by Steven Doyle
Last week I was invited to work a shift at Val’s Cheesecakes at 3906 Maple Avenue. This is something I have done off and on for many years and believe it helps with reviews and writing about restaurants in general to spend time in the belly of the beats. Restaurant kitchens can be exciting, vibrant and they speak a language all their own.
Val’s is no different and the staff are all excited to create these wonderful pastries. The tiny kitchen which is attached to the Grapevine Bar creates whole cheesecakes to be sold in slice and also makes tiny jars which can be filled with one of over 300 recipes that owner Valery Jean-Bart has been making for years. His enthusiasm and laugh fills the kitchen and the staff joins in often. I don’t think I stopped laughing the entire time I was there. It is contagious and the customers get that.
Only part of the secret
Lovers Lane (Red Velvet)
Val is currently seeking a second location since business is so good. People enjoy his special flavors and often buy three or four jars at a time to share with friends and to get a taste of the variety that Val offers. Some buy even more to share. Think of flavors such as Red Velvet, Triple Chocolate, and even one called “Bae” which is loaded up with a vanilla pudding cheesecake base, caramel and candied pecans. Imagination runs rampant at Val’s.
I had so much fun helping out for a few hours that I asked to come back for a visit to this kitchen again soon, so be looking out for that. Until then, stop by and see Val Tuesday through Sunday from 12 to 10pm.