Chocolate and Other Tastiness

Over the past couple weeks we've gotten our fill of tasty tidbits here and there (who am I kidding...we can NEVER get our fill!). Between Portland and Seattle we've found some places that are amazing.

Alma Chocolates (Portland): I had never heard of this place, but we were driving around last weekend and ended up not being far away so Wifey suggested we stop. Apparently there are brownies that are to die for here and they are only made on Saturday. And it was Saturday. Unfortunately, no brownies on this day - sad. But, what Alma did have was a fantastic looking chocolate cake, so we got a nice slice of that and a salted peanut butter cup. We ate the cake the next day and it was still very moist. The chocolate filling and the icing wasn't overly chocolatey - a perfect balance. And the peanut butter cup? Wow. Wow.

Pix Patisserie (Portland): Wifey and I have only been to the Williams Street location in Northeast, but we've been there quite a few times. Previously we had just ordered the special desserts, like the Shazam! and the St. Honore (both good), but this time we decided to check out their chocolates. We ended up going with two fleur de sel chocolate caramels (you know, one for each of us - they were small) and a pair of fleur de sel macaroons. The caramels were some of the best I've had, including the ones we tried from Fran's Chocolates in Seattle. As for the macaroons... Pix is known for their macaroons and I really had no idea what to expect. For some reason I expected something full of coconut and crunchy, but I must have been thinking of some other treat. These were soft and moist, with a wonderfully sweet filling and just the slightest crunch to it - amazing. Simply amazing. I love a good patisserie and this is absolutely one of the best in Portland - and apparently they do chocolate good as well.

Sahagun (Portland): Sahagun is another place I've been to multiple times, also not far from where Wifey gets her hair done in NW Portland, right on Burnside. It's a tiny shop and we had always gone in there for drinks. We ordered the iced chocolate once - single origin chocolate and coconut milk - and it didn't really excite either of us. It was probably the coconut milk, something we don't get too excited about. However, their single origin drinking chocolate is very, very good. The last time we were in it was a Michel Cluizel (whose solid chocolates are very good if you have never had them - so are ones by Valhrona) and it was very, very good. There are other places to get drinking chocolate in Portland, but the ones we've had have been way too dark and bitter for our tastes (Coffehouse Northwest does a hot chocolate using Cluizel chocolate that is out of this world). The last time in we also finally tried their chocolates, each getting a Luscious Caramel and a Sun Drop. We were warned to eat them as a single bite and that was definitely a good recommendation - these suckers are full of gooey goodness, so attempting to take a nibble would have made a huge mess. They were both good, but I personally liked the Luscious Caramel better - the sunflower butter of the Sun Drop takes a little getting used to. Good place for a chocolate fix.

Fleur de Lis (Portland): I think we might have just found a bakery to rival Nuvrei. Seriously. Fleur de Lis isn't exactly close by being way out on off Sandy Boulevard, but we found this place through looking up good doughnut shops in Portland. They have yeast-based and potato-based doughnuts, so we had to try them out. Both were good, not greasy, not overly done, with excellent flavor (we opted for cinnamon sugar topping on one each of the potato and yeast, as well as a yeast with frosting). I liked the yeast one better - not sure about the potato one - but Wifey preferred the yeast one frosted, thought she liked the potato one much more than I did. This place seemed to have a very nice vibe, plenty of tables, tons of different breads, pastries, and baked goods. The next time we go back it will be for breakfast to hang out a little bit, rather than a stop and run.

Old School Frozen Custard (Seattle): If you haven't had custard you must go. There are places to get it in Portland (we've been to Tart - it was pretty good), but I don't think they could match this place. Wifey and I got there just as it opened on our Seattle trip and found out the special of the day was orange cream. Yeah, you know, like those vanilla and orange ice cream cups from elementary school everyone love? Well, we did anyway. They also do chocolate and vanilla every day. He offered us a taste of each one - very nice of him, we appreciate that - and even though we thought we'd be getting orange cream, we ended up getting one vanilla and one chocolate. However, that's not a knock on the other orange cream. If I could get this whenever I wanted, I may never eat regular ice cream again. A must visit.

Husky Deli (Seattle): This place out in West Seattle was supposed to be the cat's meow. It's a deli that does sandwiches in addition to all sorts of normal deli stuff, but also does their own ice cream. And is very, very popular for it. We ordered chocolate chip cookie dough - a favor we both agree on and love - and yes, it was good. But it's not like it was the greatest thing I've ever eaten. For one, the custard above was better, and then I don't necessarily think it was any better than Tillamook, Portland's local favorite and one readily available just about anywhere. Again, I want to stress it's not bad - but it's not drive-to-Seattle-good either.

Theo's Chocolates (Seattle): I'll admit it - we went here expressly for one thing the Big Daddy chocolates. We've had and liked various Theo's chocolates here in Portland and from other stores in Seattle (Chocolate Box Cafe is excellent), but nowhere other than Theo's own store do they carry these Big Daddy Peanut Butter cups and Smores bars. Was it worth the driving all over Seattle? I'm not sure. I mean, we liked both of these (I actually like the Smores one more, Wifey likes the peanut butter cup more), but I'm not sure it's worth the drive. I'm still trying to decide that...maybe I'll have to eat more of them...

So there you go - get out and there and increase your blood sugar!

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