CakeSpy Note: This is a guest post from Cake Gumshoe Laurel, a sweets enthusiast and handbag designer! She has also designed custom CakeSpy totes and wristlets which would make great Christmas presents. Just saying.
San Diego Beer Week started a few days ago. Many of the beer and food tastings are in bars, but one of the places participating in the ten day celebration of craft beer is Extraordinary Desserts. I'm a dessert nerd and my husband is a beer nerd; there was no way we couldn't go. We'll have babysitting later on in the week and plan on taking part in another beer-related event or two, but we figured this would be a good one to go try out for an early evening with our son. I didn't realize that Extraordinary Desserts was also a restaurant, with delicious looking sandwiches, appetizers, and even happy hour specials. We were here for the beer-inspired desserts though, so that's what we ordered. My husband had the warm caramelized apple pie with house-made St. Peter's Cream Stout ice cream, and I had the Coconut Porter beer float. Our 16-month-old son had a scoop of their house-made vanilla ice cream.
Some friends and I made beer floats once and they weren't nearly as good as this. (They were kind of gross, actually.) The house-made vanilla ice cream that went in my beer float was absolutely divine. It was rich and creamy, and it paired really well with the beer in the float. I've had the Maui Brewing Company Coconut Porter that they topped the float with, and it's not especially coconutty, so I appreciated that they also topped the float with toasted coconut flakes to bring out the flavor.
As much as I liked my beer float, my husband's apple pie (pictured top) was hands down the star dessert. The pie crust was flaky and buttery, and there was just a hint of cardamom in it that made it really stand out from ordinary pie crust. It was more like an individual pot pie than a slice from a whole pie, and we could definitely taste the caramel flavor in the apples on top. The ice cream was fabulous as well; the cream stout gave the ice cream an almost hazelnutty flavor, which complemented the pie very well. I could easily eat a whole bowl of the ice cream on its own, and it was all I could do to not lick the plate clean when my husband declared himself too stuffed to go on.
Our son also loved his bowl of vanilla ice cream, as you can see. He's clearly thinking about how this ice cream is so much more creamy and velvety than any other ice cream he's ever had, and how strong the vanilla bean flavor is, and how the next time he eats plain old ice cream from somewhere other than Extraordinary Desserts he'll just be thinking about how it's not as good as this ice cream. Our son has a very discerning palate.
We lived down the street from the original location on Hillcrest for two years and somehow never managed to make it in, and boy, do I feel dumb about it now. We'll definitely be visiting again in the future to try some of their regular sweets. If you're interested in visiting Extraordinary Desserts to taste their beer week offerings, make sure you go before November 15, when San Diego Beer Week ends. (And if you happen to go, and you see a crazy mom fighting her toddler for the right to lick the bowl clean, stop by my table and say hi.)
Extraordinary Desserts has two locations in San Diego, 2929 Fifth Avenue on Hillcrest and 1430 Union Street in Little Italy; online at extraordinarydesserts.com.