It is safe to say that everyone has a true vice. This is something that they cannot help but give in to when the offer presents itself. Vices can come in the form of drinking too much coffee, buying too many pairs of shoes or having a habit that is considered less than legal (use your imagination). My vice comes in the form of rich frosted cakes and hot fudge-drizzled ice cream with a cherry – that sweet nectar of life. I am talking about the harsh temptress named dessert and when she beckons my name, I always answer her call. I am not talking your simple vanilla and chocolate concoctions; I am talking about about the good stuff. I need a complex dose of flavors, which hold no concern to your health or well-being. The dessert I demand is of the most indulgent persuasion, so I did some research to try and feed the craving. What I found were two places, right in our fair city that each feel that dessert is not something that should be taken lightly. These are two places that truly put pride in their pursuits of dessert in its richest form.

I Scream: Don’t let the creepy name fool you, this parlor located in Mount Hope Plaza means business. Although I must reiterate, when you think about it, the name is not a much a play on words as it really is pretty creepy. However the initial thought comes off, the saying that you can’t judge a book by its cover definitely applies to I Scream. When you walk into this happy store decorated with ice cream related memorabilia of yore, you start to realize that the owner knows what he is doing. After talking to him for a while, I could tell that ice cream really is his passion, and he takes a lot of pride in what he does. As he rattled off obscure facts about ice cream production and the history of ice cream in Rochester, I started to try and tackle the plethora of options that lay before me. What I really liked about I Scream was that the owner, who mixes most of the flavors himself, was not afraid to try new ideas and had a couple flavors that were pretty out of the ordinary. He really tries to keep up the tradition of an old-fashioned neighborhood ice cream parlor and does not fail in delivering the goods. Just because the care and detail is focused on the quality of the ice cream doesn’t mean he does not give you a variety of choices. I believe there are over 25 different types of milk shakes available, each of which were equally appealing. I decided to go with a couple scoops of peanut butter cup ice cream with some of I Scream’s homemade hot fudge on top. The hot fudge certainly lived up to expectation, and I Scream certainly earned itself a return visit in the near future.

Phillip’s European: Apparently, most local Rochesterians recognize that Phillip’s delivers some of the best tortes and cakes this city has to offer. To be honest, I had never heard of it, and neither had any of my roommates. When the thought of a dessert article came up, Phillip’s was recommended to me and, after my visit to this restaurant located just off Crittenden Road, I saw what all the fuss was about. As I walked through the door on a busy Saturday night, I was taken back by the wall of cakes, pies and tortes presented flawlessly behind a lighted glass casing. I was lost in the array of opportunities that could be, so I enlisted the help of one of the bakers to guide me through my experience. As she described the various options, she also explained how each item was made daily from the best ingredients, with the care and consistency that has won Phillip’s the Democrat and Chronicle’s Best Dessert Award for the past five years in a row. What we decided on was a slice of chocolate chip walnut pie, which was then warmed to a soft, tender cookie dough texture. But I was not finished there; I had to go for round two. I tried a slice of the white chocolate carrot cake. I had no regrets. This was simply the best carrot cake I have ever had in my life, period.

Phillip’s delivered on its promise, living up to expectation, and after this occasion, I became a true believer in what Phillip’s had to offer.

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