Help me plan my Candy Tour
DH and I will be celebrating our 6th anniversary(candy) in a couple of weeks. I bought him Candyland and will be giving him a candy tour. So far the list includes:
The Sugar Cube in Alexandria
Any other good candy stores around? He loves anything sweet---he really likes junk candy.
I'm not sure what you mean by junk candy but if you mean things like jelly bellies, gummies, and other commercially made candies, there's the Sweet Factory in the food court level of Pentagon City Mall. http://www.sweetfactory.com/
Also for more gourmet chocolates, there's Artisan Confections on Lee Highway. http://www.artisanconfections.com/
The Washington, DC metro area is sufficiently large that I'm sure you'll get enough recommendations in this thread to do a candy tour -- even though you'd do better if you were touring for steak, Ethiopian, Vietnamese, Salvadorean or pollo a la brasa.
However, since it's a special occasion, you might consider going to a place where candy is king. Luckily, that's not too far away. I suggest the following:
Leave work early on Friday afternoon and drive north for about two hours to Lancaster County, PA. You should go to the Green Dragon Market in Ephrata, PA, a true bit of Americana that is only open on Fridays. It is basically a *gigantic* farmer's market / Amish market / county fair in the middle of a field in the middle of nowhere. More importantly for your purpose, they have candy galore -- fudge, chocolate, nut, taffies, you name it. You could easily spend several hours there. If you see a clear bag filled with very dark brown potato chips, you must buy it immediately -- these are made from potatoes that have a very high concentration of sugars, and so they brown much more during frying. They are utterly fantastic.
Spend the night at the E.J. Bowman house. This is a beautiful 1860's Victorian house in Neffsville, north of Lancaster. They'll leave a bit of chocolate for you from the Wilber Chocolate Factory. In the morning, Alice will make you an absolutely fantastic breakfast while her witty partner E.Y. entertains you with his jokes.
On Saturday, you should definitely tour the Wilber chocolate factory in Lititz. Another worthwhile stop is the Lancaster Farmer's Market, where you will find -- among other goodies such as local cheeses -- a great deal more candy. The rest of this trip is up to you, but Lancaster is absolutely loaded with candy-makers, pretzel-makers, and little stands selling shoofly pie and traditional, fermented-in-the-bottle root beer. I'm told there is also some kind of big candy factory in a town called Hershey -- but I've never actually been there. :)
Congrats on your anniversary, and have fun!
Those potato chips sound heavenly! I'm definitely going to do this sometime. Unfortunately this would not be a good trip with our very active 16 month old. But I do plan on taking your advice as soon as I can find a good sitter or visiting family member.
Thank you for the B&B recommendation as well. This will make for a great getaway weekend.
This posting totally makes my day! I live in PA about an hour north of Ephrata (Pottsville to be exact) and I have been wanting to go down to Lancaster because I have heard there's all sorts of good stuff but I never knew exactly where. The only trouble will be getting down there Friday after work but rest assured I will find a way!
Funny -- the reason we made the trip to Lancaster was to go to an event not far from Pottsville, in Shartlesville. We made the weekend of it, and stopped at many of these places. Many of my suggestions are places that I orginally heard about from chowhound. If you want more Lancaster County recs, you might try searching to the Pennsylvania board (http://www.chowhound.com/boards/15).
The Chocolate Moose, an eclectic gift shop on L Street NW, just off Conn. Ave., has a wide variety of great to junky candy. Everything from chocoloate covered pistachios to malted milk balls.