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by Uncle Phil
Brooklyn, New York
May 26, 2011
June 22, 2005
If it is in winter that finds you there, definitely have a cup of his wicked hot chocolate.
Also, hop across the street to find his café, where he serves fantastic sandwiches.
Take your treats around the corner to Brooklyn Bridge Park to enjoy.
From journal Small-Town Brooklyn
January 31, 2005
The chocolate is cheaper than Godiva but just as divine. They make the chocolate in-house, so it's as fresh as possible. When you walk into the old-fashioned shop, on your left, you'll see a few wrought-iron cafe tables and chairs, where you can enjoy a cup of hot cocoa, cappuccino, or mocha. On the dark, wooden-shelved walls are little plastic bags secured with orange ribbon that include peanut brittle, dark chocolate crispy flakes, and chocolate-covered macadamia nuts and almonds. There are also hot chocolate tins, the infamous Big Daddy bar, and the traditional milk, dark, and white chocolate bars.
Look to your right, and there is a huge window looking into the chocolate factory. There you can see the conveyor belts chug the chocolates along and the workers toil away at their chocolate concoction.
The main counter is always hopping with sometimes three employees taking and fulfilling orders. They have a full espresso bar, and you can order a fresh cup of hot chocolate (spicy or regular kind), a latte, a cappuccino, or a mocha. The hot chocolate is extremely rich and tastes like you're drinking cake batter. It's good, but drinking it while eating a walnut brownie proved to be too much for me! Also behind the counter, you'll see croissants, chocolate cakes, and brownies, all of which you can eat there or take out. On the right is a fantastic layout of what looks like a hundred variations of the bonbon, including flavors such as "liquid caramel", "earl grey", "hazelnut" and tons more!! You can create your own specialized box containing all your favorites (12 pieces for $13 and 25 pieces for $24). Not only are the bonbons delicious, but they are gorgeous, each one having its own little shape and design.
If you need help, don't be afraid to ask the staff for help. They'll provide you with their recommendations.
Go across the street to enjoy Jacques's new bakery, Almondine. You'll find little fruit tarts, chocolate mousse, napoleons, and various little cakes. They also offer muffins, croissants, baguettes, espresso, and on Sunday (when the chocolate shop is closed), you can get the famous Jacques Torres hot chocolate.
After shopping for the goods, go sit in the beautiful Empire-Fulton Ferry Park (just around the corner) and enjoy your fresh chocolates with a stunning view of lower Manhattan, the bridges, and the old tobacco warehouses.
From journal Brooklyn
December 15, 2001
The tiny shop has two tables with eight seats. It serves two kinds of hot chocolate ($3.) and three kinds of croissant (plain, chocolate, and almond)($2.-$3.). The classic hot chocolate is thick, creamy, and sweet, absolutely delicious. The spicy hot chocolate is as magical as that served in the movie Chocolate. I do not know if this recipe was what inspired the film or the other way around. But a cup of this ambrosial liquid is worth the trip to Brooklyn from anywhere. Likewise the croissants are light, flaky, and buttery. People come to the shop from all over the city to buy these pasteries.
On my most recent visit I sat at a table with a young Manhattan couple who had brought an out-of-town visitor for a sweet breakfast. I suggested some other sites they could see in the neighborhood, but they said no, they only had time to eat because as soon as they could they had to get back on the uptown train to make a Broadway matinee.
The shop also sells chocolates by the piece or box. 12 for $10. 25 for $20. They have a lovely photo brochure that lovingly describes each of the 30 kinds that they make. In addition to the usual caramel, marzipan, and fruit fillings, there are also exotic flavors like cinnamon and Earl Gray. It is hard to choose among them, but the friendly ladies with the paper hair covers give samples to the undecided. A photographic still from the Lucille Ball Show is taped to the wall; it shows Lucy wearing similar hair protection, while inefficiently working at a candy factory.
To get to the Jacques Torres Factory and Cafe take the A or C train to the High Street stop. Follow Cadman Plaza downhill as it curves and changes name to Old Fulton Street. At the last block before the water turn right onto Water Street. The name Water Street is deceptive. The street is the one nearest to the water but there are buildings that block the view. Walk two more blocks and look for the sign in the window.
From journal DUMBO, Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass