Monday, September 30, 2013

Uncle Gino's Italian Ices Truck

A nice day outside is a perfect occasion for some ices!  Ever since I was little, I've loved italian ices.  I'm still not sure how they are technically different from sorbet, but they seem to have a slightly different texture somehow?

Anyways, the Uncle Gino's truck was parked by Union Square, and they did a very nice job.  Nothing will ever top Pizza Town (RIP), but it was sweet, chocolatey, and cold.

Bottom Line: A convenient source of chocolate italian ices. 

Super Foxy Sweets S'mores Fudge

 We like Super Foxy Sweets here.  And this isn't bad:

But there is really nothing very "S'more" about this.  There are some small vegan marshmallows (not too many), and nothing resembling graham cracker.

Bottom Line: Basically the same as their regular fudge, but sometimes there is a little vegan marshmallow that doesn't really change the taste because it's all just sugar anyways.

NuGo Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Protein Bar, Cliff Chocolate Builder's Bar, Cliff Chocolate Chip Protein Bar, Go Free Dark Chocolate Crunch Protein Bar, and Silk Chocolate Soy Milk

Here is a quick rundown of the vegan protein bar situation:


We already discussed Nature Valley -- its great.  But it's hard and crumbly and... its own thing. 

The Builder's Bar, made by Cliff, is sort of the vegan staple.  People live off the stuff.  And it's actually really good, for a protein bar (vegan or otherwise).  This isn't a fine chocolate experience, but it's yet another way to eat chocolate as a meal.

I should add that the Builder's Bar is way better than Cliff's Chocolate Chip bar (seen in the background).  It is about twelve thousand times chocolatier and does not taste like medicine.  Hooray?

The NuGo (above) and the Go Free (below) were both fine.  One was notably better, but I don't remember which.  Neither was as good as the Builder's bar.

Lastly, I should note that while I really don't like soy milk, the Silk Chocolate Milk is actually pretty delicious.

Bottom Line: The more you know, vegan edition. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Rittersport Dark Chocolate with Marzipan

Rittersport is a perfectly good brand of chocolate, but usually I am in the market for something a step up.  But sometimes I am in the market for marzipan, in which case, the options are limited.

This bar is very good.  The marzipan to chocolate ratio is too high.  This is almost always the case with marzipan-chocolate combos.  This is almost always the case with anything-chocolate combos.  But this bar comes closer to getting it right than most places.

Bottom Line: If you are craving marzipan, this is delicious and available in any self-/chocolate-respecting bodega.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Cafe Blossom Vegan Chocolate Shake

I went back to Blossom for another amazing vegan cheeseburger.  This time I got a chocolate shake:

It was pretty good.  Definitely good for vegan.  But you could tell it was vegan -- it had that sort of mediciney taste... which is not as bad as it sounds, but if you've had enough of these things, you know what I mean.

Bottom Line:  I'm not really sure if there are much better vegan chocolate milkshakes around, but this did not blow me away.

Chuao Honeycomb

I got another bar from Chuao: the honeycomb.

It was delicious!  Much like the Salted Chocolate Crunch, it was subtlely flavored, sweet, and totally addictive.  Definitely another bar you can stuff down your face in one sitting without any regrets.

Bottom Line: Nothing too fancy or complicated, but fun and addictive.

Friday, September 20, 2013

B.A.D. Burger Vegan Chocolate Cake

A bunch of us ordered some food from B.A.D. Burger.  The food was excellent, including the best vegan macaroni and cheese I'd ever had.

We also had some chocolate cake:

It was okay.  A bit dry.  Definitely not bad.  But it seems to be a trend for restaurants with great vegan food to have good-but-not-great chocolate cakes for desert.

Bottom Line: Good-but-not-great vegan chocolate cake.

Xocolat 70% "Cats' Tongues" and Sachsische Schokoladenmanufaktur Marcus Schurer 72%

My parents were in Europe and did right by me:

The Xocolat-brand "Cats' Tongues" were delicious.  They were very chocolatey -- almost definitely entirely West African.  Nothing fancy.  Almost candy-esque.  But real 70% chocolate.  I approve.

The Marcus Schurer 72% bar was a bit more adult.  It had some earthy tones to it, which I enjoyed.  I don't know why, but I had a mild preference for the cats' tongues.  But both were great.

Bottom Line: I may need to investigate the German chocolate scene -- clearly they are doing something right.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mi Lah in Philadelphia

Back when I was in Philadelphia, I stopped by Mi Lah for dinner.  It's a pan-asian, vegan restaurant.  Which does not sound that appealing.  But honestly, it was incredibly.  Even my dinnermate agreed.

After the meal, we went for the chocolate cake:

It was pretty good, but not nearly as good as the "Real Food."  It wasn't too dry, but the taste just didn't pop out.

Bottom Line: If you are a vegan in Philly, you should probably eat here all the time, and then you might as well get this cake while you are there.  But there is no need to go out of your way just for the cake.

Cardullo's Gourmet Shoppe in Cambridge, MA: featuring Olive and Sinclair 75%, Fruition 70%, Vosges 65% Gingerbread Toffee, and The Tea Room Green Earl Gray 60%

During a recent trip to Boston, Kasey and I purchased three bars at Cardullo's Gourmet Shoppe:

The Olive and Sinclair bar was too fruity for me, and -- while I believe it when the label says it is stone ground -- it did not have the classic, gritty "stone ground" texture.  Kasey liked it though.  When I complained that it was too fruity, Kasey brought out a 70% Fruition bar that immediately sent me into fruitiness shock.  I had previously taken issue with their 66% bar as being too fruity, and the 70% was even more extreme.  

The Vosges Gingerbread Toffee bar was surprisingly delicious.  Kasey liked it but was not as excited as I was.  I thought the gingerbread and toffee added a nice texture and did not take away from the chocolate flavor.

The Tea Room Green Earl Gray bar was the most interesting.  You get smacked by the taste of tea and oils the moment you bite in, before even tasting the chocolate.  It was all too much for me, but Kasey clearly enjoyed it.

Bottom Line: Three interesting bars from a shop(pe) with a great selection.  As usual, I pick the Vosges bar.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sans Bakery Vegan Gluten-Free Brownie

My brother and I got this vegan brownie from Think Coffee, made by Sans Bakery:

It was fudgey, delicious, and a total mess.  Only the mess gave away that it was vegan and gluten free -- the taste was perfect.

Bottom Line: But, really, who doesn't love a mess?

Van Leeuwen Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

I never raved about Van Leeuwen.  They use 99% Michel Cluizel chocolate, which I love, so theoretically I should, but it was always too creamy for me.  We've discussed my thoughts on ice cream.

But when you're getting vegan ice cream, your standards drop.  Probably this isn't as good as their regular ice cream, even, but for vegan it is pretty darn excellent.  

Bottom Line: If for some reason you want vegan ice cream rather than sorbet, this is a really good option.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Radicchio Pasta & Risotto Co. Chocolate Cake (mini)

I ordered dinner at work, and it came with a cute little slice of chocolate cake!:

It was actually good!  Moist and pretty chocolatey.

Bottom Line: Maybe not worth combing the city just for this, but the food was good, and the price was right.  If you're stuck at work late, this is a good option.

Cinnamon Snail Chocolate Cookie Donut and Double Chocolate Brownie

I tried Cinnamon Snail twice since last time, but neither was quite as successful.

This brownie was chocolatey and rich, but too dry and crunchy.  If you like brownie edges, I definitely recommend it.  But I like gooey middles, so it wasn't for me.

This donut actually looks more chocolatey than the last one, but it isn't.  It's basically a regular donut with some chocolate cookie crumbs.  Still good, especially for vegan baked goods, but nothing like the last incredible donut.

Bottom Line: Stick to the Death by Chocolate donut, if it's available.  The brownie is good only for those who like things crispy, and the other donuts are still good, but as I like to say, good isn't good enough when greatness is around.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Almonds

Is there nothing Trader Joe's can't do? You already know my feelings regarding their chocolate-covered peanut butter-filled pretzels. Turns out their dark chocolate almonds are every bit as amazing.

As you can see on the packaging, these bite-sized babies are sprinkled with sea salt and turbinado sugar, and that makes them highly, highly addictive. As I sit here writing about them, I just want to keep eating them, but I have already eaten about a dozen tonight, plus it's past midnight, so I know I shouldn't. But I want to.

Chocolate-covered almonds are one of those foods that can really run the gamut. Some are very good. Some are waxy and kind of gross. These ones are spectacular.

BOTTOM LINE: Trader Joe's comes through on the chocolate front once again.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wedding Swag: Savoia cookies and Nut House bonbons in Rochester

So I went to a wedding in Rochester, and they gave out a goodie bag.  Let me be clear: they gave out a Wegman's goodie bag.  Obviously.  But in it were some chocolate items:

The Savoia cookies were actually nice.  Obviously not chocolatey enough, but if you ate the chocolatey ends of the dipped ones, you were doing pretty well.  The frosting-topped ones weren't as good.  The Nut House bon bons were surprisingly good, though.  You're not going to mistake these for fancy french bon bons, but they taste like good, old-fashioned, hand-made bon bons.  

Bottom Line: I should go to weddings more often.  Oh wait, I go every weekend.

More Peacefoods

I went to dinner with some family friends.  We brought Peacefoods desserts for dessert:

I've already discussed how much I love Peacefoods brownies.  We also brought some chocolate cake and a chocolate mousse pie -- all vegan.  All were good, but the brownie was still the standout.  The mousse cake wasn't as chocolatey as it looks -- it seems to be made with avocado and dates.  

Bottom Line: Generally recommended for vegans, and the brownies are excellent for anyone.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Farm on Adderley Chocolate Bread with Sea Salt

Leila and I took a trip to Ditmas Park to visit the Adderley Farm.  There was really only one reason to to do this: the chocolate bread toast.

Honestly, the idea of chocolate toast has limited appeal to me.  I mean, I like bread and chocolate, but couldn't it do without the bread?  Wouldn't the salt distract?

No.  And no.  This is actually worth a trip to Ditmas Park.  Though Ditmas Park is lovely, and pretty much worth a trip to itself.  Which may be why we started looking around at the mansions and fantasizing about buying one.

Bottom Line: Go to Ditmas Park, and eat this food product.  Those may or may not be related thoughts.

LaGuardia Airport Cibo Express: Pure Organic Chocolate Brownie and Cibo Express 72% by OTG

I was at LaGuardia, and I was hungry.  And bored.  I got these:

So the Pure Organnic protein bar is ok.  It's never going to compete with a chocolate bar.  It's mostly dates, and some walnuts.  It's pretty chocolatey, but the idea is that this is "real food."  Well, for me at least.  As far as that goes, it passes.

The Cibo Express-branded, OTG-manufactured bar of 72% chocolate was suprisingly good.  It was very unfancy, but it was "real" chocolate -- just chocolate, sugar, soy lecithin, and vanilla.  It was obviously made from West African beans, because there were no complicated flavor notes.  But my dear readers know that this is no problem for me, because a rich chocolatey taste was all I ever really wanted.

Bottom Line: This is how you keep your promise to your mother to eat a meal before dessert while keeping your promise to yourself to eat nothing but chocolate.  While at the airport.

Hardcore Sweet Cupcakes' Black Flag Cupcake

So I went to this in Philadelphia.  There were foodtrucks out back.  Hardcore Sweet Cupcakes had this vegan chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting:

It was actually excellent.  Vegan cakes usually have to choose between being dry and falling apart.  These guys made the right choice -- falling apart.  I was about two bites in before my full face was covered in chocolate.  If you've read this blog before, you know I didn't mind.

Bottom Line: Let's all cover our faces in chocolate.  The only thing that will be covered will be giant smiles.