Hangin’ at French Broad Chocolate Lounge

Posts | February 28, 2013 | By

Ever dream of chocolate streams?  I have.  When I was a kid, a dream I had about swimming in a chocolate river was so vivid that I hoped and prayed that there were chocolate bodies of water in heaven.  That was my idea of eternal paradise.  I simply didn’t want to go if I couldn’t swim in a chocolate stream.  But you know what I’ve been thinking?  I don’t need one anymore because I have French Broad Chocolate Lounge.  Seriously.  Heaven on earth.

It’s not a chocolate shop.  It’s not a coffee shop.  It’s not a bakery, bar, or sandwich shop.  It’s truly a chocolate lounge And lounge I do, any time I’ve had the privilege of stopping by for a treat.  Sitting back with a steaming cup of their French pressed coffee and a handmade slice of rich cake or a delicately designed and flavored truffle is one of my favorite ways to unwind.

CoffeeFlChocCakeFBCL

Sometimes I do the opposite of lounging when I’m there and work while my boys do their lessons.  Chocolate makes everything more fun.

2012-11-29 14.29.19

The first time I went to the chocolate lounge it was late in the evening and there was a line to the door.  I knew I was in for a treat.  It was a good thing the wait was so long, because with all the choices a person is given, it’s really hard to settle on just one thing.

FBCLoutside

doorFBCL

The sign says it all.

The sign says it all. 

FBCLbars They don’t just sell their own creations at French Broad Chocolate Lounge, a colorful display of chocolate from other independently owned producers offers unique varieties.  One day I’ll buy one of each brand to do a taste test.  Now there’s a fun project idea!  I could host a party on that theme.  But chocolate…tasting.  Think anyone would show?

004 Of course their own bars are displayed as well.  I have only tried the 81% in bar form and was it ever good?!  I was very surprised by the texture.  It was grainy and rich, fabulously bitter, like the last 1/4 inch at the bottom of a pot of French pressed coffee, which ironically always reminds me of chocolate.  Gotta love those tropical beans!

032 The display cases are filled with the most unique variety of chocolate truffles you’ll ever see.  Lavender Honey, Salted Caramel, Tulsi Basil, Masala Chai…

DisplaycaseFBCL 020 The Fresh Raspberry is rolled in dehydrated, ground raspberries.  It’ll knock your socks right off!

031 When I was at the chocolate lounge on Valentine’s Day, they were rushing people who needed to select a box of truffles as a gift to the head of the line.  Lots of happy honeys that night!

Other display cases are filled with creamy delectables and topped with mile-high rich and whippy cakes.  It’s so hard to decide which one to choose!

FBCLwhip 023 022 FBCLcakes

017 015 Cookies, tartlets, brownies…oh my!

021 FBCLbrownies

Nibby Brownie.  It's spicy!  See the cayenne?

Nibby Brownie. It’s spicy! See the cayenne?

And above all these tempting selections is mounted an enormous chalk board with more offerings, such as…wait for it…Liquid Truffle.  It’s hot chocolate.  No, it’s not, it’s rich cocoa.  No.  You know what I think it is?  It has to be what the Mayans “drank” because it’s fit for the gods.  Must be what Belgian Poirot sipped every evening from a tiny cup in all of those Agatha Christie mystery novels I used to read.  It’s simply liquified truffle, or drinkable ganache, and comes in wonderful flavors.

006 They also serve cheese, wine, and beer.  Like I said, heaven on earth.

FBCLkitchen

The movers and shakers who provide fast quality service, even on busy nights when the line is out the door!

025 The owners of French Broad Chocolate Lounge, Jael and Dan Rattigan, moved to Asheville after owning a cacao farm in Costa Rica.  No wonder everything at the chocolate lounge is so amazing!  These people are not only proficient at turning raw cacao beans into fine chocolate, they also know how to grow the beans!

The opening of their new chocolate factory, of which I have yet to visit, allows them to continue making quality chocolate and desserts in the same manner.  Tours of the solar powered facility include chocolate tastings.  Willy Wonka would be green with envy.098

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Jael Rattigan
    February 28, 2013

    awwwwww…….thank you!!!! i got teary reading your heartfelt, glowing tribute to our chocolate lounge.
    with gratitude,
    jael

    • Leave a Reply

      edibletapestry
      February 28, 2013

      You’re welcome! And thank you for giving us our favorite, most delicious hang-out. 😉

  2. Leave a Reply

    Paul M. Howey
    February 28, 2013

    Every single word is true. And the owners are the most delightful people you will ever meet. Goodness through and through.

    • Leave a Reply

      edibletapestry
      March 6, 2013

      Just like their chocolate. 😉

  3. Leave a Reply

    Misty
    March 6, 2013

    Next time I’m in Asheville, I have to go here! But it will be SO difficult to choose. Sounds like I will have to leave with a goody bag… Darn 😉

    • Leave a Reply

      edibletapestry
      March 6, 2013

      You’d better give me a heads up next time you’ll be in Asheville so we can lounge around together.

  4. Leave a Reply

    Anna
    March 6, 2013

    My husband and I visit here every time we are in Asheville. We love it! The most amazing chocolate goodies on earth!

  5. Leave a Reply

    Heidy
    March 6, 2013

    Finding French Broad was like finding a treasure, I absolutely love them, my goal is to try every single item they offer, so far everything I have tasted has been incredibly delicious but my favorite is the apple trifle, that mascarpone whipped cream is the stuff dreams are made of!

    • Leave a Reply

      edibletapestry
      March 6, 2013

      Oo! What a great idea, Heidy. I may just try to work my way through every item! But I’d better choose the furthest parking garage from the lounge each time I visit if I’m going to attempt it! 😉

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>