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Greensboro’s Ten Best Dessert Spots

by Brian Clarey

Ganache

403 N. Elm St.; 336.230.2253

ganachebakery.com

You could spend an hour perusing the pastry case at Ganache ‘— cakes, cookies, tarts, muffins and scores of other delectable goodies literally sparkle under the glass. Have one by the window with an espresso or take something home to make ’em smile. Ganache will also make custom cakes for all occasions, weddings too, and can even make one that looks like a basketball.

Cheesecakes by Alex

315 S. Elm St.; 336.273.0970

cheesecakesbyalex.com

If I were ordered to gain thirty pounds in a short period of time, like say for a movie role or a trip to the Arctic, I would pull up a chair in this Elm Street cheesecakery and just go to town. Proprietor and head baker Alex Amorosa clearly knows what he’s doing, with a closely guarded recipe and secret techniques that produce a product that I think about when I dream. Try the crème brulee cheesecake. It’ll make you moan and gurgle just like Homer Simpson.

Maxie B’s

5700-E W. Market St.; 336.294.6058

2403-7 Battleground Ave.; 336.288.9811

maxieb.com

One of the many businesses in Greensboro named for the owners’ dogs, Maxie B’s makes cakes that conjure up words like ‘decadent,’ ‘sinful’ and ‘Do you have any milk?’ With more than 30 varieties and the imagination to make thousands more, this may be the best place in town to get your cake on. Also they make a true banana pudding with a secret ingredient that a server will whisper to you if you really must know.

The Melting Pot

2924 Battleground Ave.; 336.545.6233

meltingpot.com

The Melting Pot is a chain, something we usually try to avoid in our Ten Best section, but it’s true that they offer a unique product. It’s a full-service fondue restaurant with a killer menu, but towards the back of the book they list no fewer than eight kinds of dessert fondues, including white, dark and milk chocolate and one selection that has Bailey’s Irish Creme swirled into the mix. Good God.

Marisol

5834 High Point Road; 336.852.3303

Marisol is a fine example of a French bistro, set somewhere near the Jamestown border and with just the right balance of informality and pretension that keeps people from all over the Triad coming back for more. The dessert specialty is the Scharffen Bergen liquid center chocolate cake, a specialty made individually and renowned for its lusciousness and ability to inspire. Try it with a nice port or a glass of Champagne.

Bert’s Seafood Grille

4608 W. Market St.; 336.297.4881

bertsseafood.com

Owners Drew and Mary Lacklen (Bert is their dog, so don’t ask for him at the host desk) know instinctively what to do with a piece of fish ‘— any fish, from grouper to salmon to escolar. Lucky for the rest of us they also know how to sate a sweet tooth. The banana bread pudding is based on real banana bread and is served with a melting heap of caramel semi freddo (a fancy name for ice cream) on top. Staples like the Key lime pie and the peanut butter pie round out the dessert menu, along with seasonal items. This fall Mary says she’ll be serving a harvest tart with walnuts and plums.

Green Valley Grill

622 Green Valley Rd.; 336.854.2015

greenvalleygrill.com

The dessert menu at the Green Valley Grill, located on the ground floor of the O. Henry Hotel, is an ever-changing feast for those looking to give some closure to their evening meal. Staples of the list include crème brulee, tiramisu and chocolate cake, but the kitchen staff goes above and beyond with seasonal tarts and another version of chocolate cake made with Irish cream mousse. The featured dessert this fall is a chocolate molten cake with pear compote and lemon whipped cream.

Hemingway’s Downtown

213 S. Elm St.; 336.275.6367

There is only one dessert item on the menu at Hemingway’s: a chocolate plate that has been known to seal deals of a romantic nature right there at the bar. They also have a bevy of thick and sweet Martinis that work for people who prefer to drink their dessert. Try the chocolate Martini, made with Godiva liqueur.

Yum Yum’s

1219 Spring Garden St.; 336.272.8284

There’s nothing fancy about Yum Yum’s, the no-frills hot dog and ice cream joint right there on UNCG’s campus. But the ice cream is homemade ‘— has been for generations ‘— and for many native Greensboroans it was the setting for their first taste of the delicacy, eaten in a cake-style cone after jamming down one of those red, red hot dogs.

Spring Garden Bakery & Coffee

1932 Spring Garden St.; 336.272.8199

This funkified little joint lies within walking distance of UNCG and the action on the corner of Walker and Elam and they make everything on the menu from scratch. With bright colors on the walls and a folksy, crunchy feel, this is the only hippie bakery in town and a favorite for both students and neighborhood residents who act like them. This is a favorite spot for YES! Weekly graphic designer Lisa Ellisor, who knows a thing or two about sweets.

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