Yesterday, Alex and I were able to take part in a chocolate walking tour. Yes, a chocolate walking tour. Oh my gosh, it was fantastic!
The tour was organized by Walkin’ NY which is a great NYC tour company founded by Bob Gelber. Bob was our tour guide for the chocolate walk. He was incredibly knowledgeable, friendly, and led a very well-managed tour. Luckily, our tour group was under ten people so we were able to hear what Bob had to say about each chocolatier, Valentines Day, and Soho, the neighborhood in which the tour was held. And we got our pick of fresh samples from each chocolatier.
It was indulgent. It was decadent. It was exhilarating.
Our first stop on the tour was Jacques Torres’ Hudson street location. This location offers more than just a store front. The chocolate is manufacturing line is visible throughout the store. Customers can watch the chocolatiers while shopping for their treats.
At each stop on the tour, we were lucky enough to sample some chocolate. At Jacque Torres, we tried the Chocolate Chunk Cookie and the Wicked Hot Chocolate.
Both were so good. The cookie had a good amount of chocolate without being overpowering. And it was nice and soft in the middle. I definitely preferred it to last week’s City Bakery cookie. So did Alex. He had three-quarters of a cookie!
Next up we took a brief walk through Soho where we learned about the history of Valentine’s Day and pasted a few notable landmarks. One of which happened to be a Donald Trump building.
See the tall shiny building in the middle? That’s one of Trump’s buildings. When we walked past there were several paparazzi waiting outside. The tour guide asked who they were waiting for and they didn’t even know. Pretty funny, right?
Oh well, back to chocolate. Kee’s Chocolates to be exact.
Kee’s Chocolates was very different from Jacques Torres. The store front was incredibly tiny and the walls were bare. Literally bare! The tour guide told us that the owner opened this location in 2002 and within a year, her chocolates were world-famous.
(Can you see me in the glass? Hi, there!)
The above pictures were the only chocolates they had in the shop. They have so few chocolates to choose from because they sell out so quickly. We were there around 2pm and most of their chocolate was gone for the day. We were lucky to get in there when we did! Our samples included a macaron and a pistachio covered white chocolate truffle.
This was actually the first macaron I’ve ever had. The cookie was so light that I couldn’t detect much flavor but the filling was a decadent chocolate ganache. The truffle was melt-in-your-mouth good. I loved the extra crunch the pistachios provided. Yum!
Next on the tour was MarieBelle.
This chocolatier was more sophisticated and had a beautiful decor.
The shop opened over ten years ago and is famous for their Aztec Hot Chocolate. It is incredibly thick and very rich. It has a strong chocolate flavor.
MarieBelle’s also has a wide variety of truffles. They include several exotic flavors like passion fruit and cilantro. Each truffle has its own design that is first hand painted and then superimposed upon the chocolates.
This was the only shot I got of the hand painted chocolates before I was asked to stop taking pictures. Whoops!
Our last stop on the tour is Vosges.
(pronounced voh-je; just so you don’t go around saying vos-ges like I did!)
Vosges offered a couple of samples for us. We tried the caramel toffee chocolate bar and the bacon and chocolate bar. I really liked the toffee bar but I was surprisingly not a fan of the bacon and chocolate bar. I’d never tried the combination before and always assumed I’d like it. I mean, I like bacon and I love chocolate. How could I go wrong? But it just didn’t work.
I LOVED the purple theme. So gorgeous!
That was the conclusion of the tour. We had so much fun. It was a great way to spend the day. I love getting a chance to sample all that chocolate. And we were sent home with more!
Have you ever been to any of the chocolate shops listed above? What’s your favorite type of chocolate?