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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Dallas by Chocolate Tour

I came across a link in one of my food emails a while back and it totally captured my attention. Apparently Dallas has a business called Dallas by Chocolate and they do food tours around town mostly involving chocolate, pastries and desserts. This sounds awesome so I looked it up. To my surprise, the price for one of these tours is extremely affordable. $25 for a ~3 hour tour and they provide transporation, beverages on the bus and it's also BYOB! PLUS You get to sample yummy food at every stop!! YUM! I must do this!! :)

Dallas by Chocolate
(972) 442-6963

I thought it would be awesome to get a group together and do it for my birthday. We decided on the April 7th tour from 1-4:15PM. The tickets sold out super fast so only 6 of us were able to purchase them.

Two days before the tour, they sent us the itinerary and other useful information. I was super excited! And to our luck, the day was beautiful, perfect for walking around.

Our first stop was at Great One Cookie Company.
3111-B Monticello Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75205
(214) 219-3111

We met Pam, the founder of the shop, and she gave us a brief history and inspiration behind her cookie business. We found out they actually catered one of the Academy Awards party just earlier this year! How cool! Then for the best part! Samples!!! :D We got to try all of their different flavors. They had traditional flavors such as chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin and also unique ones like White Chocolate Macadamia Cranberry (their most popular) and Chocolate Chip and Cherry (which was my favorite).
The cookies were fantastic. I really liked the texture. It was nice and thick but not too hard or doughy and there's plenty of stuff inside each cookie.

Each cookie is $2.25 a piece or a dozen for $25. But for the tour we were able to get buy 1 get 1 free! Woot! I got a chocolate chip and chocolate cherry cookie. They also deliver so you don't have to be in Dallas to get them!

I had to keep telling me to pace myself. haha. I'm a sucker for free food! :P

Stop #2 was Zen Baking Company in Deep Ellum.
2805 Main Street
Dallas, TX 75226
(214) 390-3269

I had actually tried their desserts before at the Iron Fork event last year. I remember they were really delicious and their stand was the first to run out of food!
It's owned by 2 sisters and they sell Filipino inspired food along with the desserts. Their food menu sounds interesting as well (such as Filipino beef oxtail soup) so I might be back in the future to try that. But they have brownies, cupcakes, and cakeballs which are their signature item. And they have bubble tea! For our samples we got to try: Brownie (with caramel and topped with sea salt) $2.25~, Cassava (a Filipino cake made with rice flour and topped with coconut) $3.25~, and Red Velvet cakeballs (each cakeball is $2.75~).
The brownie had a nice crunchy shell on top and the salt really brings out the chocolate flavor. It was incredibly rich!
I liked the Cassava a lot (minus the coconut since I don't like shredded coconut). It was light and not too sweet. The flavor reminded me of a Chinese egg tart.

The cakeball was super dense. The flavor was good but I think I prefer it to be a little fluffier. I still prefer the cakeball I had at Sugarbox in Plano.

We walked to our next locations which was just down the street. It was such a beautiful day! Plus we were in luck and the Deep Ellum Arts Festival was going on at the same time.

#3. We stopped by Rudolph's Market & Sausage Factory.
2924 Elm Street
Dallas, TX 75226
(214) 741-1874

It was really cool to see an old style meat shop. The guys behind the counter were really nice and gave us a run down of the different types of meats and sausages available. We sampled a couple different types of sausages.

The jalapeno cheese sausage was delicious. We also tried the bologna. Interesting fact: if you go in there, look at their chopping blocks and see how it's rounded/concave. It's from all the pounding and cutting that eroded the wood away. Sooo cool!

For stop #4 we walked a few steps next door to the Mozzarella Company.
2944 Elm Street
Dallas, TX 75226
(214) 741-4072
 We met Paula Lambert, the founder of the Mozzarella Company. She was really nice and informative. Their cheeses are hand-crafted and have won numerous awards. And she was friends with Julia Childs!!! We sampled 4 different types of cheeses and paired with chocolates. (from bottom left, clockwise) Grassias (goat cheese with lemongrass), Deep Ellum Blue, Caciotta (slightly spicy), and Mascarpone Torta with Pecans.
The Grassias had a hint of citrus to it. On it's own it was ok but I didn't like it paired with the chocolate. The chocolate seemed to have amplified the "funk" of the cheese. haha. I'm not at all an expert on cheeses and I'm not too keen on the super stinky ones. I like blue cheese but a little at a time...they can get overwhelming really easily. However, the Deep Ellum Blue was quite nice. It was milder than other blue cheeses and I enjoyed it. The Caciotta was really good. We sampled it without crackers or chocolate. It reminded me of Pepperjack which I really like.
Finally the Mascarpone Torta was the best of the bunch. It was creamy and sweet and I think I can eat just a spoonful by itself! These are the types of cheeses I like! hehe. It's more like a dessert!

The bus came and picked us up to take us to our final destination. They provided wine for the car ride along with some chocolates and water. It's definitely a party bus now! :)

For our final stop we went to Bolsa Mercado by the Bishop Arts District in Oakcliff. It's only been open a few months next to Bolsa the restaurant.

I've been wanting to go to both for a while now. The market is really cute. They feature foods and merchandise from local farms and businesses. They also have desserts and sandwiches.
For our tour, we had wine and beer tasting and chocolate samples from Dr. Sue. Dr. Sue is an actual doctor and she uses all natural ingredients to make a better, healthier chocolate. The dark chocolates which are full of cacao flavanols (good for health) are filled with other superfoods such as organic blueberries and ginger. We sampled (from bottom right, clockwise) Blueberry and Ancho Chile, Ginger Fig (with organic cinnamon and sea salt), Hazelnut Coconut, and Hazelnut Toffee.
They were all fantastic. Surprisingly the coconut was my favorite and the toffee was a close 2nd. But they were all good. I had more than my fair share of samples. Serious chocolate overload!!! I would say these are one of the best chocolate confections I've had in a while. My bf's favorite was the Blueberry/Ancho. We each bought a box of our favorite flavor ($6.50~ each).

I was definitely full after this wonderful tour. It was such an educational and fun experience. Our tour was led by Steven Doyle, the founding partner of CraveDFW. He was very laid back and friendly and made the tour really relaxed but informative as well. He's also very experienced and knowledgeable about the Dallas food scene so I had a great time chatting with him. :)

This is a great activity to do with friends or significant other. If you are adventurous and love to explore Dallas and try new foods, definitely book a tour (or two or three) hehe. If you get a group of 16+ people, you can actually book your own private tour! I think I will be looking into that. And I also look forward to their future tours (they also have non-chocolate tours such as pizza and beer tours). The pizza tour sounds awesome!

I give the tour an overall 
It was a fun and different way to spend an afternoon and I enjoyed every bit of it!



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  2. awesome! Thanks for reading, Arturo! :)