Incredibly awesome Farmers Market on a Sunday morning!
We'd just brunched at Larchmont Bungalow & saw all the wonderful white tents around so knew we'd be making a beeline to the Farmers Market soon after
Tons & tons of fresh produce! Heirloom tomatoes; peaches galore - white, yellow & they were all ginormous; strawberries; figs & lots of other deliciousness awaited!
There were also gorgeous bunches of fresh flowers & a dozen roses were only $10!
We indulged in some Pretzel Cheese Rolls from the local German bakery & the most outrageously tasty homemade soups that we could have gone bonkers with - alas, luggage restrictions prevented us from grabbing more than 2 ( which we ate for lunch at the airport / BEFORE passing through security )
We tried the Nepalese Tomato which was very tomatoie & just a bit spicy - the Mr esp loved this one. I went crazy for the Coconut Thai Pumpkin Curry - this was just a bit spicy & very creamy from the coconut milk & a lovely pumpkin flavor.....I SO wished I could have taken more of this back home w/ me!!
Also got a bar of homemade chocolate w/ sea salt from Bond Bar that was single-sourced, creamy & intensely flavored. Yum! We also sampled their coconut-chocolate & this was like a gourmet version of a Mounds & it was likewise tasty
Only bummer was a Peach Scone that we picked up from a scone place near the soup that didn't have *any* peaches in it
But for offering 3 out of 4 winners plus all the produce we couldn't purchase since we needed to hit the airport, a happy 5-Stars is definitely deserved!
Best tip - watch out for the stroller brigade! They are bold & boast a sense of entitlement & WILL run you over!
Anette's Chocolates is an Oxbow must-stop
Salted Caramel - nice dense, chewy, caramel w/ a good ratio of chocolate surrounding & the perfect ratio of salt to give it that sweet / salty quality I always seek in my caramels
Milk Chocolate Honeycomb - light & crunchy honeycomb w/ the perfect thickness layer of chocolate
Mac-Caramel Flip - this was a mini version of the classic pecan turtle......whole macs & chewy caramel all topped by a dollop of milk chocolate
Basically, you can't go wrong here w/ your choices & our list of go-to's is growing to the point of ridiculous.....and this is NOT a bad thing!
Walking around Old Town, BFF & I spotted The Fudge Pot & thought a bit of chocolate would be the perfect nibble on such a brisk autumn day
Lots of cute Halloween chocolates, cookies & what I think were cake-pops.....but we went right for the candy cases
The Salted Caramel Chocolate caught my eye & it was heavenly. Nice thick square of buttery & chewy caramel, covered w/ a perfect layer of dark chocolate. Not too thick, not too thin. The salt was more of a hint & just complimented the flavor w/out being overpowering
Would stop by again to pick up a few more nibbles - and when I say few, think dozens
Alois Dallmayr was famous in my household before I even set foot inside the place....and let's just say it's *totally* worth the hype!
A few years ago, Sis was given a bar of Dallmayr Christmas Chocolate - something they only make during the holiday season & it was luv at first bite. You may think, so what, but you don't know that Sis is NOT a chocolate lover so her actually being impressed enough w/ this chocolate to keep the wrapper & try to seek it out is a miracle in itself
Flash forward a few years when the Mr learned of this chocolate-nirvana & bought her a bunch for Xmas
Flash forward a few more years & I'm actually entering this wonderland of gourmet treats
Take Fortnum & Mason, or Selfridges, or any other over-the-top-wonderful foodie's dream & you've got Dallmayr
Deli section w/ all kinds of sausage, ham & other meaty bliss
Coffee beans & tea leaves galore - scored Sis a few teas w/ jam-parings this visit
Chocolate cases filled w/ truffles & other sugary pastries. Got Dad some of their Almond Clusters & Mom scored some of their Hot Chocolate.
There is another room holding all kinds of pre-boxed chocolates, chocolate bars & fun animal shapes like ladybugs. Scored the BEST chocolate-honey bar & wished I had bought way more than just the one
Room of alcohol - to the likes of Hennessey & their own blends of infused brandies. We got a Pear & Honey Brandy & ended up drinking the whole bottle in 1 sitting - it was so sweet & just a bit flowery from the pears & the honey was subtle undertone that evened it all out.....defintiely need more of this!
Locals & tourists alike flock to this place & you'll want to wade through the crowds as well - your treasure awaits!
We had just toured the Heidelberg Castle & were walking around Old Town, when we see Vorbach Pralinenmanufaktur's window w/ all kinds of castle-themed treats. Knowing we could not resist this fun, touristy window display, we quickly gave into temptation & were happy we did
Found bags of little castle-shaped pasta & other bags contained castles & hearts & who doesn't love fun-shaped pasta? Besides, everyone knows the shaped pastas taste better. Everyone. Grabbed a bag of castles to take home & a box of truffles
Their chocolates were *divine* - homemade - creamy & melty & each truffle had a nice intense flavor that truly complimented their semi-hard shells
White Chocolate-Pistachio & there was a pairing of hazelnut that went together very well w/ the pistachio
White Chocolate-Rose - there was an abundance of rose taste & it may cross over to a bit soapy for some but I thought it was still okay
Dark Chocolate-Caramel - nice nutty / toffee flavor of the smooth caramel
Milk Chocolate-Mocha - nice subtle taste of coffee paired very well w/ the milk chocolate
We were advised to eat these up w/in 2 weeks b/c they are freshly made & all natural so these aren't the kind of chocolates you want to leave sitting around... & we didn't!
Strolling around Freiburg, the lure of chocolate hit us & we were immediately drawn into Confiserie Gmeiner
Inside you'll find a cake & pastry case on the right side, cookies & other packaged treats straight ahead, & a chocolate case on the left.
While the cakes looked creamy & fruity & really tempting, we were all about the chocolate.....
Most of their chocolates had liquor and / or fruit but there are also blends w/ roses or candied flowers as well as single blocks of milk or dark
The fitness chocolate had a delish mix of nuts & fruit & was loving the marketing it as fit!
We chose their Angels Kiss - this was a wine-filled chocolate that was extraordinary
Also grabbed a bar of their Milk Chocolate bar that had been infused w/ honey - boy oh boy was this delish! The chocolate was incredibly creamy & the honey was sweet & flowery & added such a nice flavor layer to the chocolate - wished I had purchased about 12 more of these!
For such a quick stop in, we were thoroughly impressed & would seek out Gmeiner when next in the area! You should too!
I like to think of Printemps Haussmann as the quiet, more laid-back, & grownup sibling of Galeries Lafayette & our shopping excursion here proved it. Just as large as Galeries but without the chaotic crowds
Fantastic perfume selection! After browsing & sniffing for what seemed like forever, we ended up going w/ Guerlain & that was after visiting their shop on Champs Elysees.....left there unimpressed but here at Printemps, they helped us find the exact match for my Mom. And this was no regular old Guerlain scent that I can get in the US......OH NO! This is a Paris-exclusive!
Not available online, not available outside Paris! Mom will *love* it....& should be a nice xmas gift as she ( like me ) likes things that are impossible to get
We also bought some chocolate from their Maison Du Chocolat - where else can you spend $100 on 2 *extremely* small boxes of chocolate?! I would have bought some for myself as well but it seemed like everything & I mean *every* offering in their case was paired w/ fruit & for those who know me, I'm a chocolate purist & mixing fruit & chocolate is just blasphemous.....but as gifts for those who like to indulge, I'm an enabler
Crowds were so much more manageable than at Galeries - so I didn't get claustrophobic or antsy to get out of there - happy, pleasant browsing & gifts secured for loved ones! Score!!!
Wow & double wow, we were pleasantly surprised by the delish chocolates at Woodhouse!!
Brown Butter Ganache - you got white chocolate, darker chocolate filling & the brown butter all mixed in to give it a smooth creamy caramelly taste.....complex layers of sweetness & flavors going on!
Honey Chocolate - super-intense honey flavor & paired w/ a dark chocolate shell to give it the perfect combination - this was eye-roll-inducingly good
Also indulged in their Exotic Salt Caramels - we got each of their varieties ( there are EIGHT ) & have to say overall Recchiuti still makes the best salted caramels, but these are a close runner-up
The Smokey variety pack was too smokey for my taste - if you're a smokey fan however, you'll absolutely love this. Sis & BF sure did!
The Exotic Sea Salts however were delish - came in both milk & dark chocolate & the salts were so subtly different but each added a unique taste all their own
Most chocolates are personally & individually packaged up for you right on the spot & it almost reminds me of "I Love Lucy" w/ their cute way to line up the wrappers, then insert the chocolates then place them in the boxes - it's a true talent!
They were training a new hire when we were there so we can attest it takes a special talent to get all the chocolates into those boxes just right
WAY too much to try & now it's even more complicated b/c that Honey & Brown Butter will HAVE to be staples & then w/ something new to try as well on top of that.... Hmmm, guess this means we'll have to come back....often!
Walking to Millennium for their annual Heirloom Tomato Dinner & saw Candy Darling.....the lure of sugary deliciousness drew me in & I couldn't resist
Sea Salt Caramel - it's all that! Huge slab of soft yet chewy caramel w/ loads of salt to give it a sweet / salty kick. Have to say this is probably 1 of my all-time fav caramels
Milk Choc PB Cup - this was likewise awesome.....creamy & super-chocolatty choc cup enveloped the PB & while there could have been just a bit more peanut butter, I thought this baby was outrageously delish
Owners were nice as could be & I left there already scheming for when I could come back!
Anette's Chocolate Factory - don't question, just come here
Everything in their store is made on site, from scratch & this includes all the candies, chocolates & ice cream
Watch them making the candy in the back room - while we were there, it was all about the Brittle
They had Microbrew Beer Brittle - I'm munching on it right now....intense peanutty-caramel flavor & excellent crunch
Tequila Tortilla Lime Chili Brittle - the saltiness of the corn chip & the kick from the chili offset the sweetness of the brittle in the most unique way. Sounded way too weird not to try a sample & immediately found ourselves buying a bag after 1 taste
Chardonnay Brittle - didn't get to try this but mom & dad said it was light & buttery & out of this world
Now it was time to move onto the chocolates.....
Dark Choc Honeycomb - this was buttery & crunchy w/ a smooth creamy chocolate coating - Butterfingers on steroids!
Milk Choc Pecan Turtle - not my fav. Tried their milk & dark choc versions & have to say the turtles at Powell's Sweet Shop were tastier
Salted Caramels - OMG were these gewd....got the box of milk & dark & there was a TON of chewy-sticking-teeth-together caramel to go w/ the chocolate. Maybe I liked the dark better but it was such a close race , I might need a do-over to really judge
Port & Cabernet Truffles - not my fav but in all fairness, these were placed in the fridge & it seemed like the liquid centers congealed. Not appetizing
We were advised that many wineries will send their wine here to make their wine-filled chocolates
So that delish box of chocolates you purchased at your fav winery just may have been Anette's!
I would like to formally recognize the incredible staff at *this* Walgreens location & offer my sincerest thank you & gratitude for your partnership with SF Parks & Rec Dept to secure the return of our STOLEN luggage
Not sure how this could have happened when we were RIGHT THERE as bags were being unloaded but SFPD advised me there's a huge transient population that comes through SFO & while rare, having one's luggage stolen was not uncommon.
We originally thought our bag was merely lost, however early the following morning, I received a call from Walgreens, to let me know that a Gardner with SF Parks & Rec had found our bag ( and 2 more ) in a homeless encampment within 1 of their parks
The wonderful person at SF Parks & Rec found a random identifier in our bag - which happened to be my Walgreens prescription bottle - then took the time & care to personally phone Walgreens & ask for their help to contact me - WOW is all I can say!
I am so touched by his responsibility and ownership of an obviously dubious situation to ensure right was done!
What was even better was that Walgreens did NOT give out my info but informed this person that they would contact me on his behalf - I'm loving the fact they protected my privacy. How were they to know he was legit? He could have been anybody - but turns out he was an honest man of the highest integrity
We had guardian angels all around us, looking out for us & didn't even know it!
If this ever happens to you ( & all hopes it does not! ), you have Walgreens on your side & can be sure they will protect your identity while partnering to ensure your belongings get back to you
Huge props to Walgreens & SF Parks & Rec!!!!
This must be the ultra-secret-hidden Trader Joe's that I was lucky enough to stumble upon while I was actually looking for a different grocery store. I was driving around a residential maze when poof, out pops TJs. Happy day!
Always get sucked into my standard faves - like their Dark Choc Caramels. It's basically all I can do not to grab 1 of every little cookie & candy nibble they offer b/c A - I'm weak & B - they're all so darn tasty
Prepared foods are da bomb & still find myself discovering new treats to try every time
This go-round? Veggie Salad - mix of chick peas, Bulgar Wheat & Tomatoes, on shredded cabbage. It was delightful!
Also found these Flax / Soy Spicy Tortilla chips that were all kinds of yummy - more flavorful spicy as opposed to hot spicy
Huge parking lot. Not crowded. Lines moved quickly
Yup - that's about as good as it gets!
Z. Cioccilato gets your candy fix down pat! All kinds of chocolate candies & treats await you & this is indulgence at its finest
You're not going to find curried chocolate, or mongolian-orange-tutti-frutti-vanilla chocolate....nope. This is your good ole comfort chocolate ( as I like to call it ) Caramels, Nuts, PB & chocolate!! You know, the good stuff!
I opted for their Chocolate Fudge w/ Caramel AND PB.....wowsers! I ate the whole thing & even craved more..... fudge was soft & creamy which is exactly how I like my fudge - totally melts in the mouth & gives a sense of ahhhhhhh, happiness!
Next time, I'm totally stocking up on their fudge AND their chocolate case. I remember a little PB Cup that has my name alllllllll over it
Free Caramel Pop Corn - freshly popped mind you, provided as I'm leaving & it's total luv!!
Fortnum & Mason is like a US Whole Foods, Andronicos, or Draeger's ... but on steroids. Speciality foods, delish gourmet treats to fill your picnic hampers, & fru-fru goodies are everywhere the eye can see....
Ginormous selection of teas & coffees & you can tell each one has been selected to represent F&M for a reason - staff will talk to you about each blend to make sure you are getting those "just right" beans / leaves & you'll totally appreciate their guidance!
Cookies, biscuits, chocolates galore & these are nice, plentiful, & transportable for us visitors... nicely packaged & ready to go
What's not so ready to go are the marvellous jams, preserves, honeys & spreads that are too delish to pass up but maybe too high a risk to pack in luggage ... what's a girl to do?! Chance it, I say!
We got an Ethiopian Coffee, Milk & Dark Chocolate Toffees
The chocolates were like the US candybar Butterfinger. The toffee part was flaky, crispy & buttery & a surprise from the dense, crunchy caramel toffee we were expecting - nonetheless, it was scrumptious & we all too quickly polished off the crinkly packages of delights
Coffees, Teas, desserts & whatnot, as well as their Tea Room on the ground floor; beautiful china & dinnerware on the first floor, more "standard-type" groceries in the basement - the store has a wonderfully open layout so the eye will easily catch glimmers of new things to explore .... and this doesn't even get us into the actual clothing, jewellery & accessories found on the higher floors!!
Can only imagine what a treat it would be to come here during the holidays when everything is in its decorated-best. I hear another trip to London calling my name.....
La Maison Du Chocolat is like the Harrods or Hermes or *insert outrageously high end example here* of chocolates - very posh
Walking in from a sweltering hot day, last thing I thought I wanted was a hot drinking chocolate but boy was I sure glad I indulged. Plus it was a good excuse to enjoy the A/C a bit longer
Lots of cases of chocolates stare at you, beckoning you to take them home but I knew that would have to be for later - I wanted something for NOW - walk towards the back to the tables & await your luscious chocolate treats
For now: Drinking chocolate w/ vanilla super yummy. Light & creamy w/ a hint of vanilla to accentuate the chocolate - 5 stars
Chestnut cake - only okay but prob wouldn't get again. Very small cake made from phylo & chestnut mouse - not chocolaty - 3 stars
For later - Milk chocolate bar is so creamy & chocolaty & milky - 5 stars
I noticed most things had some kind of fruit paired with it & for those who know me, you'll know fruit & chocolate is on my naughty list. I am a chocolate purist & there should never be fruit mixed....nuts? Now that's another story....
Embarcadero Treats offers lots of chocolate options for the starving masses
From Ghiradheli, to Sees, to Scharffen Berger, to Godiva, to Toblerone....on & on & on. They even have fru fru chocolates you wouldn't find just anywhere & when hopping an international flight, what better send off than an international treat?!
I chose this French brand - Bovetti which was incredible.
The Chocolate Cinnamon Tablet was creamy w/ the cinnamon sprinkled on top as a layer but it totally added to the flavor. Only 29% Cacao but it was so creamy I didn't care
Polished off the whole thing then went straight to sleep for my overnight flight.....
After a scrumptious Happy Hour meeting w/ vendors at Slanted Door, we sauntered down to Recchiuti for dessert
Little plates of chocolaty goodness await us. Displays are situated so that only a few pieces per plate make it out to tempt us w/ their yumminess
Select a range from fruit to teas to savory spices.....but my all time favs have got to be their caramels! There are multiple varieties from which to choose but why limit yourself.....take 1 of everything!
Cannot tell for sure what else I ended up selecting b/c I have yet to memorize all their designs but I seem to remember Ginger Heart, Rose Caramel, Burnt Caramel, and a Fleur De Sel were among those I snarfed down in no time flat. Here's what stood out -
* Fleur De Sel - smoky dark caramel flavor w/ a slight hint of salt
* Rose Caramel - no caramelly flavor really but strong rose paired with white chocolate
* Ginger Heart - creamy caramel w/ intense ginger taste - goes through the nose & all you sense is ginger
A legend would be helpful here, for customers.....like Vosges does! Hint Hint!
But just when I thought my enjoyment was over, what did I receive 2 days later from our vendor? A box of the Fleur De Sel Caramels.....SCORE!!!
Hotel Chocolat.......at first I thought this was an *actual* hotel dedicated to a chocolate experience.....silly me
It's instead a magnificent shop filled w/ all kinds of chocolaty treats. Nothing in cases & no displays of tray upon tray of truffles, dipped fruit & whatnot. But rather shelf upon shelf of delish pre-wrapped chocolates
Bars (aka SLABS)
Dipping Chocolate Kits
I completely went overboard here & indulged in the following:
40% Milk Chocolate......only 1 I've tried so far but it's smooth, deep chocolate flavor & pleasant creamy aftertaste
Pralines - 2 kinds w/ 1 being their special label
Rocky Road - instead of marshmallow (which is a Veggie no-no) they used a huge Rice Crisp ( ! )
Honey Milk - anything honey & I'm a goner! Support the bees!!
And lastly, Caramellow - lots of caramel & toffee on top of Milk Chocolate
Waaaaaaay too many yummiliscious temptations to try & wondering how I'm going to get it all through Customs
If Bloomingdale's were in the UK, it'd be Selfridges
This store in particular is completely outrageous in its opulence.....and I luv, luv, luv it. Best example, there's a Cartier store IN the Selfridges
All your designer favorites like Lauren, DKNY, Hobbs, Jaeger, YSL, you get the picture
Tons of perfumes, handbags, shoes, in everything from trendy fashion, to tailored suits, to casual....not to mention the FOOD HALL, in floors upon floors of temptations & you have your most beloved Bloomies in this London Utopia
The absolute BESTEST gourmet chocolate I have ever tasted.....EVAR
Pooped from a day of running all over The Strip, we meander into Caesars Forum Shops, not really thinking we'd find anything except for a nice bench to sit & rest our weary selves when out of the corner of our eyes, we see this rich, deep, vibrant purple sign - like a siren, it called us over
What a delight to find this Haut-Chocolat Boutique....ultra-high-end boutique & boy oh boy is it worth it
We got Caramels infused w/ Salty Pecans, Tupelo Honey & Bee Pollen, Blood Orange, Argentinean dulce de leche & Costa Rican cashews......just to name a few
Exotic Truffles infused w/ Lavender, Curry, Chili Peppers....among other super-cool shtuff
Collezione Italiana Truffles infused w/ Taleggio Cheese (yeah, really!), Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil-White Chocolate w/ Dried Kalamata Olives....not *even* kidding
All packed for us in a nice bag w/ freezer packs to keep it all cool - fantastic idea!
While waiting for our goodies to be packed up, Sis & I indulged in 2 of their drinking Chocolates - Sis the White Chocolate w/ Lemon & Lavender - nice & light w/ a strong Lavender flavor (in a *very* good way)
Me - Dark Chocolate w/ Cinnamon & Chipotle Chillies - rich & luscious, coating the throat going down w/ the kick of the chili only coming as a pleasant aftertaste
Super-nice peeps, tons of free samples given & we walked outta there, our wallets much, much lighter but our brains much much happier
Oh - BTW - since all their chocolates are organic, it is recommended to eat w/in 7 days.....THIS will not be a problem
Big WOW for the new Trader Joe's!
TJs is *always, always, always* super-crowded & I get grumpy by the traffic in the parking lots, the swarms of people, carts everywhere, little room to maneuver...you get the picture
But w/ this new location being SO CLOSE, I can treat this like a Target run & just pop over at the crack-o-dawn to get my yummies & save my mental anguish..... and I'd do anything for my Veggie Masala Burgers!
Boy are these things tasteeee - hunks of potato, carrot, corn, peppers, & other goodness surrounded by Indian spices & they're just my absolute fav... and at 3 POINTS, it's the perfect lunchable
Other fav TJ items aren't nearly as POINT-friendly & I sure hope to get you incorporated BACK into my daily regimen very soon! Things like:
Their Peanut-Butter-Filled-Pretzels - salty, creamy & oh-so addictive
Their Mini-Reese-Cups w/ the dark chocolate instead of the Hershey's Milk.....like a decadent version of my fav candy bar!
Their Ginger Snaps - w/ hunks of ginger, baked into a small, crisp wafer that again, is oh-so-addictive
Their Molasses Chews - a large, chewy Molasses cookie that is sugary, soft & chewy & deeeeelish!
Their GORP (Good Old Raisins & Peanuts) which is perfect to mix w/ their dried cranberries for the perfect Trail Mix
So overall, LOTS to tempt me here & this hasn't even mentioned their wine & produce selections - which ROCK
Just remember to get here when they open at 9 AM (which was STILL crowded), stock up on TJ staples / goodies & luv, luv, luv, this new TJs.....
Rocky Mtn just opened up in P-town & I couldn't be happier! Used to savor their delicacies when I lived in VA & was stoked to find 1 in Gilroy (at the outlet mall) when we moved out to CA but thought it was a travel-kind-of-thing we'd have to look forward to when going on a roadtrip
Boy, it was just like Christmas all over again when we happened upon this little chocolate piece of heaven the other weekend & right next door in the East Bay, too.
Chocolate-Macadamia-Bears are the absolute bomb!!! Ginormous slab of caramel w/ huge hunks of Macs & all covered in milk chocolate.
I can also hugely recommend their warm, White-Chocolate-Macadamia-Nut-Cookies.....
Have to say the Chocolate-Dipped Apricots are better at Scharffen Berger & this place is not the utmost gourmet, fru-fru chocolate in the land. But when I think of "comfort" chocolate, this is the place that totally comes to mind!
Always dependable, always delicious, always See's!!!
These folks have chocolate down pat.....none of this lavender-scented-earl-gray-infused-green tea-dusted-with-a-chili-kicker, fru-fru gourmet....we're talking about good ole classic chocolate!
Nuts & Chews box is AB-FAB & a must have for every visit. Their Almond Chews & Toffee boxes are additional must-ies.....but why, oh why don't you sell your caramels individually?!?!
They are only featured in the assorted boxes & there are only 2 in the box & that's not nearly enough!!!
Super-friendly staff is the tipping star in this 5-star rating. Always happy, always pleasant, always generous w/ the free samples. God luv ya See's!!!
These folks have just about everything when it comes to specialty food items
Tons of local SF products that would be great as gifts or for those of us who prefer to eat & snack local
Pastas, sauces, meat rubs, candy, chips, drinkys.....you name it, this place has got it
Scored some Marshall's Farm SF Orange Blossom Honey, TCHO Milk Chocolate & Hazelnut Salted Caramels
Wide selection of wine & beers which you can purchase by the individual bottle - did someone say Rogue Ale?
Not being one to EVER pass up a chocolate shop, we saw Confiserie Rottenhöfer Kaffee Hag & had to pop in for a sample
The place is huge & divided up into an eat-in pastry / coffee shop & a chocolate / pastry to-go shop. As the chocolate cases were on the takeaway side & we still had lots of sightseeing to do, we chose to make our selection & dash
You have to be bold when getting someone's attention - the people behind the counter will help whomever yells at them first & we had a couple of senior ladies butt in front of us before realizing there's no queue & we just had to go for it
Don't remember seeing too many labels but the Mr locked onto this wonderful chocolate covered cake bite that he recommended we all try & who am I to argue?
That cake was so dense & moist & had a thin layer of dark chocolate coating - it was lovely!
Even Mom who originally didn't want to try it was sold on the first bite - this cake-piece is large enough to be a 2-bite treat
Wished we had had more but was a nice way to satisfy a sweet craving & hold us over to dinner
Adorable ladybug chocolates & VW Bugs in the windows, Amelie was a treat to the eyes & mouths in a variety of ways
Dark Chocolate Bark w/ Karamelle - there was a smoothness to the dark chocolate. Just a hint of bitterness & the crystallized caramel bits were like a dusting of sugar. Loved it!
Also indulged in their Mayan Chocolate Truffle - dark chocolate truffle dusted w/ the a nice chili powder. Sweet truffle taste that has just a slight kick in the aftertaste. Wished we had had about 10 more of these
Mom chose the Black Forest Bark - dark chocolate bark w/ kirsch cherries - loved the contrast of the sweet chocolate & the sour cherries
Daddy chose the Milk Chocolate / Macadamia bark & it was creamy & had lots of nuts
Also saw chocolate dentures & other fun shapes & forms made from chocolate - very whimsical & fun!
Looking for fun & unique supplies to create my Easter Baskets, I immediately thought of Cost Plus World Market
This Cost Plus is actually a faster destination, over driving across the city & I knew this location would have lots of parking so it was a no-brainer
Lots of different basket types from felt to wicker. Lots of crinkle paper in all kinds of different colors. Lots of fun kitschy gifts & nicer basket fillers too & this isn't even getting to their candy selections
Mostly from Germany & Switzerland, I snagged chocolate bunnies, chicks, lambs, & carrots - you know...all the good stuff.
They also had fun Easter-themed pastas, windup fluffy bunnies & chicks as well as adorable bunnies made out of corn husks.....I ended up going totally overboard & also totally loving it
Best part was that all their Easter stuff was 25% off - big score, especially as I saw the final tally after being checked out - they know how to empty a wallet!
Would love to come back & explore more! This is the kind of store that would be very dangerous for me!
Lots of candy bins w/ hard candies, gummies, taffies & the like...toys, novelty cards & you've got a small taste of what it's like to be in Powell's Sweet Shoppe
Chocolate candy bars like Seattle Chocolates, Scharffen Berger, & Vosges & cases of "homemade" truffles too
Milk Chocolate Pecan Turtles are incredible - the pecans have been dry-roasted so there is an intense smoky-nutty flavor
Dark Chocolate Caramel - the dark choc paired so well w/ the sweet caramel
Mom got a bunch of different fruity truffles - Blackberry, Strawberry, Pomegranate & others.....she thought the chocolate was good but that's all she tasted. There was no fruit taste at all - her exact words were "they all taste the same & I wouldn't get them again"
Seattle Chocolates - Dark choc & PB - just okay - the choc overpowered the PB - which wasn't creamy....wouldn't get again
Cote S'Or Milk Choc Bar - this was more of a fruity chocolate (if going by TCHO standards) which is not my taste. I'm more on their chocolaty wheel
Overall a fun candy shoppe - just need to know which goodies to pick! I'm sticking w/ their cases of individual chocolates!
Chocolate chocolate everywhere! Fog City News - I'm in heaven!
Scharffen Berger; Vosges; Michael Mischer - just to name a FEW, there's def something for everyone. If you don't know what you want, let the super-nice staff guide you towards chocolate bliss! Even if you *think* you know what you want, let them guide you....you can thank me later
Latest visit, I walked in thinking all I wanted was the Scharffen Berger Sea Salt & Almond & I even told them I didn't need any help but the nice guy nicely mentioned if I liked the SB, I'd love the Michael Mischer.....so I thought: Oh, alriiiiiight....why nooooot.....twist my arm....
And omg - he was so right!!! I found a new fav! Criollo Dark Chocolate -65% Cacao with Toffee & Salt
FCN was also among the 1st to receive the Rolling Stone-True Blood edition *guilty pleasure* w/ the yummilicious cover ( you know which one I'm talking about )
.....so if you're looking for a plethora of mags, ranging all over the board for all kinds of tastes, that are hot off the presses, this is your nirvana
Prices are high, it is true.....but when there's so much decadence in front of you - gourmet choc & the newest edition of your fav mag, the indulgence is well worth it
Group of us recently partook in the **FREE** TCHO factory tour & to ensure *your* experience is phenomenal, we wanted to provide the following 7 expectations .....after all, to quote Schoolhouse Rock: "Knowledge Is Power!"
1st Expectation - this is a very basic factory tour but they hold nothing back & you get to see everything they got - TCHO doesn't import, roast, or process any beans on site. So you're not going to see every step from cacao pod to chocolate bar here
2nd Expectation - To counter the fact there are no beans on site & to provide the most complete educational experience possible, there *IS* a video that provides the history of how the company was formed as well as the TCHO-specific chocolate-making process that happens *before* it arrives at their factory.....i.e., everything from cacao plant to cocoa liquor
TCHO takes the cocoa mass (aka cocoa liquor) that comes from their very own partner farms around the world (Peru, Madagascar, Ghana) & finishes the production on site.
3rd Expectation - all the machines are closed off & sealed ( DUH - you can't temper & process chocolate in open vats people! ) but we got to see the drums & conveyor belt that plops the chocolate into their molding trays & then makes its way down to the wrapping / boxing area.....so you ARE seeing the factory
4th Expectation - this is not a 7-day operation. No machines are working on the weekends. I'm not working on the weekend - I'm here at TCHO. Their machines need a break too
5th Expectation - your tour leaders are store employees & don't have PhDs in chocolate - so give them a little slack! The nice girl who was stuck giving us a tour needed to work on her presentation skills as every other word out of her mouth was "um". She also didn't know if their chocolate was Dutch processed or whether their vanilla was single source so please don't expect answers to every question from the obnoxiously pretentious people in your group
On a side-note, there was also a very distracting guy w/ his service dog. The adorable doggie was supposed to be a stress reliever but was crawling all over him during the video part of the tour & had major separation anxiety & howled the entire time we were back in the factory, even though the nice staff was trying to appease her.....poor little baby doggie but props to TCHO for taking good care of her!
6th Expectation - they serve a mean cuppa! Blue Bottle coffee served & made fresh to order. Pairs extremely well w/ their chocolate - don't miss out on indulging here!
7th Expectation - FREE SAMPLES!
I liked the Chocolatey & Nutty tones - they've taken a "tone" approach & showcase fruity, citrus, nutty, chocolatey. There are also floral & earthy tones on their wheel & hopefully we'll be able to see what those taste like in the near future.
We found it interesting to learn they make the Starbucks chocolate bars (different recipe than theirs but the chocolate you buy from SBux is really TCHO) and interesting to learn their chocolates have no other flavorings added other than vanilla - so the true varietal of the source bean shines through.
So know your expectations & have a powerfully enjoyful experience. Savor the chocolate & find your tone! We had a great time, learned a lot about TCHO & def enjoyed their chocolate!!
A friend from London was visiting & after a delightful Afternoon Tea, we were walking along Embarcadero when angels started singing, bright shining lights began shining & the doors to San Francisco Chocolate Store opened
What awaited us was a smorgasbord of delightful sweet treats! Offering shelves of SF shtuff - mugs, plates, cable cars, etc... & huge bins of candies, taffies, jelly beans & whatnot, I quickly made my way over to the "real deal" = the chocolate!
Bought 2 San Fran cups as gifts for buddies - each filled w/ Ghirardelli chocolates.....didn't notice until we got all the way back home that the cups were painted w/ lead-based paint & were therefore useless as actual drinking mugs = BOO! But at least they could enjoy the chocolate.
Also got a couple of cable cars filled w/ chocolate - even had a *real* working bell!
And since the cheesy gift getting had been taken care of, it was time for MEEEEEEE & this is where the cases of individual chocolates come into play
Opted for my faves: Macadamia Milk Choc Turtles.....lots of nuts, caramel & the chocolate was creamy & smooth. Wished I had picked up about 53 more of these
It was too cold & windy of a day for ice cream but if we're back that way, would def indulge
I'm a fan!
Directly beside my hotel is Neuhaus chocolates..... I was doomed
Trays & shelves of delicious chocolates in dark & milk varieties.... only trend I saw was that most everything had hazelnuts in it, in one fashion or another
Indulged in the following:
* Rose ganache - soapy
* Jasmine ganache - delish & subtle
* Cinnamon Choc square - creamy & cinnamonny....my fav & I cleaned them out of their stock
* Peruvian dark - creamy & rich triangle shaped blob w/ hazelnutty filling
Overall, I'm a huge fan - creamy chocolaty chocolates at more than reasonable prices
Looking for a new chocolate treat, I happened upon Teuscher Chocolate & thought.....Swiss chocolate?! Can't go wrong there! ( I am brilliant like that )
Indulged in their Champagne Truffle & WOW....wish I had bought more than one!! Dark chocolate & the champagne pair so well together - this will be a "regular"
Amaretti Cookies - so fudgy & creamy, they were more like truffles instead of cookies. Just a little puff of a cookie on top of a dense, ganache / amaretto filling. Amaretto was really strong upon 1st bite but settled in nicely afterwards & it was all kinds of good
Milk & Dark Chocolate Covered Apricots - these were good but maybe the least fav of our stash - as reported by Sis b/c I am a purist & don't mix fruit w/ my chocolate
* SHE * is the Apricot connoisseur of the family & absolutely loves these things & here is her assessment.
Teuscher Apricot is a small dried apricot, used as a delivery vehicle for their nice big dollop of chocolate....the chocolate is the star here
Whereas Scharffen Berger is a ginormous, plump Apricot w/ a thick covering of chocolate....the apricot is the star here
Overall, can't wait to go back to Teuscher & try more & more goodies - huge selection that'll be keeping me busy for quite some time!
Yay - I'm their 100th review
White, Milk & Dark - Caramels, Fruit-Filled, Wine-Filled, & Spiced - prettily painted, stamped or dyed..... it all awaits you at CocoaBella Chocolates
Chocolates were tasty & I kinda liked some pieces, liked others, & really liked the Salted Caramel Heart
Staff didn't seem that excited to talk about the chocolate & this didn't get me too excited to purchase more - I also had no listing of what each piece was, that I bought, & this makes it hard to come back to get whatever I really liked in the future
Walked around & picked out a piece here & there.... and when you're getting a smattering of this & that, having a menu / legend would be extremely helpful....like they do at Vosges
But word of advice: the price per lb for these delicious chocolates is printed on the receipt & comes in around $80 ......good thing I wasn't looking to buy in quantity
WHOA! $80 for a lb of chocolate?!?! That's outrageous!!
After Fleet Week festivities were cut short we needed a good spot to shop a bit, relax a bit & dine before hitting The Fillmore for a show & Bittersweet was too tempting
Both Sis & I got their Chocolate Flight
Let's just say that purchasing the Flight was in itself bittersweet
WAY TOO EXPENSIVE! For $10, we got what amounted to one cup of cocoa.....teeny tiny shotglass-like cups of hot chocolate - when compared to the "regular" cup of hot chocolate we could have ordered, hmmmmm
.....but on the good side, I found a go-to flavor which was the Bittersweet. We liked all 3 but agreed the Bittersweet was best
* Bittersweet - deep chocolate flavor w/ just the right amount of sweetness
* Classic - lighter chocolate flavor than the Bittersweet & left an aftertaste
* Spicy - lightest chocolate flavor w/ quite a kick of spice. Burns on the way down & while we liked it, we agreed that Vosges' version was better
We also tried the Chocolate Cannale - was a little bundt cake shaped popover covered in a thin chocolate layer. Sis & my friend liked it a lot; me not so much.
You can also find chocolate bars from various companies like Green & Blacks, Vosges & a whole host of others
Final verdict = when all other cocoa offerings are in the $4 - $5 range, save yourself the retail regret & just go for the individual cups .....this of course will be during the multiple trips you'll want to make to Bittersweet to try all their flavors
So Sis' b-day is coming up in a couple of days & I always treat her to a box of her absolute fav dessert - Chocolate Dipped Apricots
Scharffen Berger is the pinnacle of all desserts for Sis which is saying something b/c she's the Savory girl of our family & isn't too much a dessert fan & especially not a chocolate lover (like ME)
I'm sugar, she's spice & we're everything nice....
......but for her, when it comes to the Scharffen Berger Apricot, there's no resisting
But I JUST found out today that they have temporarily discontinued offering these delicacies......ack! Now what will I get for her b-day???
They're currently looking for a new apricot supplier....please find one soon!!
I was so flabbergasted that I walked out w/out trying their decadent-looking truffles - so brightly colored & beckoning to me
When my head stops spinning from this horrific news, I'll def plan to be back
After a wonderful tour of the Dom & Treasure House, we were looking for some cake & coffees to continue our lovely family visit.....enter Cafe Reichard
The setting almost seems like an English Tea House with its lovely large room & pastel furniture. There was also a large outdoor seating area with huge umbrellas but it was a bit too cold & we opted for the indoor seating
There are truffles, pralines & shelves upon shelves of assorted & bagged chocolates. There is also a huge case of cakes and tarts & you can place your order there & they will bring it to you in the posh eating area
Sis In Law / Brother In Law chose a Rum Apple Tart & the Chocolate Tart both with coffees. These are their go-to orders when they come here ( which is often )
The Mr & I chose slices of different Nut Tarts & fizzy waters. Our tarts were slightly sweet & tasted almost the same.....which was not a bad thing
Only after we were seated did I see a huge sign for Apple Strudel - darn it! Next time!!
I'd had La Rue du Chocolat bookmarked for some time & finally got to pay a little visit....there is a wonderfully whimsical assortment of adorable chocolate animals & you'll also find huge mustaches, starfish & "regular" truffles all for the taking.
We chose the following:
Milk Moo Cow - kind of waxy & not a lot of deep chocolate taste
Salted Toffee Nemo - had a nut-like liqueur flavor but a smooth center - good for novelty purposes but would not choose as an individual piece for myself again
Mac Turtle - not a lot of nuts & the caramel was smooth & not very chewy but the overall flavor was nice & I might get this again
Pecan Turtle - same as above but w/ buttery pecans
Kahlua Cream Truffle - nice coffee flavor
Honey-Caramel Square - not sure what this was really called except to say it was my absolute fav of the lot! It was buttery & creamy & honeyie & just a bit chewy. The inside was a white-ish nougat like color but it was chewy like a caramel. It was outstanding! Look for the milk chocolate square w/ a yellow dot in each corner!
Overall, have to say this place was a huge A-OK. The novelty-aspect of the place will draw you in & if you choose wisely, you're in for some decent-to-yummy deliciousness.....
Looking for treats from a place we: A - hadn't tried before; yet B - was tried & true..... Littlejohn's Candies was the obvious choice.
Picked up some Easter Chocolate for the Mr.....super easy to get to, about 1/2 block from the Van Ness Muni station
I liked the abundance of chocolate bunnies in all kinds of poses & shapes - coming in both dark & milk chocolate varieties
Some had been decorated w/ frosting; some were just the chocolate; some were in pre-filled boxes & baskets; ( complete w/ Easter grass ) while some were just the basic supplies so one could build their own basket
I also saw jelly beans & chocolate / candy covered almonds which were the perfect "egg" partner, to my chocolate bunnies & creamy eggs
I chose smaller & ginormous chocolate-buttercream-filled eggs to fill my basket & verdict was that this was a nice, creamy, lightly-flavored milk chocolate
Even though it was a bit pricey, would get it again & proudly stand behind this chocolate as gifts for friends & family - & I consider this a huge testimonial & a huge A-OK for me
Next visit will definitely try their caramels & signature English toffee!
Stopped by Mendocino Chocolate Company while on a long weekend up north & discovered the following:
Almond version of the Rocher Balls & it was pretty nasty. The light, airy chocolate filling was not to my taste
Their Dark Chocolate Caramel was downright tasty - lots of chewy caramel surrounded by a dark chocolate - niiiiice
Chili Truffle - another we did not care for at all. Hoping for a sweet chocolate w/ an after-kick from the pepper - alas, this was a dark chocolate truffle filled w/ a whipped light chocolate mousse that had a weird meaty flavor to it. Can't really put my finger on what was causing the chili flavor except to say it did not ring good w/ us
Toffee - light, tender yet crunchy & buttery, this toffee was nicely complimented by the milk chocolate coating & pecans. Might have been even better w/ a dark chocolate but the milk was good enough for me to say we'd get it again
So for 2 hits & 2 misses, have to say this place ranks an overall 3 stars. Not really a fan & not aching to come back but it was A-OK
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|Various places where we've found outstanding & underwhelming chocolate desserty delicacies alike||Hotcakes, Flapjacks, Short Stacks - it's all about Pancakes & here is where I like to get buttered & syruped|
My Pumpkin List has grown so large, I've had to divide it - this is the Sweet Stuff
I'm a big fan of the Squash.....they don't call it The Great Pumpkin for nothing. In meals or dessert, it's all gewd & here's an ever-growing list of my yummy & not-so-yummy assessments of these Wintery delights
|......and often times the yummiest! An ever growing list of delish (& not so delish) spots|
|Caffeine achievers unite! Here is a smattering of coffee joints I've had the good pleasure to discover.....constantly updated||Eggy, Bready & oh so custardy....there's nothing like a good FrenchToast & here are some of the places I've syruped|
|Whether it's fake, fusion, or fully authentic, I'm all about gooey, spicy deliciousness & here's where we've been guaced||Wiggity, wiggity, wack - I'm diggin on the cheesey mac & here's where I like to get those delish bubbly caldrons of comfort food|
|Here's an ever-growing list of yummy & not-so-yummy veggie burger joints & where I like to get my grease on||Here are some cool & not so cool places where I like to get my drinky on|
"that's the way the bee bumbles"
San Francisco, CA, Vereinigte StaatenYelper seit
Februar 2007Hier bin ich häufig anzutreffen
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Jimbo's Peanut Butter Pumpkin Cake!!!