This lunchtime favorite with branches around town is the foodie’s answer to the Cheesecake Factory: comfort eating to the extreme with giant portions and a huge menu. There are sloppy sandwiches (live Maine lobster club, warm roasted turkey), topping-heavy salads (iceberg wedge, sesame chicken, Cobb), and entrées ranging from meat loaf and fried chicken to pizza and osso buco. What these dishes lack in finesse they compensate for in size, and somehow the white tablecloths and sunny patios make the whole enterprise more guilt free. Of course, then comes dessert. A trip isn’t complete without a brownie or Farmeooh (think Oreos on steroids).
Best Brownies, March 2005
You might think a bakery is the best place to scout for these jewels of childhood. Not necessarily. At the Farm of Beverly Hills, chocolate fudge brownies are stacked just so in a display case near the front door, a dainty dusting of powdered sugar on each dense square. Moist, dark, and fudgy in the middle, they have a light, crisp top crust and melt on your tongue. Furthermore—oh joy, oh rapture—they are even better a day, even two, after they’re baked. These little confections are so above average you may well want to visit the Farm’s Web site and have boxes of them shipped to friends—anywhere in the United States. They can also be put to wickedly good use in a brownie sundae.