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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dandelion Chocolate Factory and Cafe

Dandelion Chocolate has finally moved into its new building at 740 Valencia Street. Right now there's a limited retail section, but there will be a Cafe soon! Tea Time is looking forward to spending many happy hours slurping hot chocolate and eating pastries in this beautiful, new, convenient location. The factory is on the premises, so you can see chocolate bars being made and there won't be any delivery problems.

UPDATE:  The cafe is now open, serving several choices of hot chocolate, a shake made from the pulp of the cacao pod and scrumptious desserts made by their in-house pastry chef. Plus you can watch Dandelion  chocolate bars being made while lingering over your dessert. All the hot chocolate drinks are served with a mini-madeleine and the housemade marshmallows are self-service, next to the sugar cubes.

 

Don't ya'll worry, they've still got the coffee too.

Picture from the first visit, when it was quiet.

Angela's choice of  European Drinking Chocolate.
We couldn't resist this little brownie, topped with sweet, crispy rice to go with our chocolate drinks. We asked the proprietor if they'll be serving more hearty fare, but he said that since they are surrounded by amazing savory places (like Craftsman and Wolves, or Mission Cheese) up and down Valencia, that Dandelion will continue to excel in its niche of specialty chocolates. So it seems likely that the dessert menu will expand and/or change over time, and you'll know that if you just want to slip in to get a chocolate fix the best time to avoid a line is noontime. Angela can't wait to go and try their citrus-y 'green' cocoa drink. It's made from the unroasted cacao beans. She's tasted them once before, straight from the tree, at the Original Hawaiiian Chocolate Factory. So different from the roasted beans!

Brownie, ready for its close-up.
Self-serve marshmallows--they disappear quickly!
J.K.'s American hot chocolate
Angela bought a bag of roasted cocoa beans to take home


Display wall offering tastes of the three regional chocolates
Close-up of cacao pods on display and for sale!
Beans being sorted, bags and bags of beans behind them.
The whole chocolate making operation is visible.
Pastries are in a case next to the cashier, making them hard to resist