My wife and I have set out to do a head-to-head tasting of chocolates in Portland, primarily focusing on truffles, leading up to Valentine's Day. The full report is linked below with lots of pics.
This first part is just chains, primarily national, including Godiva, Moonstruck, See's, Teuscher, and Verdun. Here's a summary of the results from the first part:
Godiva: A bit sweet, but very creamy. Flavors could be better balanced when there is more than one. Decent presentations. Prices are fair except for the chocolate-dipped strawberries which start at $4/piece.
Moonstruck: Great presentations. Thinks like cinnamon roll truffles that look like little iced cinnamon rolls. Good flavors, too, both in variety and balance. Not as sweet as Godiva. Not as creamy either. A little more expensive than Godiva, but my pick for truffles in this first batch of tastings.
See's: Crap. Really cheap crap, though. The candies are better than the "truffles" which were so sweet they burned my throat. Why do people like this chain?
Teuscher: I expected this to be the best and it was my least favorite among the decent places. (ie, See's just sucked.) The flavors were unbalanced and the truffles didn't have enough chocolate flavor. Textures were nice, but they were also the most expensive by a ways.
Verdun: No truffles, just chocolates, though some filled with gianduja. Elegant wrappings on all the chocolate make this a winner for gifts. Chocolates, from Beirut, Lebanon, were all tasty, too.