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On the side

4 Rivers Sweet Shop

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4 Rivers Sweet Shop

1869 W. State Road 434, Longwood

To the surprise of no one (and the consternation of only a few hipsters), the Central Florida footprint of 4 Rivers Smokehouse is large and growing fast. The latest addition is a confectionery conjoined to its Longwood restaurant, aptly called the Sweet Shop. Display cases looming with large layer cakes are the big attention-getter, with expected appearances by red velvet and German chocolate aside a few surprises, such as an Oreo cake pitted with cookies top to bottom like dinosaur fossils ($39.99 whole, $4.75 slice).

Occupying the adjacent counter are oversized cupcakes topped with generous coifs of fancifully colored frosting, their flavors mostly derived from junk food favorites in tasty experiments like Mountain Dew-and-Doritos and Coke-and-potato chip ($3.50). While the latter cupcake echoes the intense sweetness of cola, that classic Coke taste is shouted down by the chocolate backbone; but the potato chips’ familiar saltiness makes it a worthwhile dessert dare to take.

More than a dozen flavors of premium ice cream are made in-house without much air added to the mixture, creating a dense and creamy boulder of frozen delight too stiff for the flimsy plastic spoons available. It’s $3.25 a scoop, but you get a lot for your money.

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