Monday, September 2

An Extra Sweet "Xperience"

Last weekend I went on a chocolate walking tour around Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood with Chicago Chocolate Tours. I was invited by a company called Xperience Days which offers a variety of experiences that you can give to someone as a gift. Some of the Chicago-based experiences include cooking classes, flight lessons and bike tours. I decided to check out the Chicago chocolate tour with a friend, in hopes that I'd find out something new about chocolate, and try some new local shops.

Our knowledgeable tour guide
We met our tour guide and group in the 900 North Michigan Shops where we learned about the history of chocolate. Our first stop was inside the building at Swiss chocolatier, Teuscher. The tiny shop was full of beautiful truffles and handmade chocolate boxes, both of which are flown in weekly from Switzerland. We heard more about the company and got to sample their most popular chocolate, the champagne truffle. The truffle was truly decadent and was filled with Dom Perignon.

Teuscher Chocolates
Champagne Truffle

Handmade Swiss Chocolate Boxes
Our second stop on the tour was More Cupcakes, which I've already tried and reviewed on this blog. We sampled mini chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting. I loved the richness of the frosting.

Entrance to More Cupcakes
Cupcake Display at More
The third stop was definitely my favorite. Hendrickx Belgian Bread Crafters are located on Delaware in the Gold Coast. We had the opportunity to check out the kitchen and see all of their delicious Belgian baked goods. The owner, Dominique, spoke with us about the process of crafting their breads and croissants. We got to sample the sugar loaf, Belgian chocolate cake, and country bread. All three were fantastic, especially the sugar loaf which had large chunks of sweet white chocolate inside. I also purchased a croissant and it was probably the best croissant I've ever had. I'm not sure what was more surprising, the deliciousness of the croissant, or the fact that I've never heard of this tiny bakery tucked away on Delaware!

Croissants, Cake, and Country Bread
Yummy Baked Goods
The fourth and final stop was a place not commonly associated with chocolate. Argo Tea, which began in Chicago (I had no idea!), served us an iced chocolate chai tea. We also sampled a chocolate croissant which had a nice texture, but was no competition for the croissants at Hendricx's!
Entrance to Argo Tea on Rush Street

Tea Selection
We had a pleasant afternoon walking around the Gold Coast sampling a variety of chocolate treats. I was happy I didn't leave too stuffed, but I would have preferred a bit more walking and maybe 1-2 additional stops. It seemed like we were standing around more often than we were walking. However, there are many experiences to choose from so consider purchasing a Xperience Days experience the next time you're looking for a special gift. Xperience Days comped the Chocolate Tour experience so I will not be providing a ghost rating.

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