Roslyn Cheesecake Roundup!
Updated: Jan 26, 2020
Roslyn has been aflutter with excitement over cheesecake this week. Here's why.
For the last week, The Coal Chute Cafe and Pub has been posting sumptuous pictures all over Facebook, showcasing the scratch-made cheesecakes they have on offer. A seemingly daily expanding selection of options range from standard NY Cheesecake and a Nutter Butter one to the sell-out Keto NY Cheesecake. After a brief conversation with Ashley Evans, the mastermind behind the Coal Chute Cheesecake Craze, and a peppering of culinary questions with answers that went in the right direction (read: cheesecake water bath!!), I knew I just had to investigate their FIVE (yes, FIVE) cheesecakes.
Cheesecake can result in a number of different textures, everything from throat stopping gullet cloggers (aka "dry cheesecake") requiring a liquid assist, to sloppy gelatinous schlumps (aka "wet cheesecake") requiring scaffolding. Or a spoon. I know this because my late husband was a master baker and I had to endure his weekly experiments which I not-so-lovingly called, "The Summer of Cheesecakes and Expanding Pant Sizes". But, because of this, he could turn any cheesecake hater into a lover. A Cheesecake Messiah, if you will. And, as a result, I learned a thing or two about cheesecakes.
So, with the goal in mind of seeing how The Coal Chute cheesecakes stood up to this extensive training, I walked away late last week with one slice each of their cheesecakes. Yes, all five of them. But, mind you, this is no Cheesecake Factory. Quite a bit better in fact.
Starting with the mild flavored cheesecakes and working towards the more intense flavored ones, I and four other intrepid cheesecake taste testers ate our way through them all. Were they worth their price? Read on...
NY Cheesecake Supported by a graham cracker crust, this classic NY Cheesecake had a great flavor and texture. Not too dry and not too wet. This one was the group favorite, so much so that there wasn't any left for our 5th tester! My only complaint with this one (and the next) was that the filling could have been blended longer - in several bites I could discern chunks of straight up cream cheese. In addition, I'm used to a graham crust that is cooked a little longer, giving it more of a cookie (and less crumbly) texture. This one was more on the crumbly side. Perhaps fiddling with butter quantities or a longer bake time of the crust would give it that sheen that helps hold up the cake. There's room for a few minor improvements, but I would definitely eat this one again.
Keto NY Cheesecake
This option is, again, a NY Cheesecake style except that it's Keto. What's Keto you ask? It's essentially a low to no carb food item. What makes this cheesecake Keto? Well, Coal Chute uses monkfruit as the sweetener in the filling and the crust is made from ground pecans. Because monkfruit is zero calorie but 100 - 250 times sweeter than sugar, it can be difficult to bake with. I found this cheesecake version to be overly sweet with a artificial sweetener flavor which could be the result if the monkfruit used is a mix of erythritol, a sugar alcohol similar to xylitol and sorbitol. The texture on this cheesecake was a lot more on the wet side and didn't hold up to room temperatures as well as the rest of the cheesecakes. The pecan crust was a very nice addition, the only comments being that a finer grind on the pecans would be preferred. Taste testers weren't as excited about this one, although it was the top pick for one of them. However, if you're Keto, or wanting a Keto option, you'll really like this one.
Nutter Butter Cheesecake
Unsurprisingly, the Nutter Butter Cheesecake has a Nutter Butter cookie crust and was definitely a crowd-pleaser. Above the perfectly textured peanutty flavored cheesecake was a ribbon of delicious chocolate that made it reminiscent of a peanut butter cup or a Butterfinger. Full Nutter Butter cookies accent the top of the cheesecake, rounding out not only the flavor, but the presentation as well. If you like peanut butter flavored desserts, definitely eat this. Now.
Bailey's Irish Cream Cheesecake
A chocolate cookie crust flanks this highly liked version. If you're a fan of Bailey's, you'll really like this. Several of us found the chocolate cookie crust to be a little overpowering as a flavor complement to the rest of the cheesecake and would have preferred a graham cracker crust on this one. A light chocolate layer tops the cheesecake, packing in some extra flavor. As the most expensive version of the bunch, it ranked in the top two for several of the testers, but came in last for another (caveat - he doesn't like Bailey's).
Chocolate Silk Cheesecake
Also starting with a chocolate cookie crust, this cheesecake has a fairly strong chocolate flavor profile. Personally, I love chocolate. Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! The darker the better. But, this cheesecake has a strong, almost bitter, chocolate profile. The chocolate mousse on top was great. Ranking-wise, it came in last among three of our testers and in the top two for the others. The texture itself was great, but perhaps playing around with having a vanilla cookie or graham cracker crust to offset the dark chocolate flavors would improve the likability of this one.
Whoa there!... What makes this a Roundup?
Well, not wanting to leave other local cheesecake options out of the Roundup, I expanded my search beyond The Coal Chute into the rest of Roslyn.
Basecamp Books and Bites has a cheesecake on their dessert menu downstairs in the Speakeasy. While not house made, their cheesecake is a consistently tasty cheesecake option. I can state this with impunity because my daughter orders it frequently (she is of aforementioned cheesecake training as well). Their cheesecake comes from a vendor called Sweet Streets and is covered with sliced strawberries and has a swirl of caramel. It is very light in texture (and manageably small) and hits the spot without making you feel like you ate something heavy, or leaving you with a feeling of regret. It's just the right amount and just the right flavor.
New on the scene, Logan's Restaurant (in the old Pastime / Roadhouse space) offers a Salted Caramel Cheesecake. The menu states this one has a graham crumb crust filled with a cheesecake that is topped with a sprinkle of sea salt and brûléed. On the night that I went, the cheesecake was not brûléed, but rather had a thick layer of caramel sauce reminiscent of the kind that you dip apples in. Since this is not house made and purchased from their food distributor (and looks like it might come from the same place as Basecamp's), what would help make this outshine the competition would be to do an actual brûlée - it's super fast and easy with a little sugar and a kitchen torch. The crunch of the caramelized sugar would pair well with the soft base. Adding a larger flake sea salt would stand out more on the palate and accompany the flavors better than the small grain sea salt that was served.
If you're looking for a classic cheesecake with great texture, where there are a boatload of flavor options and one that's great for sharing with others (or not!), get yerself down to The Coal Chute, stat! If you want a more petite cheesecake dessert for one or two that won't disappoint, opt for the one at Basecamp. If you love the flavor of caramel sauce, then Logan's is a great choice!
719 S 1st St, Roslyn, WA 98941
110 W Pennsylvania Ave, Roslyn, WA 98941
204 W Pennsylvania Ave, Roslyn, WA 98941