You like smoky Texas brisket. You like cheesecake. How about a hybird that combines the best of both?
That would be signature brisket cheesecake from Val's Cheesecakes, a relative newcomer to Dallas' artisan food ranks.
Co-owner Valery Jean-Bart (at least he's got Texas Bart in there) churns plenty of custom-smoked brisket into the savoy cheesecake filling, with chunks of meat settling onto the buttery breadcrumb crust. It's best served room temp or slightly warmed in the microwave.
But forget big, brassy brisket-y flavor. No, because it IS a cheesecake. It's subtle, almost like a pate, with a long, smoky finish. Jean-Bart adds a spicy barbecue-sauce-like topping for a little kick. Or, you could drizzle it with your favorite. Some people like to serve it on crackers, he says. Like at a party? Oh, yeah.
What inspired the Haitian transplant (who used to watch Dallas in French)? After his mother died in 2012, "I decided to open a business with all the things she liked such as cheesecakes, oatmeal-cranberry-bacon cookies and chipotle-pepper brownies."
He partnered up with Christopher Reece, and Val's Cheesecakes was launched. You can find their cheesecakes and other sweets at Opening Bell Coffee, Ascension Coffee andSkewers Kabob House. They also sell at the Dallas Farmers Market about once a month.
But you can also order your brisket cheesecake online ($45). It takes about 72 hours, since Cedar Hill pit-meister Bruce Austin doesn't fire up the smoker for the brisket until an order is on the table.
If brisket's just a trifle too kinky for you, there's also the cheddar-bacon number topped with green onions ($45).
"That's my favorite," says Jean-Bart.