The variety of desserts behind the counter glass made choosing one a difficult decision.
What I quickly learned by stopping by Red Dessert Dive is that I could have tried anything and probably would have liked it.
While dessert is in the name and on prominent display in the store, Red Dessert Dive didn’t feel like a typical dessert shop. It felt much more like a coffee shop with its relaxed atmosphere that made me want to hang out for hours drinking coffee and snacking on an array of goodies.
The dive had a rustic touch, with wooden features mixed with metals. A long bench took up one side of the shop that had small tables accompanying it. A few decorative throw pillows were on the bench that made it homey.
I have a big sweet tooth, so I couldn’t wait to bite down on one of the cupcakes or cookies I spied behind the glass. However, looking at the menu, I realized there also were sandwich selections. I decided to grab a lunch box, which came with a sandwich, chips a pickle and a cookie.
I chose the peanut butter-and-pear preserve sandwich and a chocolate chunk cookie. For all the sandwiches, there’s the option to have it on wheat bread or a croissant. I went with wheat bread, because eating a PB&J on a croissant sounded weird.
Coffee never sounds like a bad idea, so with some direction from the cashier I ordered an iced hazelnut latte.
The cashier also helped me pick which desserts to try. She mentioned that all the cupcakes are popular with customers, but her favorite was the blueberry lemon with cream cheese frosting. I trusted her judgement and got one, along with a decorated sugar cookie since the cashier also mentioned they didn’t always have them in stock. And finally I chose a cup of banana pudding, which I was told often sells out.
It was a particularly hot day, and I was soon glad for the iced hazelnut latte. There wasn’t an abundance of ice in the latte, yet the drink was still cold. The latte was smooth and the hazelnut was a great addition to the drink.
Since my chocolate chunk cookie was handed to me before my sandwich, I didn’t feel too guilty about eating sweets before a meal. The cookie was golden brown, loaded with chocolate and salted on top. It looked like it would be a crunchy cookie, but it was chewier and even with a lot of chocolate, didn’t taste too sweet. I thought there was a tad too many chocolate chunks.
On the sandwich, Red Dessert Dive wasn’t stingy with the peanut butter and pear preserves. As someone who loves a good PB&J sandwich, I was intrigued by the choice to use pear preserves. I wasn’t disappointed.
The consistency of the pear preserves reminded me of the filling in apple pie, because the pieces of pear were soft. The pear and peanut butter flavors meshed well.
I was most excited to dip into the banana pudding. The wafers were perfectly soft and the pudding was light and airy as if they mixed the pudding with whipped cream. Whether this is how they actually made it or not, I’m not sure, but this pudding had a creaminess I haven’t seen in other banana puddings. It tasted homemade and not as if it came out of a box.
The iced sugar cookie, which was shaped like Texas, was decorated with the Astros’ colors and had “Houston” written on it.
The sugariness of the cookie didn’t come as a surprise, but it seemed like the icing had more than your typical sugar cookie. It was easy to eat and the cookie part was soft. But overall it didn’t stand apart from other sugar cookies.
Three blueberries sat atop the cream cheese frosting of the blueberry lemon cupcake. The cupcake itself was dense with a few blueberries thrown in, and the frosting complemented that density with its creaminess. The blueberries tasted so fresh I would have believed they had just been picked. As for the lemon, I only noticed it after I remembered it was supposed to be a flavor in the cupcake.
While everything I tried was enjoyable to some degree, I’m still craving more banana pudding.
Red Dessert Dive
Address: 1045 Studewood St.
Hours: 7 a.m.–8 p.m. Tuesday–Thursday, 7 a.m.–10 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m.–10 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m.–9 p.m. Sunday
Healthy options: No
Star of the show: Banana pudding