I’m not a bacon enthusiast.
I like bacon with my eggs; sometimes on my burger.
But bacon-flavored milkshakes, cupcakes, gum balls, and toothpaste? Up until I tried the Chocolate-Covered Bacon at Elliott’s on Congress, I would’ve given all of those a hard pass (although I’ll still pass on that toothpaste).
If a classy place like Elliott’s serves bacon on a dessert menu, it has to be good, right? Right.
The dessert comes with two thick, crispy pieces of bacon coated with milk chocolate and a drizzle of white chocolate. It’s served with dried cranberries and vanilla bean ice cream.
“The saltiness goes well with the chocolate,” Billy Elliott, owner of Elliott’s, said.
Chocolate-covered bacon certainly isn’t a common dessert on Tucson restaurant menus, but it’s surprisingly delicious.
“It’s a novelty,” Billy said. “You don’t see it very often.”
Billy’s wife, Valaree, is the mastermind behind most of the desserts on the menu. When she made chocolate-covered bacon for Billy at home, he knew it had to be added to the menu.
“I like desserts, but I’m not big on desserts,” he said. The savory bacon paired with the sweet chocolate is a great compromise for him.
Although many curious diners order the chocolate-covered bacon, Elliott’s White Chocolate Cheesecake, topped with white chocolate ganache and a raspberry sauce, is also popular.
Unlike chocolate-covered bacon, cheesecake is a common find on many restaurant menus. But the cheesecake at Elliott’s is different, and if you’re a cheesecake lover like I am, you will fall in love with it.
Valaree’s cheesecake won first place at the 2016 Taste of Chocolate event. The restaurant plans to participate in the competition again this year.
“It would be awesome to win again,” Valaree said.
In addition to the white chocolate cheesecake on the menu, Elliott’s also serves rotating specials. The specials come from Valaree’s catering and cake menu, which includes the following cheesecakes:
“A lot of people are afraid of making cheesecakes at home,” Valaree said. “It’s fairly simple once you do it, but it’s time consuming.”
Much of Valaree’s baking process requires the cheesecakes to cool and set for hours at a time.
“There’s lots of love behind it,” she said.
“Valaree is pretty creative with the cheesecakes,” Billy said.
Besides cheesecake, the catering menu also includes a variety of other cakes such as red velvet, chocolate fudge, and carrot cake.
According to Billy, he and Valaree make the final decisions when it comes to changing the menu, but they receive a lot of help from customers and their cooks.
One of the items currently on the dessert menu, the Banana Tots, was actually created by a former cook who was experimenting with Captain Crunch in the kitchen.
The banana bites are coated in Captain Crunch and other sugars, then deep fried to perfection. The dish is served with vanilla bean ice cream and a grandiose drizzle of Nutella.
Choosing which dessert item to order at Elliott’s is definitely a tough choice, but they’re all worth a try. You’re bound to fall in love with one (or all) of them.
Elliott’s on Congress
135 E. Congress St.
Tucson, AZ 85701
Dessert in the Desert is a new series highlighting desserts in Tucson. The main courses at restaurants get all the rage, as they should, but what about desserts? They deserve a spotlight, too.