Tamara and I were driving east on Bell when I spotted a sign that advertised free chocolate samples. Like a Vulcan in pon farr, I slammed my head against the glass and made loud moaning sounds and gestures. Tamara reminded me that we were headed to Tutor Time to pick up Kai.
I made her promise we'd stop at Chocolate Surprise on our way home.
Our area of Surprise suffers from bouts of intense and rapid construction. Nearby is Ritter's Frozen Custard, of recent rave fame, and the White Eagle Deli and Restaurant. Also within walking distance is the Brookside Bar and Grill. Now, I can add Chocolate Surprise to my little repertoire of Chowhound madness.
Chocolate Surprise proudly proclaims itself a member of the Retail Confectioner International (REI). The brochure I took from there tells me REI is elite stuff; world re-known and such. I don't know anything about REI, but I do know that Chocolate Surprise is swank. Their products glistened in crystal cases, surrounded by calligraphy and possibly velvet.
Tamara looked over some choice pieces and commented that they were too beautiful to eat. I agreed. Chocolate Surprise covers their chocolate in colored designs.
I took a menu and set about ordering chocolates a-la carte. The gentleman at the counter informed me that the Rose Truffle, a red piece of rose essence-infused chocolate was out. I instead ordered a Grenade Latte Truffle (1.50), an Arboli Truffle (1.50), and a Dark Chocolate Truffle.
Chocolate Surprise describes the Grenade Latte Truffle as a blend of dark chocolate, espresso, and a coating of white chocolate. To me, it was a little white square, with brown stripes, that smelled faintly of white chocolate and plastic. I bit into it. The exterior was firm, but once I cracked it, the dark chocolate insides gave way. But, the white chocolate killed any other flavors.
Next, I tried the Arboli Truffle; a square affair with painted designs. The menu points out that the Arboli was made with South American chilies and Saigon cinnamon. It certainly smelled like fresh cinnamon sticks. I tasted it. The shell cracked and the insides flowed into my mouth. I felt like I was swabbing my tongue with cinnamon sticks. The chili flavor wasn't there until I finished swallowing. Then, it showed its presence in the form of a very little wince on the back of my tongue.
Last, I had the Dark Chocolate Truffle. A small dusting of cocoa coated it. It was also the hardest of all three chocolates, and the one with the most delicate flavors. Perhaps my taste buds were ruined by the magnificent Arboli, but I found myself searching for the little sweet-blooms that usually accompany good dark chocolate.
In all, I spent about 6 dollars for three truffle pieces, which is comparable to Godiva. The quality, I must say, was much, much better than any mall chain chocolatier.
I'm thinking of asking for Rose Truffles for Valentine's Day.
Ritter's Frozen Custerd
17014 W Bell Road, Surprise, AZ
White Eagle Deli & Restaurant
16846 W Bell Rd # 109, Surprise, AZ
Brookside Sports Bar & Grille
15170 W Bell Rd, Surprise, AZ
15170 W Bell Rd 106, Surprise, AZ 85374