Many local restaurants claim they have the best cheesecake this side of New York and Key lime pie better than anything in the Keys. Puuuhlease. But we did find a serious contender when Frankie Romano from Cheesecake Etc. stopped by our offices a while ago with his desserts, plastic cutlery, and confidence in tow.
"I've got the best cheesecake in Miami," Romano assured us. "And my Key lime pie is in a category all its own."
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Big words. But he backed it up with the assurance that, even though he just took over the business a mere six months prior, he has been baking since he was 16 years old, learning the craft from his Italian poppa.
As we waited for the cheesecake slices to defrost, Romano used his serving knife to point out the varieties he brought. They included an Oreo version, original New York-style plain, marble, guava, mango-guava, and chocolate. Though our minds told us to forge on, we could barely shovel in more than a few bites of one flavor each. Then we stupidly invited the rest of the office to come in for a taste. Whatever was left over disappeared in literally a matter of minutes, and even a lack of cutlery and plates didn't stop a soul. Is that a signal that this was, indeed, the best cheesecake in Miami?
Truth is, aside from the office scroungers, us critics are a tough bunch to please. After all, we've tasted some damn fine desserts on our quest to find the best and each of us has specific preferences. So we were all loathe to label anything before us as "the best." But we can honestly report Romano's goods are definitely contestants in the race. Try a slice and let us know where they rank on your scale.
400 Swallow Dr., Miami Springs