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Where to get the Best Cheesecake?

m
mitpyro Sep 26, 2005 08:18 PM

Hi,
A friend of mine's birthday is coming up and she loooves her cheesecake. She's from New York City, so she's been spoiled, but I'd still like to find her some really good cheesecake if possible.

What's the best cheesecake in the area?
I'm willing to drive anywhere...

  1. r
    Robert Lauriston Sep 26, 2005 08:36 PM

    Just Desserts' is superior. They have a few retail outlets scattered around, you might also find it at Andronico's. Get the "original," not the nasty chocolate or other variations.

    1. l
      llr Sep 26, 2005 09:05 PM

      For an absolutely delicious, feather-light cheesecake, try Zanze's Cheesecake 2405 Ocean Avenue San Francsico. Telelphone is 334-2264. This is a true SF unique shop and product!

      6 Replies
      1. re: llr
        m
        Mick Ruthven Sep 27, 2005 01:46 AM

        To me, "feather-light" isn't good cheescake. Am I missing someting here?

        1. re: Mick Ruthven
          m
          Melanie Wong Sep 27, 2005 01:55 AM

          Don't worry Zanze's is still very rich, but it has a fluffier texture.

          1. re: Melanie Wong
            m
            Mick Ruthven Sep 27, 2005 09:38 AM

            It's now on my list to try when I'm nearby (in spite of it not being dense :-)

            1. re: Mick Ruthven
              j
              Jupiter Sep 27, 2005 03:08 PM

              just a word of warning:
              Zanze's keeps very rigid hours. i think they close at like 4:30!
              so you might want to call ahead.

              1. re: Jupiter
                n
                Nancy Berry Sep 27, 2005 06:22 PM

                Zanze's cheesecakes are available frozen at Tower Market on Portola for those who can't make the bakery's hours. And Zanze's is one of my two favorite cheesecakes. The other one was the dense, creamy cookie-crusted Lindy's-style cheesecake that my parents sold in their luncheonette/drugstore when I was young. I have the recipe for that one, but the extremely light yet creamy texture and the exquisite, balanced flavors of Zanze's "French-style" cheesecake are still a mystery to me. I'd love to learn how to make that one.

          2. re: Mick Ruthven
            r
            Robert Lauriston Sep 27, 2005 12:05 PM

            That's almost certainly not what a New York emigre is craving.

        2. r
          Randy Sep 27, 2005 01:23 AM

          Draeger's does a very nice New York cheesecake. It sticks to your knife when you cut it just like it does in the Village.

          1. m
            Melanie Wong Sep 27, 2005 01:27 AM

            Rosen's cheesecake is my favorite, the original plain flavor. Some of the SF grocers can order them for you if you can't make it up to Petaluma. Zanze's is also very good.

            Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

            8 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong
              j
              Jim H. Sep 27, 2005 01:39 AM

              You might want to check out John & Jill's in Bel Marin Keys...mostly wholesale, but they have great deals on seconds. Once in a while you can get sugar free cheesecakes that are the best I have ever tasted. Hard to find so you should call ahead and see what they have and where to find them.

              1. re: Jim H.
                p
                Peacemeal Sep 27, 2005 06:15 AM

                I second that, on John & Jill's. I first heard about them through someone who happened to work in the neighboring industrial park. I had trouble locating them at first, but once I found them, I couldn't believe the quality and the price you can get on what they call factory seconds (and couldn't tell why they were seconds!) I understand they supply many restaurants and hotels. A well-kept secret that I wondered if I should share here, not because I want to hold out, but because I wasn't sure if it was only me who thought it was really good... but since Jim H. thinks so too, I have to say that I fully support his opinion that John & Jill's is really worth seeking out!

                1. re: Jim H.
                  m
                  MIck Ruthven Sep 27, 2005 09:55 AM

                  I can also vouch for John & Jill's. I just happened onto it earlier this year. I don't know how it compares to Rosen's or others, but it was really good. It may have moved recently, but now it's in the industrial park that precedes Bel Marin Keys.

                  John & Jill's Cheesecake
                  4 Commercial Blvd
                  Novato, CA
                  382-1292

                  1. re: Jim H.
                    m
                    Melanie Wong Sep 27, 2005 10:51 AM

                    All these years, Jim, and you're just telling me now? (g) Sounds really good, will have to figure out a way to be in Novato during daylight.

                    Here's a link to a recent article in the local paper about Rosen's cheesecakes. Some branches of Amici's pizza sell it by the slice.

                    Link: http://www.arguscourier.com/business/...

                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                      j
                      Jim H. Sep 27, 2005 04:36 PM

                      I have to keep some secrets, Melanie. My wife is a big fan of J&J for her LOL group. They have individual cheesecakes in bulk packages...forget the price, but a real steal. I have, however, stopped by to pick up goodies, and found them out of what I wanted. Good idea to call first.

                      1. re: Jim H.
                        m
                        Mick Ruthven Sep 29, 2005 02:30 PM

                        >Good idea to call first.

                        But if you're driving by on 101 anyway, it's about a minute to get to J&J from the freeway.

                  2. re: Melanie Wong
                    c
                    Chino Wayne Sep 27, 2005 04:44 PM

                    Bar none, the cheese cake developed by the late J.M. Rosen is the best cheesecake product in the state of California. It is shipped in to the discriminating restaurants in the L.A. are that know good cheesecake.

                    I swear, despite the liquid diet, if I had one of those cakes in my fridge this afternoon, it would be gone by tomorrow, down the hatch, I and wouldn't share it with anyone (I'd try to keep its presence a secret).

                    1. re: Chino Wayne
                      m
                      Melanie Wong Sep 27, 2005 11:45 PM

                      It never fails to amuse me that the blessed Rosen's cheesecake gets more praise from da boyz in the Southland than up here. Guess you picked it up hanging out with the Chairman of the Board in the desert. (g)

                      Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                  3. m
                    Mick Ruthven Sep 27, 2005 10:00 AM

                    Since cheesecake fans are converging here, I need to ask about the crust of a "real" cheesecake. I remember from long-ago business trips to NYC that the cheesecake there didn't have any cookie or graham cracker type of crust, just the baked surface of the cheesecake itself. Do I remember that correctly? If so, then what's with the prevelance of cookie-type crusts?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Mick Ruthven
                      k
                      KathyR Sep 27, 2005 11:13 AM

                      All I know is that I prefer a graham cracker crust on my cheesecake, as long as it's not soggy.

                      Does anyone know if Arizmendi's cheesecake is any good? It looks pretty good . . .

                      1. re: Mick Ruthven
                        r
                        Robert Lauriston Sep 27, 2005 12:26 PM

                        I think all the cheesecake I've eaten in New York had a crust. Usually pastry, sometimes crumb.

                        1. re: Mick Ruthven
                          j
                          Jim H. Sep 27, 2005 09:57 PM

                          I think a lot of old time NY cheesecaker makers used a crust of pulverized animal crackers...yeah, that kind. It makes a dry, smooth, not too sweet crust.

                        2. m
                          mitpyro Sep 27, 2005 12:43 PM

                          Great suggestions! Thanks very much!
                          Didn't know there were so many cheesecake lovers out here.
                          I'll try it out and report back :)

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