth almost hit the floor when I realized what I had in store for me.  In fact, I have to bullet the list to keep them in order:
  • New York Cheesecake, traditional cheesecake with a graham cracker crust, very creamy and tart from the lemon flavor.  Yum.
  • Kahlua:  Espresso & Kahlua in the cheesecake with cinnamon and espresso on top and Oreo cookie crust.  Exceptional!  Nice balance of coffee flavor.  Very creamy, perfect texture.
  • Strawberry Red Velvet Cake:  Very moist and definitely the best red velvet cake I have ever eaten.  The strawberries are purchased locally and used for all of their strawberry desserts.  This cake would be absolutely perfect for a wedding cake--it actually has a flavor!  The cream cheese frosting was just a thin layer.  Outstanding!
  • Chocolate Brownie Turtle Cheesecake:  chocolate chip brownie in a chocolate cheesecake coated in chocolate ganache with nuts and caramel on top.  There is a texture play in this dessert--the brownie was very chewy but the cheesecake was extra creamy giving this cheesecake a sweet combination of flavor and texture--pun intended.
  • Crumb Cake:  This cake is one I could eat every morning for breakfast if I planned to weigh in at 300 lbs by the end of 2011.  That's not the plan though I could definitely do some damage with this number.  This cake is by far the best crumb cake I've had since my Grandma made her own cake.  The texture is that of a sponge cake with a beautiful crunch on top.  The cinnamon and powdered sugar dusted on top gave it just the right amount of sweetness.  This is a comfort food and would be paired very well with a cup of hot tea or coffee.  This cake is highly recommended for those of you not into something over the top rich or sweet, and it's big enough to share with three people.  Alex gives you the bang for the buck with his large slices of cake.
So by now you think I'm finished, don't you?  Nope...have two more.
  • Triple Threat Chocolate Cake:  This is what I refer to as the PMS cake.  I don't mean to be offensive at all here to Alex the Cheesecake Genius, nor to any one of my girls...but I'm saying, if I have PMS this is what I would reach for if it were in my house at that time.  Devil's Food cake with rich chocolate buttercream.  All dark chocolate.  Amazingly enough this cake is not over-the-top sweet but has a rich chocolate flavor that is quite dangerous.  Drink cold milk with this one--you won't be sorry.
  • Raspberry Cheesecake:  Alex reduced and de-seeded raspberries for this cheesecake, added white chocolate with a chocolate Oreo crust.  this one warms the palette.  Total WOW!
If my tummy wasn't ready to explode by now, I have the feeling Alex would have continued to feed me.  He is very proud and secure of all of his recipes and he has reason to feel that way.  There wasn't one suggestion I could have offered him to increase his customer base.  I am in awe of this business.

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