Monday, May 25, 2009

NYC's Dessert Truck: A Review

Making it to the Dessert Truck has been a goal of mine for the past 12 months. I don't hold on to too many dreams this long. I either do something about it or I let it slide on past. The Dessert Truck was special enough to stick it out.
For those of you who do not know, here's a little background on the Dessert Truck. The Dessert Truck is literally a truck that is parked around New York City where any passerby can buy high-end desserts for non-high-end prices. The chefs make everything from scratch, from the homemade vanilla ice cream to meringues to decadent sauces for their chocolate bread pudding. Also, they have been featured on the Food Network for a little show called "Throwndown" with my personal friend Bobby Flay. Well...technically he's not really my friend but he did open a Mesa Grill restaurant in the Bahamas and I've eaten there, so it's just a matter of time before we become bosom buddies.

My first encounter with the Dessert Truck made for pretty difficult decision-making. Certainly, I wanted to taste everything on the menu. At the same time, I had to balance this with my ability to eat everything. After evaluating the menu, I was torn between three items:

  • Warm Molten Dark Chocolate Cake
  • Warm Chocolate Bread Pudding
  • Vanilla Crème Brulée
So I decided to suck it up, take one for the team, and purchase all three. Just to clarify, this purchase was required in the name of research. How else can I accurately provide a review of this fine establishment? Also, I have a deep-seeded love of chocolate and crème brulée that had to be fed.

Warm Molten Dark Chocolate Cake Olive oil & chocolate center, hazelnuts, sea salt, vanilla ice cream (optional)
Simply put, I love it. The hazelnuts were candied and scattered over the top of the cake, along with a sprinkling of sea salt. The chocolate cake itself was decadent. It was a little firm but still smooth. The center was molten but didn't taste like olive oil, for which I was supremely thankful. Don't get me wrong, I like olive oil, but I was a little skeptical about it being in the center of my cake. Overall, the entire dish was rich and chocolate-y. The texture and taste reminded me of a truffle, which is definitely not a bad thing to resemble. I was also able to satisfy my salty/sweet craving with this choice. This dish comes with the option to purchase the homemade vanilla ice cream as well. Of course I had to do this. This ice cream contains thousands of beautiful vanilla bean flecks. It was a bit soft (my fault, since I waited 20 minutes to eat it) but still sweet and creamy. I could eat an entire bowl of this ice cream, which is impressive, since I'm not usually a fan of vanilla ice cream! But that's how good it was!

Warm Chocolate Bread Pudding Choice of vanilla or bacon custard sauce

I can't remember ever eating chocolate bread pudding before. I've had a ton of bread pudding, but with chocolate? I've only heard of this amazing dish. And now I've had the opportunity to partake. When I dug into the bread pudding, it was soft and a bit mushy. But I think that's acceptable. It's called bread pudding for a reason. It was very chocolate-y, which is always a plus for me. I don't really know how they did it. Maybe they used chocolate bread? I will make sure to ask the next time I go there. And there will be a next time. The girl who was manning the truck (I was so excited to be there I forgot to ask her name) was super nice. When I told her I was going to write about the Dessert Truck on my food blog, she offered to provide both the Vanilla and Bacon Custard Sauce for comparison purposes. Love her! I tried both sauces by themselves first. The Vanilla sauce was pretty standard. It actually reminded me of the ice cream, except this was heavier and creamier. The Bacon Custard sauce was interesting. When eating it by itself, I could taste the bacon, but it was subtle...almost an aftertaste. When I tried each sauce with the bread pudding, they end result tasted pretty much the same. It seemed that the bacon flavor in the Bacon Custard sauce was lost when paired with the bread pudding. In it's defense, however, this could be due to the fact that I didn't add a lot of Bacon Custard sauce to the bread pudding. You'll just have to try it yourself!
Vanilla Crème Brulée Freshly caramelized sugar
I watched my favorite Dessert Truck staffer use a blowtorch to caramelize the sugar on top of my crème brulée right after I placed my order. They're not kidding when they say "freshly caramelized sugar". (I have a weird desire to own a blowtorch someday, but that's another post.) Digging into the dish, I heard a very satisfying crack as the sugar crust broke. The custard underneath was smooth and creamy and also had those wonderful vanilla bean black spots throughout it. Yes, that is the mark of a quality made dish. I don't really know what else to say about this dessert because it was just really, really, really good. I could be eating it in a stuffy restaurant, which is kind of the point of the Dessert Truck anyway...

In my opinion, my first visit to the Dessert Truck was worth the several failed attempts that morphed into a 12-month wait. In order to find them, you'll need to check out their location on the Dessert Truck website, or you could follow them on Twitter, which happens to be a more effective method of stalking (this is how I FINALLY found them!). I would recommend at least giving this establishment a shot. I doubt you'll be disappointed. My final verdict? The Dessert Truck has found themselves another satisfied customer.


  1. You are lucky to have such trucks! I have seen a French food program on tv and this very particular truck was featured in it...



  2. The Dessert Truck is definitely on my 'to do' list next time I'm in NYC (wish I'd known about it last year when I visited!)

    Loved your post, your writing made me laugh more than once :)

  3. Thanks Rosa and Jayme! You should definitely check out the Dessert Truck if you're in the NYC area!


  4. That is crazy!!! I am in NJ, but next time I am in the city I am definitely going to seek this out! Awesome!