Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chocolate Walk 2009 Part 3

Considering it took mavido and I about six hours to do this walk in a nice slow, purposeful, enjoying each moment, spreading the message of the event and of The Chocolate Cult as we went, I think a four part series isn't too much to ask you, Sisters and Brothers, to read.  So today is the third post about that wonderful previous Saturday.  Armed with the booklet, our buttons and the check off list for the merchants and chocolatiers participating, we found ourselves with 18 of the 30 locations to go.

The next half of this journey would involved a span of only three blocks but still a good half of Nashville's length to finish.  We turned and continued on the south side of Main Street to find four more shops.  Just beyond the intersecond of Van Buren and Main Street we met the greatest patience tester of the Pilgrimage: A very, very crowded restaurant with a poorly laid out plan for this walk.  The Hobnob Corner Restaurant was packed, there was a line outside that we waited in for at least ten minutes while folks kept asking "Is this for the restaurant or  the walk?"  There in lay the problem: there was no one around to direct traffic.  I got so frustrated and the area so crowded that I didn't take a picture.  To be honest, once we got inside, the marble brownie samples were deeply disappointing -- dry, not evenly marbled, definitely not worth the wait on a pure dessert level.

We moved on to Miller's Ice Cream House and got there ahead of the crowd to get our "Teeny Tiny Chocolate Heaven Sundae".  This was made with chocolate ice cream not merely with chocolate syrup as is common in sundaes though  it had the sryup too.  It has some M&M pieces, a dollop of whipped cream and a cherry.  It was great, the ice cream had a nice dark quality balanced by the sweetness of the cream, candies, and syrup.  Trying to leave was a bit of a challenge since there were dozens of people along the hallway we entered and the door out from the little sitting area we enjoyed this treat in was marked for emergencies only.  If you want to find this, look for this sign along Main Street.

Ah, you remember The Candy Dish I hope.  They were featured here back after Labor Day on The Chocolate Cult.  They took were packed inside so I didn't have an opportunity to check in with the shop's owner who had offered us a Sacramental selection earlier.  They gave out 1 of 5 choices, the largest selection from the entire Walk, and I had the dark pecan turtle which was great.  My most memorial moment of this walk came from a little boy ahead of us who said, and I paraphrase, "Oh, candy, I don't want to leave here."

Stop #22 as you can see in this photo was Eucalyptus Tree, a espresso dessert bar coupled with a home decoration/furniture shop.  Inside they offered nice hot chocolates, not coffee as the listing in the booklet suggested by its name.  It was good but not as good as what we had at Common Grounds.  The store did have a huge and varied selection of wind chimes outside and I learned that out Chocolate Coconut Acolyte has a bit of a collection of these which my father does as well.   Unfortunately given my hip we had to move slow so in the interests of making through the entire Pilgrimage we didn't really have time to shop.  Maybe next year.

We turned south a block to a selection of stores in an area called "Antique Alley" that I am familar with because of the next stop: For Bare Feet where I always stop when we are in Nashville to see what fun socks I can replenish.  Sadly there was a sign saying that a medical emergency meant Cream & Sugar, the chocolatier listed, could not be there so we moved on to Nature's Cabin which was a small shop that was offering molded chocolates in a variety of shapes.  They said they were thinking of carrying the products and had especially ordered them for the walk.  The store smelled great with all it's handmade soaps.

A block further East we found Jack & Jill Nut shop.  This was a large shop for Nashville and had a ton of both nuts and fudges.  It looked like they had had a few different samples, the booklet listed three offerings, but when we were there only one: chocolate fudge which as very sweet and sugary, with chocolate a lower taste.  But that is very common for fudge if you are familiar with it and in that sense this was perfectly fine fudge oddly with no nuts.

Across the street was another store I visited back on the 2009 Labor Day weekend so you are familiar with it as a product review essay: Nashville Candy Store.  Now I was worried because as you may remember, Sisters and Brothers, it was a teeny tiny store just packed inside a mini-mall area along Van Buren.  They did a very smart thing.  On a table outside the store but in that mini-mall they had a table with samples, the list checker, and the treat giver.  This made things move smoothly as the crowds we noticed around us grew and grew.  They had three types of fudge so I had one I had not had before while mavido had another variety that I had previously reviewed.  Then we moved on to the last set of three locations before I end this third part of my Pilgrimage report.

The first store in this trio we tried was Carol's Crafts which is a large store packed with high end decorative items.  In the center of the store they offered chocolate hello dollies which are fancier no bake cookies with a nice tang to them from the butterscotch chips that graced it.  While Christmas was the dominant theme throughout Nashville, many stores also offered staples as did this shop.  I'd love to return some time to look around more but we needed to keep going.

Not far away is a business that I have stayed and eaten at in the past, Artists Colony Inn & Restaurant.  Outside the main entrance they had a table set up and were giving out tiny samples of their June's Chocolate Sheet Cake which was incredibly sweet tasting.  I was starting to feel a bit overwhelmed by all the sugar in the walk, more sugar than chocolate in many cases makes me feel tired not energized so while we looked for a way to the second floor across the way, mavido and I discussed collecting the samples but trying them a bit later, maybe after getting home.  It was approaching 2:30pm by then and my hip was wearing on me.

Luckily we found an elevator and this is important.  Nashville, Indiana, is a delightful place but like much of Indiana not terrible wheelchair or handicap friendly as I learn whenever my mother visits or now when I'm injured.  The elevator went right up to the next stop on the Pilgrimage, Kiss the Cook.  They also had their Chocolate Walk samples set outside the store proper.  They offered malt balls they were considering offering in the store and asked for feedback.  Here is mine: This was exactly as I'd expect a malt ball to be, nothing special really so price it accordingly because you'll have lots of competition in this category of treat.  These went into my purse for later consumption so the above opinion was formed back in the comfort of my home.

Tomorrow I will offer Part 4 of this Pilgrimage report with seven more locations to visit as well as announce the finalists for the position of Mocha or Chocolate Coffee Acolyte.  Look under "Contests" if you wish to apply for that official position in The Chocolate Cult.

Sisters and Brothers, may you too take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.


pegasuslegend said...

Now at 9am I am craving chocolate great post love the read!

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Thank you for reading and commenting, pegasuslegend. Maybe next year, depending on where you live, you can join us?

Tune in tomorrow for part four where you'll see how I'm too overwhelmed to eat as we continue trekking.

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