Dessert: Why God Created Gym Memberships

Chocolate1Big River
Their dessert menu has something for everyone. If you’re a chocolate lover, you’ll be in heaven with their Hot Lava Cake, a dark chocolate cake that’s ready to erupt with chocolate ganache, or their Four-Layer Cake, which is four layers of chocolate cake filled with layers of chocolate and white chocolate cream. Chocolate not your thing? You can’t go wrong with their lemon tart or classic crème brûlée.

Old World Deli
Claiming to have “The World’s Best Brownies,” Old World Deli, just like Shakira’s hips, don’t lie. Packed with extra chocolate chips and with a chocolaty thickness of cake wonderosity, these brownies are a hard treat to beat downtown. They are baked just enough so they don’t crumble in your hand but are still soft and moist. This chocolaty treat is great with any of their sandwiches, or by themselves—either way, we won’t judge.

Mediterranean Café
“A Place with Personality” doesn’t even begin to describe the Mediterranean Café on Madison, between 4th and 5th. With flashing lights, fun music, and an all-star cast of employees, you can’t find a better place for lunch or dinner. And then there is the baklava selection, the largest variety in town that we know about, and all of it a cacophony of flaky, gooey goodness! Also, they have a  selection of Greek grocery items for your home kitchen endeavors.

If you have never tried Italian ice cream, otherwise known as gelato, you need to make Francesco’s on 2nd Street your next dessert destination. With ever-changing flavors, there is always something new to try and these dessert wonders comes in three sizes. Even the small is huge, so you really get your money’s worth. From chocolate to berries, everyone can find something to love about Francesco’s mouth-watering gelato. Their cookies and cream is like nowhere else’s, bravissimo!

First Alternative Co-Op
You just can’t get any better than “it’s dessert, but it’s natural.” All of First Alternative’s desserts are made with wholesome ingredients, so while it may taste good as sin, it’s a somewhat healthier way to heed your inner hedonist. Do check out their chocolate cupcake with cream cheese frosting—knowing the cake is made with quality ingredients makes it even better. While you’re at it, try their cheesecake and carrot cake, too; you won’t regret it.

Handmade candies made on the premises…? Yes, please. Possibly the most awesomely scented shop in town, the selection is heavily geared to chocolates, both traditional and newfangled. It’s all first-rate, but what’s really over the top are their truffles—you need them in ways you don’t yet understand if you’ve not been initiated. They have milk and dark chocolates. Both skew towards balance rather than the extremes, possibly with the intent to highlight inner contents, it all works together wonderfully—love this place.

Market of Choice
This grocery store on Circle Boulevard and 9th Street could easily drain my bank account with their prices but offers quite the variety of desserts: tiramisu, macaroons, cookies, truffles, cake, and many gluten-free, vegan options. I decided to try a $5 gluten-free peanut butter bar, which is actually a lump of sawdust held together by peanut butter with a thin layer of chocolate on top. However, the Black Forest cake I sampled afterward was a much better choice.

New Morning Bakery
Do not order the coconut macaroons, they’re mine! First, there’s so much right about this place that talking about their brownies and cakes just seems redundant. Everybody already knows about those, and now you know about their cookies, too, which are all amazing, including my already mentioned favorite. We’ve previously noted this as a preferred study or meet-up spot. Pro tip: Mix their house and Frangelica coffee and drink it black.

Allann Brothers Coffee
This popular, local chain has many options when it comes to coffee and tea but the shocker was the overwhelming number of dessert choices. Should I have a chocolate hazelnut scone, chunky chocolate cookie, a slightly oversized muffin, or one of the many biscotti? I talked to the barista and she pointed out a caramel apple scone the size of a smartphone that oozed caramel drizzle. I bought it and promptly inhaled it, enjoying every bite.

Food is more fun when there’s a hole in the middle, right? If you’re craving a doughnut—be it glazed or cake, cruller or bar—head over to NutCakes in Philomath. It’s been rumored that the best selection is available in the early morning hours. Makes sense, since NutCakes opens bright and early at 6 a.m. daily. Check out the breakfast specials on Saturday and Sunday, too. Report to 126 N 13th Street in Philomath for your next doughnut binge.