Next to the Hooters on Fairfax Boulevard is a little kiosk. It is the size of a shed, with a cheerful college-age guy selling homemade cheesecakes out of a large commercial refrigerator. And as the sign out front suggests, it's the closest thing to "Cheesecake Heaven" in Fairfax City.
The shop offers nine flavors, such as White Chocolate Raspberry and Chocolate Mousse cheesecake. We took the sampler and two plastic forks back to our car for a taste. It was, simply stated, the most delicious, creamy, and melt-in-your-mouth cheesecake I have tasted in a long time.
This isn't heavy, pasty cheesecake, like some commercial brands, but light with a superb blend of sweetness and quality flavoring.
This kiosk-type shop is the brainchild of Jane Eckels, a mom who makes these cheesecakes herself in her Warrenton location. Her three sons help her with the business, one location in Richmond and one in Warrenton. The newest location, in Fairfax, is run by one of her sons and his good friend Scott. They are open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m., and take special orders in advance (call 703-218-4114).
Sold by the slice (from $4) or whole ($10), flavors include Pumpkin, Oreo, Snickers, White Chocolate Raspberry, Keylime, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Mousse, Fudge Brownie, and of course, Plain Jane.
Eckels is not just a "really great mom," according to her employees, but an experienced restaurateur. She formerly ran Verona Deli, next to Best Buy, in Manassas. Eckels has made cheesecakes for years, and had quite a "following" out in Warrenton of people ordering cheesecakes from her privately.
She came up with the idea of the kiosk when the recession hit, because investing in a larger-scale operation was too much to for a start-up company at the time. Plus, beyond a phone, and a commercial refrigerator, the cakes were already made and ready to be loaded into waiting cars.
My favorite is the White Chocolate Raspberry cheesecake. It is light as a feather in texture, and velvety creamy with a rich white chocolate flavor. Top that with a slather of raspberry puree and a hint of Chambord, sprinkled with white chocolate shavings, and sitting in a perfect Oreo crust. Add a hot cup of coffee, and you have the perfect ending to a meal.
Another favorite is the Key Lime, which is tart enough, yet still luxuriously creamy.
This is one place I will be coming back to every time I have company.