March 2, 2017
Liesl Graber, Copy Editor
Most customers wander into Beyond Restaurant & Lounge hungry for a bit of sushi, a sip of pho, or a slurp of pad thai noodles. This Asian fusion restaurant sits across from the parking deck on W. Water Street, lined up next to its well-known neighbors Bella Luna, Cuban Burger, and Bella Gelato.
With its bright, neo-modern architectural detail, locally sourced artwork displays, sleek table settings, and alternative patio seating, Beyond will not disappoint in atmosphere. Each table hosts a flickering candle, a cloth napkin big enough to insure every inch of your lap against dropped sriracha sauce, and a warm, complimentary bowl of edamame if you find yourself there in time for dinner. If you are not familiar with edamame, they are podded soybeans, the Asian fusion version of endless breadsticks.
What most here-for-the-sushi customers may not know is that Beyond offers one of the best dessert selections downtown. The menu lists four options: Creme Brulee with white chocolate, ginger, cream, and caramelized sugar; Chocolate Decadence, a flourless chocolate cake with coconut ice cream and bittersweet chocolate ganache; Fried Banana with cheesecake batter, honey, and coconut ice cream; and Chocolate Trio with white chocolate macadamia nut brownies, chocolate decadence, and bittersweet chocolate mousse. Each rings in at $7.
With a cup of coffee to balance the rich dessert, I introduced my tastebuds to Chocolate Decadence. The dessert lives up to its name — sinfully delicious. If you have never had flourless chocolate cake before, Beyond is the place to try it. Boasting a dense texture closer to fudge than cake, each bite punches you with a not-subtle-at-all reminder that it is indeed made of chocolate, and rich chocolate at that.
Beyond’s desserts are noteworthy because they master the art of pairing flavors. Melting next to the slice of decadence sit two round scoops of coconut ice cream, supplying a sweet, creamy reprieve from the chocolate that holds your tastebuds hostage. The ice cream contains fine shreds of dried coconut for another added texture bonus. What you end up doing is alternating bites: one of decadence, one of holy virtue, then back to decadence. When the ice cream melts, you swirl the cake through it and enjoy the yin-yanging flavors in one swell bite.
If you want a three-way flavor combo, order the coffee for $2.50 and sip between each bite. Beyond serves a dark French roast called Citavo, which my friendly waiter informed me they purchase in bulk from Costco. The undertones are more earthy than fruity, good enough to negate the need for cream or sugar. After the rich-sweet dessert, the coffee sits right in the neutral zone, a good palate cleanser for those times when you need to set the spoon down and breathe.
Next time you walk into Beyond for a few rolls of sushi and your waiter asks if you saved room for dessert, say yes, splurge a little, and sink your teeth into your own spoonful of delight. You will not be disappointed.
taken from the Weather Vane
Liesl Graber is a writing studies and English major in the language and literature department at EMU.