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Cacao -- Drink Chocolate


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#1 John DePaula

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 01:19 PM


The other new place is on SW 13th below Masu. Haven't tried yet. Think it's called Drink Chocolate. Good name if nothing else.


Yeah, that's it. On a cold snowy morning such as this, I should check it out (yes, I'm rationalizing). I wonder if it's open.

Yes, it's open. It's called Cacao - DrinkChocolate. It's a beautiful store with lots of excellent chocolate bars. The owners, Jesse and Aubrey, have done a wonderful job.

I think for bonbons, they carry lots of Frans, Chocolat Moderne, and Michel Cluizel - all very pretty.

The chocolate bars they carry are all outstanding (except for maybe one that I didn't recognize). They had Pralus (excellent), Plantations, Theo (Seattle), Michel Cluizel, Vosges, Dolfin, Valrhona, Venchi, Chocovic (which I like a lot), Chocolat Weiss, Guido Gobino (which I've never had), Bonnat (also good), Bernard Castelain, Marie Belle... that's all I can remember.

The hot chocolate was outstanding. I even liked the milk chocolate/cinnamon one. Very 'Angelina in Paris' without the snooty service.
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You cannot legislate compassion into your fellow man (or woman, as the case may be), but we should at least attempt to create a society in which each individual has the opportunity to realize his or her potential. If we meet our citizens' needs for Health Care and Education, everything else will take care of itself. --Me

#2 ExtraMSG

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 08:58 PM

I split this off from the Sweet Masterpiece thread:

http://portlandfood....?showtopic=2118

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#3 ExtraMSG

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 09:31 PM

None of the desserts at Basta's tonight really interested us, so we made a bee-line for Cacao. Great little shop. Well-organized, comfortable, and inviting with a great selection of chocolate.

John outlines the inventory well. I think the biggest selection of bars is from Cluizel. There must be 20-30 different types -- single bean, single plantation, blends. They even had some little kit that I didn't pay too much attention to, but seemed to have a variety of discs ranging in chocolate from white to milk and so on, along with nibs and beans.

The largest variety of palets/truffles/bon bons also seemed to come from Cluizel -- and I'm not complaining. All ran $2, pretty much the going rate around town (but lower than you pay for high end stuff normally at a Neiman Marcus). We tried several and they were quite good. Relatively thin shells, creamy interiors, and subtly flavored so the chocolate stood out first, the way I like them. They also had Frans and Chocolat Moderne, as John notes, that you could buy individually. Save those for another day. They had a bigger inventory, though, of the Chocolat Moderne in chic little gift packs. Very modern(e), very elegant. Will definitely be getting some of those for future yes-i'm-sorry-i'm-such-an-idiot-will-you-please-forgive-me-and-have-sex-with-me-in-the-future gifts.

They also had one kilo bars of chocolate, cacao nibs, drinking chocolate kits, Ibarra Mexican chocolate (though they may bring in Mayordomo from Oaxaca which would bring me back A LOT) and the like. A few books, too. A couple of the more interesting items were cocoa and saffron scented body oil and a cocoa fragranced perfume. Spendy but interesting. And they say chocolate is an aphrodisiac so perhaps you could truly get that TAG body spray moment.

Had the chocolate drink, of course. $4. Very rich, creamy, and intensely chocolatey. Very. They use the same sort of machines that Mio Gelato uses except they don't use a thickening agent. It shows in both the texture, which coats the mouth but isn't pudding-like, and the sharpness of the flavor. It has a bit of a bitter finish, but that's mainly because it's such a strong dark chocolate flavor. Honestly, I think this method of delivering chocolate is more chocolatey than just eating a bar. You would have to let the bar melt and coat the entire inside of your mouth to the get the same effect. It's a pretty well-rounded chocolate they're using. They also have a cinnamon-laced version and a more traditional hot chocolate/cocoa.

I'll be updating my hot chocolate report sometime and I feel pretty confident that this and Sahagun are a step above the rest. It's interesting to have them only a couple blocks away from each other.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#4 mkmnw

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 08:15 AM

The itty-bitty squares of Michel Cluizel Noir Infini 99% and the dark chocolate/nutmeg tablets from Chuao(?) in the case are my new favorite stimulants, and for fifty cents apiece, a cheap, fun ride.

Yup, a great space (I covet the Paris map on the wall) with wonderful service and really beautiful products. I hope they thrive. Portland is feeling like a chocolate nirvana.

#5 John DePaula

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 09:56 AM

Well I’m pleased to announce that DePaula Confections is now available at Cacao, the fab new chocolate mecca in Portland. They're carrying several different types by the piece in the display case plus some clear rounds of Passionfruit Pates de fruits.* Stop by and say hello to Jesse and Aubrey.

Ciao.

*Pate de fruit is also known as “Fruit dough” or “Fruit Jellies.” They are pure concentrated fruit essence. Nice intense flavor.
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You cannot legislate compassion into your fellow man (or woman, as the case may be), but we should at least attempt to create a society in which each individual has the opportunity to realize his or her potential. If we meet our citizens' needs for Health Care and Education, everything else will take care of itself. --Me

#6 Amanda

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 11:51 AM

Hey John!

I was just thinking about you the other day. I was thinking about how your chocolates are such pleasant surprises. It brought a smile to my face.

Best regards,

Amanda

P.S. I miss pomegranate.

#7 dehory

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 11:43 AM

I wonder what Elizabeth makes of Cacao? They've opened awfully close to her shop...

#8 Jill-O

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 12:30 PM

I too, wonder what she thinks. Elizabeth, if you are reading along, let us know! ;o)

I like both stores, but I prefer to sit and sip a cup of hot chocolate at Sahagun. I really like the shop and it's casual vibe, in general.

I like the hot chocolate at cacao, but it is so rich, a single shot is more than enough...and I usually stand up to drink it. I love their selection of chocolate, though. So many different things to try - some just chocolate, some with crunchy things, some with salty things, some with sweet things...and those caramels in a clear and green wrapper they sell individually by the register for (I think) 50 cents ea. are amazing.

I like Alma for her toothsome salted carmels (plain and lavender) and her fabulous ginger toffee...I think she makes the best of those kinds of things in the city. I like the texture of her caramel better than the others I have tried around town. Her molded stuff is impressive and pretty, but not usually what I look for in chocolate.

But John DePaula's truffles are, by far, my favorites in town. They are full of flavor, the texture of the ganache is wonderful, and they are absolutely gorgeous. I can't pick a favorite, but the cinnamon, pomegranate, coconut, bananas foster (I don't know if that is truly a truffle, but I love it) and raspberry are all so yummy. I also really like the feuillatine mendiants. And those pate de fruits he makes also rock (and I never thought I'd like something like that...go figure).

We are so freakin' lucky in this town...can't have too many talented chocolatiers in one city...can ya? ;o)
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#9 ExtraMSG

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 01:29 PM

Last time I was in Sahagun, right before Christmas, it was slammed. I had gone over there to see if she had Amadei since Cacao didn't. (Curds & Whey appears to be the only one carrying it.) I didn't get the impression Elizabeth had been to cacao yet. But I could be wrong. But it didn't seem to be hurting her business.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#10 Daaaaave

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 02:09 PM

Just as an FYI...The Meadow has carried Amadei every time I've been in recently.

#11 Jill-O

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 02:41 PM

I like the Meadow too. Smaller selection than cacao, but some intersting things - like these teeny tiny strawberries covered in milk chocolate (yum! and I usually avoid milk and go for the dark). Another thing I found there (that they also have at cacao and Whole Foods) are the Vosges Barcelona bars with smoked almonds and fleur de sel (http://www.vosgescho...tic_candy_bars/). I now almost always sprinkle finishing salt on my chocolate before eating it...esp. the smoked salt...mmmmm!

Nice page on their website for their chocolate too:
http://www.themeadow...olate/index.htm
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#12 Leonardo

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 03:00 PM

No, I don't believe Cacao is hurting Sahagun's biz, Elizabeth hasn't been there to my knowledge, nor is she concerned about the proximity. The guys at Cacao are sweet and think the world of her and her products, by the way. And no, I don't think she reads these boards.

Yes, she has been slammed every time I came by until the vacation closing 12/31. Reopened two days ago. I'm going tomorrow for HC/truffles!
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#13 ExtraMSG

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 10:33 AM

I haven't been in to Cacao in while. Still eating through my hundreds of dollars in excessive chocolate purchases. However, Ken told me that they've got an after-Easter sale going on right now.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#14 Calabrese

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 12:30 PM

I haven't been in to Cacao in while. Still eating through my hundreds of dollars in excessive chocolate purchases. However, Ken told me that they've got an after-Easter sale going on right now.





You evil temptor, you would post that wouldn't you?

#15 Gugelhupf

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 10:01 AM

Was there this weekend for the first time and LOVED it! Yum! Had the cinnamon drinking chocolate and recommend getting a smaller portion since it is very rich. Besides, if it's not enough for you, you could sample the next drinking chocolate flavor on the list. :)

I will be back.

~A~

#16 thebob

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 08:37 PM

Amazing place. The spicy hot choc was deeevine!

#17 superdog

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 07:03 PM

Dear All,
Out of all three hot chocolate - Cinamon milk chocolate, Dark Chocolate, and Spicy Dark Chocolate, I like the spicy one the best . Ed and I shared three shots (espresso size) hot choc., $2.00 each. Very very fun trying their hot chocolate this way. It is similar to drinking melted chocolate, so rich and so good.
We also bought a few choc truffle/bon-bons home. Out of all of them, I love the one with the smoky sea salt. It is such an interesting contrast - smoky sea salt, with bitter sweet chocolate. We are definitely heading back for more diff. chocolate bar. This place makes a great gift shop for me too, who wouldn't like to receive chocolate as a gift!

Best regards,
Ellen
Ellen @ SuperDog
superdogpdx@gmail.com

#18 Jill-O

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 12:21 PM

Stopped in today for some treats and Aubrey was beaming about their write-up in the NYT: http://travel.nytime...html?ref=travel

I really like this store. Aubrey and Jesse are so nice and have such a great store that they deserve all the good press!
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#19 gal4giants

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 12:23 PM

Stopped in today for some treats and Aubrey was beaming about their write-up in the NYT: http://travel.nytime...html?ref=travel

I really like this store. Aubrey and Jesse are so nice and have such a great store that they deserve all the good press!



I just saw that this am (cheating & reading it a day early) Too cool....these guys deserve it indeed. Congrats

#20 gal4giants

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 12:28 PM

Finally made it in today after picking up some deli food. I'm an idiot when it comes to downtown SW portland but i had no idea there were so close, thanks to Sandwich boards I now know.

Damn this store is cute, the layout & desricptions are just perfect. I read somewhere from some idiot saying it reminded them of Disneyland...what??

Jesse and Aubrey were both there which made me happy...picked up a hodge podge box for the staff after work tonight. Aubrey put it together for me (quickly) while Miss Moxie was melting down.....a few of DePaulas made it in the box. Can't wait to try them...anyways congrats again boys....too cute.