When the waitress brings out the dessert menu, it takes strong willpower not to order something. But sometimes the variety and nutritional facts will make people turn down great options. Here are five under-the-radar desserts from both fast-food locations and sit-down restaurants at local and nationwide locations that you should give a chance.
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Olive Garden’s Dolcini
For restaurant-goers who have a sweet tooth but don’t want an overload of calories, Olive Garden’s dolcini will quench that sweet tooth. Each dolcini is a mix of cake, mousse, pastry creams and berries. The handheld dolcini choices are the plain version, dark chocolate with caramel, amaretto tiramisu, limoncello mousse, chocolate mousse, and strawberry and white chocolate.
Yumz’s Frozen Yogurt
Yogurt is often viewed as healthy but not always tasty. However, some brands have frozen yogurt that tastes just as delicious as ice cream, and Yumz is one of those companies that does so. Best of all, the yogurts are under 100 calories and has over 50 flavors with toppings that include everything from cheesecake bites to chocolate candy. Yumz is a great choice if you are looking for healthy treat options in Chicago.
Starbucks’ Lemon Pound Cake
The coffee shop is known for its blends of sugary drinks and coffee, but the dessert menu has a delicious and fresh number of treats. One of the best options is the lemon pound cake. Although the calorie count isn’t exactly ideal for someone trying to stick to a strict diet, for cake and lemon lovers, this is an amazing option.
Argo Tea’s Chocolate Croissant
For patrons who can’t decide whether they want a side of bread or a dessert option, Argo Tea’s chocolate croissants are a happy medium. The texture on the outside is still that of fresh bread. The chocolate inside is a thick, rich dark chocolate. Be careful with these croissants, though, because they can be a bit messy.
Taco Cabana’s Sopapillas
This Tex-Mex restaurant is best known as a high-value, late night stop, but they also have an amazing under-the-radar dessert dish: sopapillas. These deep-fried confections are triangular, puffed, dusted with cinnamon, and served with a sweet dulce de leche sauce. Their texture is a nice balance of crispy and chewy, and they come in bunches of eight per order. If you have never heard of this delicious Tex-Mex dessert, remedy that and you won’t be disappointed.
Applebee’s Triple Chocolate Meltdown
If you love the contrast between rich, steamy fudge and cool vanilla ice cream, you have to check out Applebee’s Triple Chocolate Meltdown. The cake itself is a wonderful spongy texture, with a center filled with melted chocolate that drips out as you approach the center. Served alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream, you can get a perfect portion of ying to yang in each bite.
Karyn’s on Green’s Vegan Options
People who are lactose intolerant or vegan have trouble finding decent dessert options majority of the time, but they won’t after stepping into Karyn’s on Green in Chicago (or other vegan locations like it). Karyn’s non-dairy options include Irish whiskey bread pudding, vegan ice cream sandwiches, vegan creme brulee, raw carrot cake, peanut butter chocolate chip vegan brownies and warm chocolate cake. Testing out the vegan ice cream scoops is the cheapest, easiest option for people who aren’t sure whether they like vegan ice cream or not.
Desserts don’t have to be high in calories to be tasty nor do they have to cost a boatload of money. Restaurants worth their weight take the feedback from customers and provide a variety of flavors and nutritional perks. But they need customers who are open enough to taste them and spread the word.
About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.