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Chocolates in Dallas

I'm visiting the Dallas for one week and I would greatly appreciate any recs on specialty chocolates in the area. I've heard of Noka chocolates...what do you think?

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  1. regarding Noka:
    http://www.dallasfood.org/modules.php...

    Unfortunately with Doughmonkey out of the picture there are no world class chocolatiers in town.

    1. I'm not familiar with Noka, but in Dallas there is:

      Chocolate Secrets
      3926 Oak Lawn Avenue
      Dallas, TX 75219
      (214) 252-9801

      Personally, I've had much better quality unadorned, packaged chocolates (Sarotti) at a fraction of the cost, but if you're looking for glitz, check out this place. They also have an adjoining wine room and I believe offer chocolate/wine pairings.

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/469452

      In Grapevine, there's:

      Schakolad Chocolate Factory
      601 S. Main St.
      Grapevine, TX

      I sampled 4 or 5 of their individual chocolates and experienced the same disappointment with one exception: amaretto ganache. Rich, creamy and loaded with amaretto! Given their displays, they seem to cater more to unique gifting ideas of chocolate footballs, saxophones, doggies, footprints, picture frames, etc.

      You can google either one and find other review sites - probably NOKA as well.

      1 Reply
      1. re: CocoaNut

        Second the Chocolate Secrets place; good chocolate, good ice cream, good wine.

      2. J Dorian is a great chocolatier up in Addison:

        5312 Beltline Road
        Dallas, Texas 75254
        http://www.jdorian.com/

        He varies the flavors seasonally, but usually has quite a good assortment. I've used boxes from their as gifts with a lot of success, even for chocolate snob friends.

        I don't think Schakolad is strictly local, as they have locations across the US, but the hot chocolate at the location at the Shops at Legacy wasn't bad.

        2 Replies
        1. re: babar

          JDorian is a jerk. I called to confirm their store hours and was told 6pm. After driving 20 minutes and arriving at 5:45, they were closed up and lights off. I'd shop elsewhere.

          1. re: MadMiles442

            I'll say one thing about J. Dorian chocolates. They're definitely an "acquired taste". I don't care much for them.

          1. re: Rodeline

            Neuhaus on Preston and Royal. Right smack in the middle of Dallas. Great European chocolate without all the frills. It is attached to a cafe and a Alessi shop. Noka is all about VERY expensive presentation/packaging housed in a million dollar 'showroom'. I just didn't get that place when i went - way overrated.

            1. re: pizzaQTpie

              I like Godiva better than Neuhaus ...

              If you like a practiced flirt, stop and talk to the guy at the little Noka ... what do you call it, not a kiosk, but not a store either ... by the Neiman's entrance at Northpark. Just don't waste your money on the chocolate.

              I assume the link at the top is that investigative piece on Noka ... truly a great read. Like a real-life spy novella for chocolate lovers ...

              1. re: foiegras

                Godiva is a commercial middle grade product.

                1. re: kel

                  One that I like better than Neuhaus. Some of their LE truffles have been quite good.

                  -----
                  Neuhaus Cafe
                  626 Preston Royal Shopping Ctr, Dallas, TX 75230

          2. "Paper and Chocolate" inside Inwood Village is a wonderful gift shop that not only sells unique papers, stationary and related gift items they also sell incredible chocolates from Amelie in Italy and Wiseman Chocolate from Hico, Texas.
            I've been to two chocolate classes there arranged by the Slow Food people and I was very impressed with the quality of these two diverse brands of chocolate.

            1. Regarding Noka Chocolates: Over priced and over rated!

              1. I;m surprised noone said this one but you have to go to DUDE SWEET CHOCOLATES in the OC. The lady used to work at Stephen Pyles and my fav waitress there told me to check it out. My favorite is the salt and passion fruit. THe SO can't get enough of the Oahacan with chili powder and paprika. They don't call it CRACK IN THE BOX for nothing so don't leave without a box of that.

                4 Replies
                1. re: OCNC

                  Not to question your voucher for Dude Sweet Chocolates, I'm sure they're very good, but who calls anything "crack in the box"? IJS

                  1. re: QueenCrab

                    They have lots of funny names for their chocolates and that is one of them. Their Apple Jack truffle has apple butter and Jack Daniels. Even if you don't think the names are funny you will love the chocolates!

                    1. re: OCNC

                      Look, someone else calling a dessert crack.

                      http://www.latimes.com/features/food/...

                      Just a chess pie with an oatmeal crust! How dumb.

                  2. re: OCNC

                    Today I went to Hattie's and Dude, Sweet Chocolate. Hattie's was fine, but Dude, Sweet Chocolate--OH. MY. GOD. The woman working there gave me a sample of the--I think it was fudge? with 85% chocolate & blue cheese infusion. It was good, albeit a concept that I wasn't quite ready for. Couldn't really taste blue cheese, it just seemed to add richness.

                    Then she gave me a sample of the hot cocoa with house made marshmallows, which was a religious experience--and Dude, Sweet Chocolate (perhaps needless to say) is my new church. It's Valrhona chocolate, and it is incredible. Best I've ever had. Everyone who is very, very nice will be getting it for Christmas. Those who aren't ... well, it's the communion of my new church and it would simply be wrong to give it to them.

                    I bought a small sweet chocolate sampler, hot cocoa, and Crack in a Box. I haven't had any of it yet because after the hot cocoa, I'm afraid I might OD. But I'm working up my courage as we speak ...

                  3. Both Wholefoods and Central Market will be selling the chocolate goodies by Dude Sweet Chocolate.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: twinwillow

                      Katherine Clapner at Dude, Sweet Choclate is pretty amazing. What she does with chocolate should be illegal. Although it will soon be available at the CM and WF locations, it is worth a drive to visit her. Pretty sure she will turn you on to a hot cup of cocoa when you enter.

                      The stuff is simply in a different league, and makes Noka look feeble.

                       
                      1. re: DallasDude

                        I've had Jacque Torres chocolates in NYC and DSC is far superior in flavor and sweetness balance.

                        The lady there (I assume Katherine) was extremely friendly and offered sample after sample. I had the hot chocolate and couldn't speak for a good 10 seconds while I processed the experience. Nice full, mouth coating richness, smooth chocolate flavor, not too sweet. I was spooning out the last bits with my finger. Katherine - all the while - is almost gleefully shoving little samples into my hands.

                        After tasting the stuff I didn't hesitate to drop the cash for several boxes. Probably a good thing OC is so far from me.

                        1. re: amokscience

                          My point of comparison was Recchiutti in San Francisco, and DSC easily blew them away. Run, don't walk. Personally I would call this a must stop for any Dallas trip, and it certainly is for me in the future.

                      2. re: twinwillow

                        Anyone know who's making CM's new private label truffles? Info I read just said made in TX.

                        Have mentioned elsewhere that my new Dude, Sweet Chocolate fave is the blackstrap fudge. Blackstrap rum, blackstrap molasses, and finely chopped pecans. Really hits you between the eyes, if you like that kinda thing ;)

                      3. Dude, Sweet for the win.

                        But, there is a new place in the OC, near Bishop Arts that also sounds good. CocoAndre. Here is a link to that story.

                        http://www.pegasusnews.com/news/2009/...

                        1. Sublime Chocolate in Allen is excellent. My favotite is the Coconut-Curry..it's freakin' outstanding!

                          http://www.sublimechocolate.com/

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: braisemebaby77

                            I must try it. Is it better than Dude Sweet?

                            1. re: OCNC

                              Stopped by Dude Sweet Chocolate Valentines day and picked up some chocolates. The flavor combinations and the quality are definatly the best I have had in Dallas. Katherine Clapner was there. She was very friendly and explained what everything is how she makes some of the items. I only wish that the larger boxes had two of each flavor. Cant wait to go back!

                              1. re: sl1

                                Did you sample the hot cocoa? That stuff rocks and will be a necessity over the next few days of snow(?).

                                1. re: DallasDude

                                  Didnt event think about it. It would have been perfect since it was so cold and windy. Next time, for sure.

                          2. I obviously enjoy Dude Sweet, but am a fan of J Dorian as well.

                            I also appreciate the hell out of Zach Townsend at Paper and Chocolate. Try his samples of the pastries he is offering, but be aware they sell out every weekend very early. I believe he is on vacation until the first weekend of September.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: DallasDude

                              Both Dude, Sweet and J Dorian will be at the DallasChocolate.org Chocolate Conference on Saturday along with 10 other great local chocolatiers. It's a good chance to see all in one place what Dallas has to offer.

                              http://dallaschocolate.org

                              [full disclosure: I run DallasChocolate.org]

                              1. re: CocoaNut

                                I second CocoAndre. I had all three major chocolatiers here (Chocolate Secrets, Dude, and CocoAndre) and CocoAndre won in my book.

                                1. re: CocoaNut

                                  CocoAndre is really special, but it's hard to compare it to Dude, Sweet. They are both excellent, but in different ways. CocoAndre is all about traditional Belgiun chocolate and beautiful molded chocolate pieces. It's old school, but wonderful. There is nothing old school about Dude, Sweet. The creativity in the tastes is amazing. That these two shops are both in Oak Cliff, about a mile from each other, is amazing.

                                  1. re: dfwtexex

                                    I have to give it to Kathryn at Dude Sweet Chocolate. I can make my own run of the mill truffles that are pretty much as good as any. But I would never even think of tobacco ....... Yes I still make my own toffee, but for chocolate I make the trip to "the OC"

                                    1. re: irodguy

                                      Tobacco!!! Haven't heard of this flavor ... what's in them??

                                      1. re: foiegras

                                        Is there a warning from the Surgeon Generals office on the package?

                                      2. re: irodguy

                                        Food grade tobacco. There are of course many more flavors. My favorite thing might be http://dudesweetchocolate.com/Break-U... Mold wine based or bourbon based ... it makes the most awesome martini.

                                  2. I grew up with Katherine Clapner back in the day when she was just Kathy Clapner. We lived in the same neighborhood and I remember my mother driving both of us to extracurricular school events. I was so excited recently to read about her chocolate/business success. Hubby and I have been to Dude Sweet twice now and have "spent our allowance" on her amazing confections. I'm one of those weird chicks who couldn't care less about chocolate and I definitely don't care much for dark chocolate, but something about her creative spin on chocolate is really addictive. You've got to try her creations. Amazing stuff!

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: Carrollton Foodie

                                      Yep which is why I told Katherine she was a chocolate pusher :-)

                                      1. re: irodguy

                                        I'm not ashamed to say, I'm one of her addicts.

                                        1. re: twinwillow

                                          And I'm one of her pushers ... but rather unsuccessful :( Others seem to find the chocolates too dark, too intense, which is exactly what I love about them. I'm doing a poor job of choosing my targets apparently. I guess if you think Hershey's is 'the good stuff,' you might not be ready for Dude, Sweet ;)

                                          1. re: foiegras

                                            I liked the molasses one you "pushed" me toward. Have yet to try the blue cheese, but I'm very happy they're not in close proximity to me.

                                            1. re: CocoaNut

                                              Yep no kidding it would be really bad if they were any closer to me. All though it's pretty darn fast to tear down the tollway from my office at GBT & NDT. I made it back and forth in less than an hour.

                                              1. re: CocoaNut

                                                That's true ;) I was thinking of my in-person pushing efforts. I took DSC fudge to a dessert potluck since I didn't have time to bake. When the hostess took a bite and pushed it away, I took it back :D She looked healthy to me.

                                                I was there yesterday (HQ), and showed great restraint by leaving with only one box of chocolates.