Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Underground Cheesecake Company

No matter the season, this place is pleasin'!

PLEASE NOTE that the Cheesecake factory has moved into Building 50 at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons and has vastly expanded their options! Check them out! The building in the above photo is now inhabited by Spanglish.

Brace yourselves, this one is pure indulgence! Welcome to the Underground Cheesecake Company in Traverse City!

This little joint sits behind the old state hospital (otherwise known as the Grand Traverse Commons). If I'm not mistaken, the building that this dessert lover's heaven occupies is the former laundry facility for the hospital. As you may have noticed, this is not the first eatery that I have featured from the grounds of the Grand Traverse Commons, nor will it be the last. If you are coming to Traverse City, you need to spend a few hours exploring (and eating) here!

The selection of sweets can be overwhelming at first. No worries, you'll recover.

Anyway, now that we have that tid-bit out of the way, let's get to the food!

I'll begin by saying that this is an excellent little lunch stop, of that there is no doubt. They do some excellent sandwiches, ranging in price from $7-$9 (try the vegetarian roasted butternut squash and balsamic onion grilled cheese. Whoa!), a couple of very nice salads, and a small choice of yummy soups whipped up daily. So, yes, lunch can be had here, along with some refreshing drinks and lunch sides (chips, etc.).

But, who are we kidding here? We all know why you're about to wander through these doors. Let's talk cheesecake, shall we?

A small dining area offers you the option to eat in at the Underground Cheesecake Company.

As stated, the Underground Cheesecake Company is a sweet lover's delight. Single serving desserts are priced as follows: brownies - $3.50; cookies - .90-$2.25; cheesecake - $4.25; scones - $3.50. They also have many miscellaneous items available daily, be sure to check that out!

If you're in the market for some gourmet brownies, you're in luck! The always featured flavors are Decadent Double Fudge, Turtle, Creme de Menthe, Peanut Butter and German Chocolate. More flavors may be featured on a day by day basis. If you're looking for a 1/4 sheet of brownies, that'll cost you $35.

Specialty cakes and desserts is the next section that may be of interest to the sugar starved diner. These selections may or may not be available for single serving purchase, one never knows what specific items will be up for single serving grabs. Whole cake/specialty dessert prices range from $20-$37. Favorites of this rather large section include the Black Bottom Cake, Strawberry Torte, Chocolate Raspberry Torte, Fresh Fruit Tart, Pumpkin Cake Roll and the Red Velvet Cake Roll. If you're feeling like a "regular" cake, that can be had as well, just let them know what you're looking for.

Crystalized Ginger. Wowza.

Now, to the cheesey meat of this blog. Cheesecakes are the stars of the show here. If you're throwing a beach party, a boat gathering, a park suare, or a porch gathering, one of these cakes will certainly liven up your event and leave your guests in awe!

Cheesecakes are priced as follows: 9" - $32 (12-16 servings); 6" - $21 (4-6 servings); 12" - $65 (30-35 servings).

Highlights of the HUGE cheesecake menu include the Amaretto Cream, the Caramelized Bourbon Snap, the Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle, the Chocolate Malt, the Cookies and Cream, the Dutch Apple Crumb, the English Toffee Crunch, the Lemon Drop, the Madagascar Vanilla Bean, the Orange Sherbert, the Pomegranate Splash, the Pralines and Cream, the Real Key Lime, the Red Velvet, the Strawberries and Cream, the Vanilla Cappuccino and the White Chocolate Raspberry Swirl.

And that's only a few of the many selections available!

Something for the hiking trail (located just outside of the Underground Cheesecake Company's door)?

How would the Underground Cheesecake Company fit into a lovely Traverse City afternoon? Quite easily. For me, I'll snag a late lunch downtown, hit these folks up for some amazing dessert, then stroll next door and sup the wine at Left Foot Charley! Sounds like a perfect afternoon to me!

(All photos by Brooks Vanderbush)

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