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Chocolate trip in the city & Hot Chocolate

puppymomma Apr 6, 2007 02:46 PM

I took a trip into the Boston area today. Originally I had planned to visit Taza chocolates, thinking they had a cafe. I had heard/thought that they had a place in Central Square where you could sit and have hot cocoa and eat chocolates. I was bummed out to find that the place didn't really exist. I called to find out what the deal was, and they told me they only have a meeting once in a while in central square where people can do that. Their factory is in Sommerville, and they dont' have a shop there either.

So I went to Temper Chocolates on Com. Ave. I got some chocolates, and had a hot cocoa. It was okay. Interestingly, I like their chocolates more than Burdick's, but I like Burdick's cocoa more than Temper's.

Then, I had a craving for Burdick's hot chocolate. So on my way back home, I went to Harvard square and got one. Yum. But I didn't bother getting chocolates. I did, however, stop in at Cardullo's and buy some Dolfin. I was going to get Lake Champlain Small World Truffles, but there weren't any.

Are there any other places I could try for my chocolate/hot chocolate fix? I actually live in Worcester County, but I don't think there's any place out here. I go in to the city from time to time.

  1. t
    TanQ10 Apr 6, 2007 05:15 PM

    Wow, you ARE a chocoholic..that's a lot of cocoa for 1 day. You would certainly do well at Le Meridien Hotel's Chocolate Buffet- for the next time you are in Boston. Also, have you checked out Finale? Can't think of any in the Marlborough area either, but I used to work in Tyngsboro and there was a restaurant called Martha's Exchange that had a great little confectionary - not that this helps you in Worcester. Sorry.

    1. limster Apr 6, 2007 05:54 PM

      Taza chocolates takes over Mariposa Bakery only on Thursday nights. You can get their chocolate bars at Temper Chocolates.

      1. p
        pastrytroll Apr 7, 2007 03:22 PM

        One other place in the neighborhood is Serene Chocolates, 1105 Mass. Ave.between Centraland Harvard Square - lower level- by Dolphin Seafood? They carry La Tene chocolates, also made in Somerville with terrific, distinct flavors.

        I too stopped at the Mariposa Bakery today - hoping to buy a Taza bar. I know the chocolate lounge is Thursday, but I'm really looking forward to trying their bar!

        5 Replies
        1. re: pastrytroll
          puppymomma Apr 7, 2007 04:57 PM

          I bought a Taza bar at Temper Chocolates. I haven't tried it yet. I also bought three interesting and delicious Vosges Bars: Calindia Bar, Naga Bar, and the Red Fire bar. They are totally awesome!

          1. re: puppymomma
            jsjs09812 Apr 10, 2007 08:43 AM

            Vosges is my favorite - particularly the Red Fire bar. Glad to know I can find them at Temper, which is closer to home for me than Cardullo's.

          2. re: pastrytroll
            limster Apr 7, 2007 09:15 PM

            Make that another vote for La Tene chocolates. Great technique.

            The Taza bar I got a few weeks ago was a blend of Costa Rican and iirc Mexican chocolate. They've focused on cultivating direct relationships with growers in Central and South America, so expect blends with beans from these regions. Pretty good temper, a pleasant snap when breaking, melts to a rich and luxuriant texture, not super finely ground, with occasional bits of the bean that gives off a microscopic raw crunch that I like. Robust earthy flavour in the front, a toney sour fruit and then a fairly long finish.

            1. re: limster
              puppymomma Apr 8, 2007 06:14 AM

              I just tried it and it exceeded my expectations. I'm not good at describing the flavor, but it is really nice. It has sweet undertones (Does that make sense? It's chocolate flavor is sweeter than the chocolate flavor of others, and not only because of the sugar). I will get it again.

              1. re: puppymomma
                limster Apr 8, 2007 09:25 AM

                Great to hear you liked it too! Have you tried the Arriba Plantations chocolate, also available at Temper? One of my favourites.

          3. r
            rai2360 Apr 7, 2007 05:26 PM

            offhand it seems like you hit all the hotspots, but you might try contacting this girl, as she's the queen of chocolate in the boston area...

            http://www.thetastyshow.com/showPictu...

            1. w
              winedude Apr 8, 2007 05:22 PM

              It's not as good as Burdick's, but Peet's Coffee actually makes a really good hot chocolate as well. You can check one out in Newton, without having to go all the way to Boston.

              And while you're there, I'd recommend stopping in at Marty's Liquors on Washington St. to fill up your chocolate fix. At easily the best prices around, they sell Valrhona chocolate in bulk, Valrhona cocoa, Caillebaut chocate bits in 4 different levels of bittersweetness, and a whole range of chocolate bars. I almost never buy liquor there (the cheese counter is good as well, BTW), but I get all my chocolate there.

              2 Replies
              1. re: winedude
                t
                TanQ10 Apr 8, 2007 06:02 PM

                Good call - I like Peet's hot chocolate too - although I always seem to brave the crowds and madness @ Burdick. I've been shameless enuf to hover standing, half-hidden by the entry curtain, behind seated patrons with my cup of dark & milk. Have you been to Flour Cafe & Bakery in the South End? After a stupid treck in bonechilling wind (got off wrong stop off bus), I ran in here to get warm and discovered flaky pastry and a nice, thick, bittersweet cup of dark chocolate. I was trying to get to the dentist, so this did not go unpunished.

                There's a Beacon Hill Chocolates..looks like a truffle shop, i've never been..just talking out loud...

                1. re: TanQ10
                  gini Apr 9, 2007 06:01 AM

                  Beacon Hill Chocolates is a truffle shop - solid, but not the best I've ever had. Also really big on the whole cutesy boxes thing, which made them my perfect target for yankee swaps this winter. Don't think they sell hot chocolate though.

              2. t
                TheScribe Apr 9, 2007 12:06 PM

                I haven't tried the chocolate yet, but the Emack & Bolio's in Jamaica Plain has just reopened under new management and I noticed through the front window that there are all manner of chocolate delicacies in one of the cases. So they've added to the formerly mostly ice cream offerings. Will let you know how it is, unless you beat me to it.

                my blog:
                thegeminiweb.com

                1. c
                  chowfdf Apr 11, 2007 01:43 AM

                  curious as to what kind of hot cocoa you got at temper? i LOVE their hot cocoa, but i've only had it made "european" style...which is with water. they also make it "american" style, with milk. i've never had it that way, but perhaps not as good? they also have three kinds of hot chocolate--regular, dark and a spicy one. i usually get the dark. so depending on what you ordered, you may want to give it another try but i do agree, it isn't like burdicks, which is more of a traditional hot cocoa. temper's is more of a drinking chocolate.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: chowfdf
                    puppymomma Apr 11, 2007 08:28 AM

                    I ordered the spicy one. It was a brand called Mirbella (I think that was the name) and was a powdered mix. I had it American Style. I'm sure I'll go to Temper again. Perhaps next time I'll try the dark.

                    I was wondering about the Burdick's. When you just ask for a cocoa there, do they put milk in it? It did look rather dark. I always put milk in my cocoa when I make it at home, but I wonder if I might try it dark.

                    1. re: puppymomma
                      c
                      chowfdf Apr 11, 2007 12:58 PM

                      it's mirabelle, and it's not a powder...it's mini chocolate pieces that are delectable to eat by the spoonful. i bought a tin once and literally did that! try the basic...it tastes the most basic.

                      1. re: chowfdf
                        puppymomma Apr 15, 2007 09:28 AM

                        Oh! Thanks for the corrections! I assumed since it was in a tin that it was a powder. One should never assume!

                      2. re: puppymomma
                        c
                        chowaholic Apr 11, 2007 07:16 PM

                        Here's the website for MarieBelle chocolate: http://www.mariebelle.com/
                        excellent, but pricey, stuff. and the packaging alone makes me swoon.

                        1. re: chowaholic
                          limster Apr 11, 2007 07:33 PM

                          I bought some of the Marie Belle chocolates from Wasik's Cheese a while ago. It's falls into the good not great realm for me. The chocolates could have been better tempered, flavours were fine but not above and beyond in delicacy. I'd give the local La Tene chocolates an edge, especially for much better technique.

                    2. d
                      DoubleMan Apr 11, 2007 08:45 AM

                      This is a bit off topic, but there is a huge fundraiser/competition coming up called Chocolate Madness. It's on April 24th at the Cyclorama. About 35 of the top pastry chefs and chocolatiers are making desserts for the crowd and also submitting some for judging. A few are making chocolate centerpieces. I know that a lot of the chocolatiers mentioned in this thread are attending.

                      I think tickets are $35, and that gets you about 40 small chocolate desserts.

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