REVIEWLiberty Kitchen in Ingram has once again surpassed my gastronomic expectations. They’ve satisfied my stomach, too.

Last night’s “strawberry champagne cheesecake” was supposed to be shared between my wife and me.

Hmm.

After the first bite, that was not. Going. To. Happen.

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Strawberry Champagne Cheesecake, available July 9+.

Scene of the crime

We’ve been here before, here and here.

Regular readers will know that while Small Town USA tries to get around and be representative of the regional offerings, including one of our new favorites, Blackboard Bar BQ, we keep coming back to Liberty Kitchen in Ingram.

It doesn’t hurt that the restaurant is veteran-owned. That fact alone deserves its own paragraph.

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Chef Matt on the left, and the guy who occasionally lets his knife get dull on the right.

I asked to see Owner-Chef Matt last night, and our server, Tiffany, graciously asked him to come to the dining room, where we met him and his girlfriend, Desiree.

We wore masks, of course. My fashionable urban camo mask — pinks and greys with touches of sage green — versus his black one was perhaps the only thing I had on Chef, whose forearms suggested he’d cut a few more onions than I had.

He and Desiree, and servers Tiffany and Logan, were super hospitable.

DINNER…BUT LEAVING ROOM

For dinner, I had the crabcakes with a shrimp skewer.

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Crab cakes with a grilled shrimp skewer on citrus coleslaw

Karen had a fettucine alfredo with grilled chicken, a standard which happened to be perfectly al dente with a very tasty sauce.

We had opted to skip an appetizer, though I had eyeballed the goat cheese fondue.

And then there was the clash of the cymbals

There’s no sound when one cymbal is moved around the air. (Or something like that.)

They have to come together to signal the end of a symphony. And so it was with this meal.

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Strawberry Champagne Cheesecake

I usually don’t “leave room” for dessert, as a server always asks. It’s usually my dodge to avoid paying more. But as I had seen the dessert on Instagram, I knew I’d have to be moderate during the main course if I wanted to enjoy what I’d only gawked at previously. I figured the crab cakes were more restrained a choice than one of their burgers, which I enjoyed during my first visit.

TWO SPOONS. MINE WON.

We were not to be disappointed. Karen and I together “yum’ed” over the first bite of this cheesecake. I’d asked Tiffany before ordering our entrees if there was dessert available, and she said, “If we can get it to set.”

Set?

Well, it appeared to have set just fine. The champagne is gelatinized into a quarter-inch layer of heavenly — that word is a noun, not an adjective — with slices of strawberry beckoning you down into the soft pink and white layers of silky smooth cheesecake. All of this sits on a triumphant graham cracker crust, until the spoon comes, and then this foundation is pleased to crumble and add to the chorus of my tastebuds.

I know.

A bit over the top.

But take it from me — not the cheesecake, or I’ll hurt you; the suggestion — go to Liberty Kitchen, soon to be “Liberty Burger,” with “Liberty on the Water” opening at The Point Theater, and try basically anything on the menu.

Even the water’s good. (No kidding.)

About Author

Husband, father, traveler, writer, surfer.

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