Attendees were definitely living the sweet life at the Chicago Artisan Chocolate Show that took place April 22-23 at Plumbers Hall.
Several dozen vendors exhibited everything from classic treats to tasty trends in the world of chocolate. ( Unlike some festivals, most vendors offered samples and sold larger items. ) A few of the standouts were as follows:
Sweet P's Pantry: This Wisconsin-based chocolatier is the home of the giant peanut-butter cup, but offered some great toffees at the show.
Terry's Toffee: Speaking of toffee, this gay-owned business has some of the best treats in that category this writer has ever tasted ( including magical lemon-flavored candies )but, at the show, it also offered Wackerpop ( popcorn smothered in toffee and drizzled in dark chocolate ).
Lemaster Family Kitchen: One of the few non-chocolate-focused vendors at the exhibit, LFK sold rubs that smelled absolutely amazing, including Backyard Blend ( a blend of roughly ground root vegetables and herbs, with a hint of arbol chili pepper ), South of France and Rub It Right.
Let Them Eat Candles: It sounds like one of those ideas that makes someone say, "Why didn't I think of that?" Glencoe-based Let Them Eat Candles offers edible ( and working ) items that taste like milk, dark or white chocolate.
IntoxiCakes: As one might surmise, this company offers boozy confections, such as vodka red velvet ( with Chambord cream-cheese frosting ), whiskey chocolate ( with Irish cream buttercream icing ) and bourbon salted caramel ( with bourbon cream-cheese topping ) cupcakes.
Somrus: There were also vendors who offered alcohol ( as long as attendees presented tickets ). One of the most intriguing was Somrus, a versatile liqueur that counts cardamom, almonds and rose petals among its ingredients, and that can be used in everything from chai lattes to dessertsand, of course, drunk on its own.
A new Broken English opens
The third Broken English tacopub has opened in Chicagothis time, in Lincoln Park, at 2576 N. Lincoln Ave.
Like the other two ( in Old Town and the Loop ), this Broken English is full of colors, unique art and vibrancyand crowd-attracting food such as queso fundido and fried-chicken tacos ( the latter accompanied by ghost-pepper mayo ).
As for the restaurant's name, Adolfo Garcia ( who conceived the restaurant along with Phil Stefani ) says on the restaurant's website, "I speak English with my friends, and I often find myself mixing in Spanish words because there are some phrases that simply don't translate to English. This happens in many other languages and cultures, but that is what makes the name 'Broken English' funit is part of our daily slang."
Note: Restaurant profiles/events are based on invitations arranged from restaurants and/or firms.