“You can have my flan,” I would say, pushing my plate of vanilla custard over to my dining companion. Back in my early 20s living in Spain, I was a big fan of menu del dia (a three-course lunch option offered at most Spanish restaurants) but the usual postre or dessert offered at the end just didn’t do it for me.

Even the word itself, “flan,” made my nose crinkle in disgust. “It sounds a lot like ‘blah’,” I’d joke to my friends. If my sweet tooth ever came calling, it was for the darkest of chocolates or bust. Flan? Please. Let me save my calories for another sangria.

Times have changed, however, and over the years, I’ve grown to love lighter desserts, including flan.

Over the weekend, my mom and I had lunch together at Keating’s Rope & Anchor, a nautically-themed restaurant with a gorgeous view of Penn’s Landing. They recently went through a redesign and the new space is a breath of fresh air — open, summery and bright.

Dining outside on their patio that day, the weather was stunningly beautiful but also very hot. We kept our meal light and weren’t planning on getting dessert until I saw the Baked Caramel Flan on the menu.

When the dish arrived, it was clear that this was not your typical flan experience — the addition of blueberries and strawberries really enhanced the dessert’s visual appeal. 

The custard itself was sweeter than regular flan — probably due to the delicious drizzle of caramel on top — but the berries helped balance out the dish's candied quality.

Overall, I thought it was flan-tastic. If you'd like to give it a try for yourself, Keating's Rope and Anchor is located at 201 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd. Oh, and don't forget to order yourself a pitcher of sangria — just make sure you don't need to be fully operational for the rest of the day.