[Photograph: Jay Friedman]

After a big, pork-filled dinner at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, dessert was the last thing on my mind. But when this root beer fan saw Abita Root Beer Cake ($8) on the menu, I couldn't resist.

This towering beauty contains alternating layers of cake and milk stout ice cream. The cake resembles Devil's food (though more dense than airy). It's moist and rich with the flavor of root beer subtle below the chocolate. Between the cake layers is milk stout ice cream—made with just beer, cream, and sugar, plus a little more egg yolk than usual. It has a slightly malty taste, quite creamy with notes of caramel, chocolate and coffee. On top are some swirls of smoked whipped cream and a sprinkling of crumbles made from powdered milk and white chocolate. A final touch includes a little molecular gastronomy, as the cakes sits upon a smear of root beer gel.

On a hot southern night in the crowded bar of a wildly popular restaurant, this semi-frozen treat hits the spot with the coldness of the ice cream and the comfort of the cake. A decadent ending to a delicious meal, this dessert brought the feeling of a brewery to my mouth.

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar

1600 Lenox Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (map); (305) 538-5220; runchickenrun.com

About the author: Jay Friedman is a Seattle-based freelance food writer who happens to travel extensively as a sex educator. An avid fan of noodles (some call him "The Mein Man"), he sees sensuality in all foods, and blogs about it at his Gastrolust website. You can follow him on Twitter @jayfriedman.


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