Archive for October, 2009

The Crumpet Shop

October 24, 2009

I thought I’d try something a little different this week, and instead of going to a bakery I hit up the Crumpet Shop at Pike’s Place Market. If you’ve never had a crumpet, they’re a little bit like an English Muffin… only better, because they’re made on the premises.  The Crumpet Shop also sells a wide variety of tea (and, of course, coffee – this is Seattle after all).

exterior

The Crumpet Shop keeps early hours (7-5) and they tend to run out of supplies (meaning crumpets) towards the end of the day, but they were still going strong when I arrived at 3:30.  The menu is surprisingly extensive considering that every concoction has to fit on a crumpet, and there are both sweet and savory options.  The savory items, which include breakfast sandwiches (ham and eggs) and lunch snacks (tomato-pesto-cheese) are unique and tasty, but for a teatime treat, I opted for dessert. I sought the recommendation of the lady at the counter:

counter

I knew I wanted something nutella-based, and at her recommendation I went for the nutella and orange marmalade crumpet.

crumpet

SO DELICIOUS! The bittersweet, tangy marmelade went perfectly with the sweet, mild nutella.  The crumpet was toasted to perfection, and the cup of tea I had completed the feeling of warm fuzziness I had inside. This place has been catapulted into my top ten list (coming soon).

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Theo Chocolates

October 11, 2009

Money may not grow on trees, but chocolate does.  And it tastes better too.  Theo Chocolates, however, will cost you a pretty penny (three dollars per truffle!) unless you go to their factory location in Fremont, in which case the free samples will satisfy most chocolate cravings.

exterior

Theo prides itself on using only fair-trade, organic, sustainably grown cocoa beans, which partly explains the high price of their chocolate bars.  But, I have to say, you do get what you pay for: Theo chocolates are intense, just the way chocolate should be (my opinion).  For those like me, who live for very dark chocolate, Theo offers bars with 75%, 84%, and 91% cocoa.  The latter was a little much for me, but the 75 and 84 are pure heaven (in small doses).  In addition, Theo is creative.  Try the Ghost Chili Carmel (if you can take intense heat) or the Rose Carmel (wouldn’t you like to taste the smell of roses?).  There are even stranger confections, such as Peanut Butter and Jelly, Fig Fennel, Scotch, and  lavender-jalepeno. If you’re not ready to fork over money for such strange concoctions, visit the Fremont location to take a taste test of almost anything Theo offers:

samples

While you’re there, take a tour of the factory (you might need to make an advance reservation and the tours are $6/person) and get Theo’s full story.  If you’re there to buy a treat for yourself (or someone else, if you have the willpower), I recommend the following: Cocoa Nib Brittle, Rose Carmel, and the Peanut Butter Big Daddy, all pictured below.

treats

The triangle piece on the left is the Nib Brittle, which contains cocoa nibs (100% cocoa nuggets), which taste a bit like nuts (you can use the nibs in cooking too, or on salad!).  In the middle is the Peanut Butter Big Daddy, basically a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup for grown-ups (graham cracker crust, vanilla caramel, peanut butter praline, and dark chocolate). On the right is the Rose Caramel – the ultimate Valentine’s Day chocolate.

Theo is open 7 days a week from 10-6, and is located 3400 Phinney Ave N in Fremont.