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Return of Adventure for the Perfect Treat: Agave

For the readers that followed this series last semester, I’ll have you know that my sweet tooth has never left me. I’m back this fall semester for another set of fun adventures to West Chester and beyond for the perfect treat.

For the new readers, all you need to know is that I’ve always been a dessert-before-dinner kind of gal and now that I’m a legal adult, no one can stop me from eating my meals out of order. I’m scouring West Chester and the surrounding area trying all kinds of desserts in search of the best out there and sending my experience to you.

On Sept. 15, I stepped into Agave, an authentic Mexican restaurant in Chadds Ford—about a 15-minute drive outside of West Chester—already bumping into someone because the restaurant was so packed. I wore my “Lazy-Saturday-Best:” ripped jeans and an oversized sweatshirt, realizing that I was a bit underdressed. Most couples were wearing fancy blouses and ties.

The first thing I noticed about Agave was the atmosphere: a little cramped and a lot loud. Wall to wall, tables were packed with families talking over one another and toddlers running laps around mom and dad until their food arrived.

I gripped onto my boyfriend’s hand a bit tighter. It was a lot to handle.

Our kind and sort of awkward waiter led us to our table, trying to navigate us between pushed-out heavy, metal chairs. Settling on an entrée wasn’t hard: bronzino. I’ve loved seafood ever since the first time I tasted crab legs when I was younger than ten; I’ve unfortunately adopted expensive taste.

After I ordered, I finally had time to take in the clashing modern and rustic décor, but it really worked together. Clean white walls were decorated by framed black and white drawings of Calavera, or sugar skulls, as they are more commonly known.

Weathered hardwood molding matched the hardwood floor. Small succulents sat on the window sills throughout the dining area in black, square planters. Metallic panels hung above us on the ceiling.

I’m grateful I wasn’t on a first date because my boyfriend watched me scarf down sea bass like a barbarian. Next comes my favorite part: dessert. Like most of the entrees, the dessert menu was mostly authentic Mexican food. We ordered flan, trés leches cake and churros. Who doesn’t love a good churro?

The flan was not exactly as I had expected. Traditionally, flan is made of eggs, sugar, condensed milk and evaporated milk. I thought it’d be too plain for me, but it was my absolute favorite.

I never had flan before; its consistency is similar to Jell-O and its taste is similar to a custard. Orange slices had been twisted and laid over the flan, giving the dish a ‘citrusy’ flavor.

The churros were a bit heavier and denser than your average amusement park churro. The ingredients remained the same: dough, cinnamon and sugar—all fried, of course.

Although its texture had differed, the dough that was used to cook the churro was still overpowered by the strong flavors of cinnamon and sugar. The dish was served with a chocolate dipping sauce: a true classic.

The trés leches cake was my idea. I remember taking a Spanish class in high school and attempting to make the authentic dish as a treat for my class. I used many kinds of milk and it still somehow turned out surprisingly dry. I’ve decided that I’m much better off as a critic than a chef.

“Trés leches” translates directly as “three milks,” for any readers who don’t know Spanish super well. However, there are four types of milk that go into making this cake: whole milk, condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream.

Unfortunately, I was not a fan of this one. The cake had been soaked in milk, filled with a light, fluffy icing and topped off with whipped cream and strawberries. The cake tasted amazing, but it was the texture that I couldn’t get past. It was quite literally wet cake. Ever leave an Oreo soaking in your milk too long? Yeah, that’s what it tasted like.

By the time our post-dessert coffee arrived, the restaurant had quieted down a bit. The dim wall-lighting seemed warmer or maybe it was me that was warmer because of the coffee. Either way, I do recommend Agave, especially the flan. Be sure to make reservations. Rating: 8/10

Kirsten Magas is a third-year student majoring in English with minors in biology and creative writing.   KM867219@wcupa.edu.

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