Monday, November 15, 2010

Chocolate Walk 2010 Report

Your Chocolate Priestess feels great a few days after the Brown County Humane Society Chocolate Walk in Nashville, Indiana.  As you may recall, I mentioned this event, ways you could find accommodations to join us, and really talked up the charity it was supporting.

A fine group of cultists joined me on Saturday morning between 9 and 9:15 AM November 13, 2010.  Next year I'll tell everyone to come a bit earlier because we got off to a late start.  As you can see it was a mixed group with five women and three men venturing forth as a group.  Once in Nashville we split into two groups then into three as one of us met others whom they recruited to the walk.  Two groups met up for a late luncheon to chat and eat something more than chocolate.

And we ate and drink a lot of chocolate.  This year we had 31 stops, one more than last year.  Our group of five headed west then north to cover one half of the artist colony.  I hope some of the others will send in photos or share them on Facebook at The Chocolate listing there because I only took a few this year.  If you want to see Nashville, check out the Pilgrimage from last year when it was only our Chocolate Coconut Acolyte and myself.

Several of the stops were the same though only a few times were the treats identical to last year.  We paused at one place, Common Grounds Coffee Bar, where there were choices between a beverage and candies and then further choices. In this photo you can see us, another group mate and two more even in the background.

Different people wanted to do different things.  We were focused on trying to hit all 31 before lunch -- we did it in less than 3.5 hours covering almost 30 square blocks of distance.  One couple wanted to shop because they'd never been to Nashville before.  Other lady was looking for her other friends and once she found them, spent the rest of the day with them.

I took notes but frankly I don't want to do the detailed review I did last year when so many places were the same locations.  However I do want to mention a few more highlights and lowlights if you like that turn of phrase.

The Brown County Historical Society was new this year and they offer colonial style gingerbread cookies with chocolate buttons and decorations.  When you hit the chocolate it didn't disappoint and I appreciate their attention to historical re-enactments even at this level.

Some places had their treats more logically stationed with a line attempting to enter one way and then out the other.  However one place stands out as very poorly planned and that has to be Ole House.  The freebies were by the cash register and the only line we saw was to the deli where everyone places orders for food, we even heard one employee tell others to get into the line.  This made things incredibly slow.  While I understand that placing the treats in the back or by other food may seem like a good idea, if you slow people down, they get annoyed.  Furthermore, the town was not off limits to anyone else so you had hundreds of chocolate lovers competing with regular tourists and art lovers for space.

Some stops like Harvest Moon Pizzeria and Artist Colony Inn & Restaurant placed their treats outside which made the flow much better because it separated the folks wanting to shop and eat from those of us on the walk.  Other places like Hobnob Corner Restaurant were an absolute nightmare to get into and back out with only one door and crowds wanting to eat.  Luckily the line was less there this year either because we were earlier to arrive or because people just gave up and moved on.

Some locations like Iris Garden Gallery and Trilogy Gallery had restaurants they hosted to come in and give out treats.  Others like Brown County Visitors Center and Bone Appetit Bakery had mass produced treats though with local or regional representatives on hand.  Obviously some stores made their own treats and others handed out ones they either bought or received from companies.

I'm very pleased with everyone who went. I know I have at least four people from the group in the photo who want to return.  The trick we discovered is to eat what you must on the walk and save the rest to take home.  This is half what I received and laid out once I was back home.  Double that with drinks, delightful cakes, and soft candies and you can see what you missed, Sisters and Brothers.  I hope more of you will join me next year.


Kimberly Peterson said...

Looks like a fun event! Gee 31 stops!! I would be completely full by the 5th.. lol. But hey if it's a special event, I can make room in my tummy lol.

mavido79 said...

I'll post a longer comment later when I'm not half-asleep but I did want to jump in here and say it was a magnificent day. Kimberly, I can say that one learns to pace oneself when making this pilgrimage. I only ate the things that weren't packaged to go (ice cream, hot cocoa, etc.) which was a little less than half. It took me all day yesterday and today to finish off the rest, with a little help from my Mate.

Thanks to the other cult members and our Chocolate Priestess for making it such a memorable day.

mavido79 said...

Okay, now that I've had time to think more about it (and consult my notes) here are my thoughts. First is to say that the best part of this event wasn't the sacred substance itself (in any of its forms) but rather the opportunity to spend time with the other Cult members. Having dinner together and just hanging out with some really cool people. And now for my mini sampling reviews.

Biggest disappointment--Chocolate bread pudding. Not only was the chocolate flavor lacking but it wasn't even good bread pudding. It was kind of rubbery.

Biggest surprise--Gingerbread men. They had chocolate buttons & bow ties which held up surprisingly well against the ginger. I'm impressed.

Near death experience--Chocolate Suicide. I have a button that claims "I ate Death By Chocolate. It only made me stronger" but chocolate suicide could've pushed me over the cliff if the servings had been much larger. I don't even know how to describe this as it's sort of a cake but so much more. As much as I love chocolate, I don't think I'd be able to stand more than a few bites of this.

Second biggest disappointment--chocolate chip cookie. Actually the cookie was pretty good but definitely not worth standing in line for 30 minutes to obtain.

Best "combo"--Chocolate cookies with pink M&Ms. Raise funds for the humane society and promote breast cancer awareness.

Best use of coconut--Chocolate coconut fudge. Kind of like a Mounds bar but with the coconut sandwiched by a thick layer of fudge on the bottom and a thin layer on the top.

Second best over all--brownie with secret ingredient. The Priestess and I detected a slightly floral essence but neither of us could put a name to it. So the secret remains hidden. But it was tasty.

Best over all--brownie with white chocolate drizzle. Okay, now I have to be honest here and admit that part of the reason this one got the nod over the previous brownie was that the portion was larger. If there had been more to taste of the previously mentioned brownie, it might have come out on top. But this one gave me enough to really taste it.

Honorable mentions go to the chocolate bourbon balls, chocolate butter creams and the mini-chocolate sundaes.

Can't wait for next year

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Awesome review. I hope you emailed in your vote for the best stop.

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