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Posted on July 30, 2018 at 8:03 AM by Michael Goens
Comic artist Terry Moore presents the following advice on how to treat a sweet tooth: "12-step chocolate program: Never be more than 12 steps away from chocolate!”
Americans celebrate National Milk Chocolate Day on Saturday, and while milk chocolate is a particularly specific form of chocolate (decadently specific), it comes from the same cacao tree (cocoa beans) and produces the same ultra-indulgent taste. If you’re stricken by the cocoa bug, there is no substitute!
In Manhattan, we’ve got a few stops you can make both for carrying out and getting carried away by chocolate. We don’t claim you’re never more than 12 steps away from your next cocoa fix, but if you’re in Downtown Manhattan there are multiple stops to sate those strong chocolate cravings.
Cakes and treats deluxe
At Bourbon and Baker, Happy Hours customers enjoy beer-, cocktails- and wine-on-tap drinks from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. each weekday. Ecstatic hour for chocolate lovers rolls around more often, courtesy of Pastry Chef Kirsten Spear. By way of the west coast, Spear cranks out chocolatey goodness by the ounce.
Locals are well acquainted with the Harry’s Deli Brownie and it’s still available in all its richness from the B&B Bakery. Spear says local workers in close range of downtown also stop by for an end-of-week Friday reward known as ganache cookies (prepared for weekend sales).
“It was a ‘happy’ accident. It’s just so chocolatey and wonderful,” Spear endears. Bourbon and Baker’s “backdoor” bakery menu includes a four-layer dark chocolate cake filled with truffle ganache and salted caramel sauce. The four-layer German chocolate cake is spruced with coconut pecan cream and bittersweet chocolate ganache. Heavens!
On vacation? Sweets are an any-day-reward at 312 Poyntz Avenue on the main parcel of the Downtown MHK corridor, where the slice of the day shouldn’t be confused with AJ’s Pizzeria across the street. Prefer cocoa liquor to parmesan cheese? You’re in the right spot!
B&B’s cookie jar menu typically includes amazing chocolate chip and other cookie varieties, all saucer-sized and absolutely irresistible. At Harry’s (400 block of Poyntz), the whole plate dessert menu includes French chocolate mousse, cocoa meringue and mocha truffles. Now you're talkin'!
After consuming a serving of Spear’s mousse, you’ll need a supplemental refreshment to stabilize your body from stumbling away blindly, mesmerized with delight into traffic on Poyntz. Sprinkled with truffle shavings and cemented with a brandied ganache finish ... what a delight to the senses! Bourbon and Baker is a one-stop shop of flavors!
Flowers & chocolate make perfectly thoughtful gifts
Steve’s Floral has been selected the city’s best shop for approaching perfection in terms of service and offerings. One step inside the floral boutique at 302 Poyntz, just a few doors down from Bourbon and Baker, yields a plethora of divine scents from a veritable cornucopia of pleasurably-arranged blooming sights.
Adding to the décor and blissful aromas is a four-deck display window arrayed with truffles, caramels, double-dipped Oreo cherries and caramel nut clusters. Truffles are a distinct favorite among Steve’s guests. And oh, are they tasty!
“We love that it is a Kansas product,” says owner Jan Miller of offerings from Sweet Granada, a chocolate café located an hour away in Emporia. Steve’s carries 45-50 chocolate varieties starting at just $5. “Our chocolate display case is one of the first things people notice when they come in, and it enhances the fragrance."
Anniversaries, birthdays or simply a weekly treat, Steve’s Floral is a great place to gorge on sweet treats. Upcoming sorority recruitment makes a great occasion for a congratulatory floral/sweets gift basket. And let’s face facts … it's not like guys don’t like pounding some sweets, too. Who needs any occasion, really?
Radina’s offers more than just bread & coffee
The kid-in-a-candy-store analogy is never more appropriate than along the display window at Radina’s Bakehouse, immediately south of Blue Earth Plaza (227 Blue Earth Place) south of downtown. Of course, breads radiate the brilliance of all that is good at Radina’s. Fortunately, that’s not all.
Come and get it, for there’s plenty of sweets to keep a raving horde of chocolate fanatics at bay. Dark chocolate cream dreams are enriched with a creamy middle. Truffles are another favorite, alongside bourbon balls, chocolate-covered Oreos and nutter-butter balls with a subtle hint of Grand Marnier. Whoa!
“Annette (Radina, Radina’s chocolatier) is very good at experimenting with flavors,” says Bakehouse manager Lori Roberts.
Walk away with the reward of boxed chocolates. Like we said: Who needs an occasion?
Around Manhattan and especially when staying near downtown, visitors can consummate the 12-step chocolate program on the reg! Chocolately goodness on your Gateway to the Flint Hills!
Photos by Michael Snell and Doug Stremel
Bourbon and Baker Harry's Manhattan Steve's Floral Radina's Bakehouse Where college sports fans eat & drink in MHK
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