Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Dr Chocolate w Vosges, Trader Joe's and TAPS

Spring may be here, but that doesn't mean I'm not making my regular Dr. Chocolate appointments. Here's a recent few that I've eaten (and one case, drank!)

Cost of Session: $6.99 for a 3 ounce bar

Physician Marketing: "Grenadian nutmeg is freshly grated into dark chocolate before roasted walnuts and dried organic bananas from the big island of Hawaii are combined to create the Banana Victoria Bar. The flavors are reminiscent of pain d'epices, a French spice bread often served at the holidays. But, you will likely become so enchanted at first bite, you will be indulging in this bar year round."

Patient's Notes: An evolved version of their (now discontinued) Organic Habana bar, I thoroughly enjoyed the flavor & aroma of this one - a nuanced mix of banana bread and gingerbread - against a backdrop of smooth, rich dark chocolate and the occasional pieces of nuts and bananas. The predecessor's flavor profile (chocolate with plantains) was enjoyable, but the nutmeg & walnuts definitely kicked it up a notch.

My only gripe is that the banana pieces has a tendency to become taffy-like and stick to your teeth if you just let the chocolate melt on your tongue. And picking through my teeth for stray sticky bits isn't exactly something I want to do during my session.

Likelihood of Rebooking An Appointment: 8/10, the flavor is lovely but it's a bit of a hassle to deal with the banana pieces; there are other Vosges' bars that I enjoy more without the mess factor.

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Covered Powerberries
Trader Joes Powerberries
Photo credit to Elliot Plack
Cost of Session: $3.49 for 8 oz. bag

Physician Marketing: "Our dark chocolate covered powerberries start with centers of real fruit juice. Pieces made from the juices of acai, pomegranate, cranberry and blueberry, all known for their nautural powerhouse antioxidants and other nutrients. They are then enveloped in smooth dark chocolate, creating a flavorful confection that is sweet, tart and rich taste sensation all at once."

Patient Notes: Great for everyday appointments, they are not-too-sweet with juicy centers (reminded me of Gushers, but way less cloyingly syrupy.) And with all those berries wrapped up in the mix, I can almost feel less guilty indulging in these bite-sized morsels. Until being brought back to reality with their nutrition facts labels (180 calories for a handful.)

Oh yeah, it's also best to just chew into these choco-berry bits - it was a tad bit waxy when I tried to let it melt in my mouth.

Likelihood of Rebooking an Appointment: 9/10, yes - it has an overhyped 'health halo' but they're not that pricey and tasty overall.

Mocha Stout @ TAPS Brea
Cost of Session: Went during their happy hour, so $4 for a 10-12oz. glass (looks like a tulip-flute hybrid)

Physician Marketing: "An Oatmeal Stout brewed with lactose (milk sugar), oats, three different types of chocolate added at three different stages of the brewing process, and a custom blend of Brazilian and Nicaraguan coffees from Costa Mesa's Portola Coffee Lab. Medium-bodied, roasty and chocolatey, finishing very smooth. (6.8% ABV)"

Patient Notes: Every now and again, I can go for a drinkable session -- and the Mocha Stout definitely fits that bill of getting me buzzed in more ways than one. This brew was a wonderful balance of contradictions, infused with deep chocolate and coffee flavors without being bitter at all, and a texture that tastes smooth and rich without being particularly hefty or heavy. And from taste alone I wouldn't have guessed it was almost 7% ABV, making this a dangerous appointment indeed.

Likelihood of Rebooking an Appointment: 10/10, pretty much a must-order anytime I see it offered on a beer menu or when I'm near either TAPS location. Especially since it's a limited-edition brew that's going to be around for only a few more weeks (and one I really hope they'll bring back again!)


Let Me Eat Cake said...

i always eye those TJ poweberries, i may give them a try after your description


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