100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes 2012: No. 98, Custard at Petite Sweets

This year leading up to our annual Best of Houston® issue, we're counting down our 100 favorite dishes in Houston. This list comprises our favorite dishes from the last year, dishes that are essential to Houston's cultural landscape and/or dishes that any visitor (or resident) should try at least once.

When Petite Sweets first opened in the old Blueberry Hill frozen yogurt shop space on West Alabama, I wasn't sure how the dessert spot would fare. After all, Blueberry Hill was open less than a year and the location never seemed terribly inviting.

But that was before owners Susan Molzan and Liz Walsh got ahold of it and turned it into a bright, cozy space that encourages you to linger over a cup of cortado and a macaron. Now, Petite Sweets is one of my favored destinations in which to indulge my [admittedly small] sweet tooth -- so much so that I'll often skip dessert at nearby restaurants in the Upper Kirby area and head to Petite Sweets for a "nightcap" of custard instead.

Egg-based frozen custard is still a bit of a novelty here, although it's been available at places like Connie's and Ritter's for years.

The sweet, smooth, tangy custard that Molzan and Walsh make is very similar to those classics but with an important addition: a completely irresistible hot fudge topping made with chocolate, Kahlúa and vanilla.

"It's my mother's favorite recipe," Molzan told Mandy Oaklander last year. "I think of her whenever I make it."

If you're in the Heights, you can also find Petite Sweets' custard for sale at Liberty Kitchen, where owner Lance Fegen will even blend it into milk shakes -- with or without a slice of pie added.

The list so far:

No. 100: Chili cheese mac at Jus' Mac No. 99: Texas turkey sandwich at Spec's

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Katharine Shilcutt