Broders’ Pasta Bar may have one of the most underrated dessert menus in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and it’s a mystery why. Maybe it’s because the beloved South Minneapolis restaurants churns out such consistently satisfying sweets that it’s just expected you’re going to have an elegant ending to your meal. They’re just always homey, always fresh, and always perfectly portioned — you never feel like a glutton after polishing off a plate.
While the bestia nera flourless chocolate cake or tiramisu are safe bets, the vanilla hazelnut cheesecake ($6.50) that’s currently on the dessert menu is one to seek out. At first, the description may deceive you — hazelnut is so commonly paired with chocolate in desserts that it’s a shock to see it with mentioned next to any other flavor. But trust Broders’ — it really works.
The subtler tones of the vanilla make the hazelnut flavor more pronounced, equalizing the duo’s presence on the palate. The filling is so smooth and light that it puts most other cheesecakes to shame, and the buttery, crumbly crust melts in your mouth. Chocolate lovers will rejoice at the swipe of chocolate-hazelnut sauce that anchors the plate but might ask for a more generous pour. The slice isn’t so small that you can’t share, especially after a big pasta meal, but you won’t regret it if you keep it all for yourself.
As with their pasta dishes, the Broders keep their treats rooted in tradition but with some unexpected twists. And if you haven’t enjoyed the wealth of the restaurant’s dessert menu recently, the vanilla hazelnut cheesecake is reason enough to return.
Broders’ Pasta Bar, 5000 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419; 612.925.9202