With the hesitant assumption that I can get away with anything so long as I disclaim loudly enough...let me start disclaiming. Alexandra Eisler is my friend, so this is NOT a fully objective tip. And the cheescake was baked with the knowledge that a food writer would be eating it. But if I didn't really like the cake (and suspect it'd be equally yummy for any other customer), I wouldn't recommend it. But if you want to consider this an advertisement (though it's not....money certainly didn't change hands), I won't blame you one bit.
Chowhound Alexandra Eisler had been following my cheesecake exploits in Chow Alert (sample issue linked below) and insisted I try her a version made by her mom - who used to make them for a living. Mrs. Mitchell's Sour Cream Cheese Cake is an intriguing concept; it's a striated cake with three separate layers: sour cream, cream cheese, and crust. It's very much for people who like to play with their food; if you want more tang, you can diagonally cut with your fork to increase the sour cream proportion, and a richer morsel can similarly be achieved via a more cream cheesey cut.
It's friendly, soulful, delicious cheesecake, very homeade-tasting (in spite of her pro credentials), and extremely creamy. It's also more slim (if not slimming) than most cheesecakes. Most interestingly, the graham cracker crust really tastes like graham crackers. I don't mean just that superficial sweet wheatiness, I mean the full potent hit of graham cracker flavor that you taste in high quality fresh graham crackers - and which is generally not present by the time the stuff's been broken up, soaked, baked, and otherwise fooled around with. And it works really really well.
The cakes are available via special order (you've got to go pick it up in Santa Rosa); ask for Mrs. Mitchell at 707-525-8974.
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