Monday, September 22, 2008

Park Chow: Best Dessert Ever

As part of the grand farewell tour of restaurants in my neighborhood, Diana and I ate at Park Chow last night. Later on this fall I will be embarking on the great adventure of cohabitating with her in her Berkeley abode. I suppose I should actually officially tell my family that I’m moving in with my girlfriend (sorry Dad), but I know one of my sisters reads my blog regularly, so now she knows. I’m not sure if Mom or Dad read it anymore, but I mentioned to Dad once that the cohabitation was in the works.

But the point is: we ate at Park Chow last night. They serve comfort-style American food in a cozy two story space with lots of fireplaces, wood paneling, indoor/outdoor seating upstairs, and a healthy assortment of beers.

The thing though that elevates Park Chow from just a really good restaurant to “Oh my god I have to eat here all the time and bring everyone I know or have ever met” status is the Ginger Cake with Pumpkin Ice Cream.

Now, the rest of the dessert menu is fabulous too. I was reminded of that last night when Diana ordered the peach-strawberry cobbler.

But the Ginger Cake with Pumpkin Ice Cream makes you want to pack up all your belongings and move into Park Chow to begin a long and happy life with your new love. The cube of moist and delicious ginger cake is sprinkled with powdered sugar. Scooped next to it lies a mound of pumpkin ice cream (or technically now they menu calls it pumpkin gelato). Nestled between it and the cake, a dollop of whipped cream. Then the whole concoction is drizzled with warm caramel sauce.

You might think “pumpkin ice cream? That’s sounds weird.” But you’re wrong. Just plain wrong. The flavors all mix together to create a taste experience that will ruin you for all other dessert foods. Pretty soon you’ll spend your days on the street corner in front of the restaurant begging for change just so you can get another hit.

It’s powerful stuff. In fact, a shared love of Park Chow’s Ginger Cake with Pumpkin Ice Cream helped spark a friend of mine’s current relationship. Where did they eat their last dinner before moving across the country together? Park Chow. Got to get another hit.

Chow has 4 locations in the Bay Area. All of them have Ginger Cake with Pumpkin Ice Cream on the menu.


  1. I know the guy who created that dessert. (His name also happens to be Alan.)

    He works at Mission Beach Cafe now; if you haven't had their pastries yet, check 'em out!

  2. Wow, I'm honored to share his name, and now I'll have to go eat at the Mission Beach Cafe as soon as possible.


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