Midwest Living Review
Chocolate in all its forms and flavors is the house specialty at The Chocolate Escape. Inside, a giant mural tells the story of chocolate, from South American cocoa beans and vanilla to candy companies in the United States. Dense and chewy caramels, salty almonds, pecans and cashews, and a slathering of rich chocolate make Brian’s turtles “endangered” at this popular downtown shop. A variety of turtles fill an entire display case, including snapping turtles with a dose of coffee, California turtles with coconut, and our favorite, sea turtles with a kick of salt. Sample a “Wilbur bud,” a jumbo-size chocolate chip with 40 to 60 percent cocoa, depending on if it’s milk or dark chocolate. Sold by the piece or the pound, the candy includes cherry cordials, birch bark, caramels, almond toffee and versions of a chewy Slo Poke and hot rods—pretzel rods dipped in caramel, chocolate and chili powder. The store also features premier chocolates from France, including the Michel Cluizel line, which are among the darkest chocolate made anywhere. You can buy gourmet baskets, sampler boxes and truffles at the store or online and sign up for a chocolate-and-wine pairing event.