Q&A with John Paddock: Dessert Place Loyalist and CCB-Enthusiast

The return of The Dessert Place sparked excitement for many people. However, John Paddock may have been THE most excited (or at least the most vocal) that he could have access to Cream Cheese Brownies again any time that he wanted!

John would have been a loyal fan of the original Dessert Place regardless of the fact that he kind of sort of knew my mother in the 80's and 90's, but our families have been strangely intertwined for years. John's wife (Karen) went to the same high school as my mom in New York. John and Karen have coincidentally both worked in the same office building as my dad for many years. I played soccer at Paideia with his older daughter (Jessie), and spent two years sharing an apartment in NYC with his younger daughter (Allie) after becoming great friends in high school. 

It's so funny to hear that people we now know so well used to frequent The Dessert Place before they became family friends. If only I could go back in time and hang with the Paddock family at TDP...maybe one day...


Here's a glimpse of the original Dessert Place through the lens of John:

Q: Can you tell the readers how you know me and my family?

A: My wife knew Sheryl from childhood (they went to school together). I met the whole Meddin family while my kids (and theirs) attended school together at Paideia . . . about 30 years ago.


Q: You might be one of THE biggest fans of The Dessert Place. Did you know anyone in our family when you frequented The Dessert Place in the 80s and 90s?

A: Sheryl, but only marginally. We only became closer friends as we raised our kids together at Paideia and attended many - MANY - soccer games together.


Q: In your opinion, what made the original Dessert Place restaurants so special?

A: TDP v 1.0 (VA HI) was special because it (a) was small, (b) always crowded, (c) had brick walls, (d) employed hilarious histrionic men behind the counter shouting abbreviations for orders kind of like one experiences at the Varsity (sorry) (e.g., “CCB a la” or “CCB with”), (e) Karen knew Sheryl (“didn’t we go to school together?”, which felt special), and (f) neighborhood enthusiasm for the place . . . which really was a gathering spot in the pre-Starbucks days for all of our friends. I only have warm, positive, fun, and hilarious memories of TDP v. 1.0.


Q: What was your favorite time of day to stop into The Dessert Place?

A: ALWAYS after dinner, usually on Friday or Saturday night. ALWAYS. I only went to the Buckhead spot once (at mid-day) and thought, stick to The Original spot. 


Q: Do you have a favorite memory from your time spent at The Dessert Place years ago?

A: No specific memory, but a collage of warm feelings, gatherings with colleagues and friends after tough days in graduate school or at the beginning of our careers. Along with Murphy’s, TDB v 1.0 was a place of fun and sanity ITP (inside the Perimeter). Very Skinnerian: the operational definition of positive reinforcement!


Q: What was your first reaction when you heard you could have Cream Cheese Brownies again any time that you wanted?

A: “A BLAST FROM THE PAST . . . EVEN BETTER THAN MY FAVORITE KEITH RICHARDS LICK" (which is saying A LOT). In a phrase, “I know, they’re only CCBs, but I like them!"


Q: What would you say to someone who has never tried a Cream Cheese Brownie from The Dessert Place before?

A: That’s easy: “A party in the mouth”.


Q: What’s your favorite way to eat a Cream Cheese Brownie?

A: Gently defrosted.


Q: What was your favorite item from The Dessert Place back in the day?

A: CCBs, carrot cake, and some amazing chocolate/fudge cake (or am I making this up?).


Q: Anything else you'd like to add?

A:  Will you PLEASE open a bricks and mortar store! I want a real dessert place to go to after dinner!!!!!!!

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