Chef Rob Evans creates exalted food at Hugo's in Portland, Maine (where he was named an F&W Best New Chef 2004), but he's also a sandwich master. At his sandwich shop, Duckfat, he makes a splendid dessert panino with brioche, strawberry jam and mascarpone, a delicate spreadable cow's-milk cheese. Evans pairs the panino with a superthick milk shake that blends ice cream with custardy creme anglaise sauce. He usually pairs these panini with vanilla shakes, but strawberry is equally delicious.
This soda-fountain favorite has become a best seller at restaurants like the CommonWealth, a gastropub in Washington, DC. That version relies on Virginia's honey-based Dominion Root Beer (olddominion.com), but any artisanal root beer will do.
Cinnamon is known as a sweet spice, but it can have a pungent bite. Vietnamese cinnamon, also known as Saigon cinnamon, is an especially fragrant variety, and its taste is sharper than that of regular cinnamon. It is worth seeking out.