Toting a modest selection of chocolate confections and candies, Joseph A. Fowler entered the 1901 Pan-American Exposition hoping to plant the seed for a business in his newfound home of Buffalo. The company?founded in 1910?grew with each successive generation, and more than a century later, Fowler's celebrated chocolates continue to placate palates at several retail locations. The chocolatier has become synonymous with treats such as milk- and dark-chocolate truffles dubbed truffaloes, as well as sponge candy, which boasts a molasses-like flavor and an initially hard texture that quickly melts in the mouth. Like Count Chocula?s hairpiece, all of Fowler's fine-chocolate treats are crafted from the seeds of the theobroma cacao tree and use up to 60% cocoa solids for a rich cocoa flavor.
The skilled confectioners at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory treat fresh, delicious fruit like a prize boar, bronzing it in the most delectable of taxidermies. Choose between a tray of seven gourmet apples or 18 chocolate-covered strawberries before each is transformed from staid tree things into fantastically edible works of chocolart. Apples begin their journey with a protective coating of caramel made in a copper kettle, before being rolled in your choice of toppings, including plain, rocky road, apple pie, cheesecake, and cookies and cream. The apple's metamorphosis into a decadent, power-mad king of flavor is made absolute when some varieties are then smothered in rich milk or dark chocolate from the 140-plus-year-old Guittard Chocolate Company and drizzled with white confection. Strawberries lack toppings but come drenched in the same tongue-swaddlingly rich chocolate and white confection, which has an intense flavor frequently compared to bungee jumping from a nose-diving airplane.
When Chocolate & Vines proprietor Michael transformed the first floor of his historic home into a wine bar, he strove to preserve the space?s sense of domestic comfort: stenciled wallpaper and crystal-draped chandeliers adorn the sunlit dining room, where guests can cruise free WiFi.
This sense of delicate grandeur matches Chocolates & Vines sugary treats: chocolate truffles? glossy shells are laced with intricate designs, and cakes sport tufts of mousse and layers of mascarpone. Servers are happy to recommend flavor pairings from Chocolate & Vines? menu of more than 100 wines and beers. Alternatively, guests can opt to sip French-pressed coffees and herbal teas.
Since 1999, Jitters has been calming all manner of cravings with a menu that blends the best aspects of a pizzeria, sandwich shop, and independent coffee house. The café roasts its own coffee to create mochas, caramel lattes, and cappuccinos, and turns its blenders on full speed to whip up more than 60 smoothies and shakes in flavors such as Vermont maple or blackberry cream. Subs and ciabatta sandwiches join a menu of brick oven pizzas such as a Jamaican jerk pie with mozzarella and chicken or a Popeye pizza, which arrives decorated with mozzarella, ricotta, spinach, and an anchor tattoo.
Since 1987, the specialists at Encore Chocolates have been sweetening weddings, holidays, and special get-togethers with handmade chocolate specialties. For each artisan truffle and cream-filled candy, the team selects the perfect type of chocolate based on sweetness, creaminess, and texture. Products range from delicate milk chocolate with 33% cocoa to bold bittersweet chocolate with 72% cocoa, which pairs well with naturally sweet foods such as ripe berries or syrup milked fresh from a maple tree.
A privately owned delicatessen and lunch bistro for more than 80 years, Swan Market delivers deliciously umlauted deli meats with an authentic German sensibility. The market's staff makes every sausage on the lunch menu by hand and also hand-slices all cold cuts using well-placed karate chops. Prime rusty palates with a sausage appetizer before feasting on hearty schnitzel, sauerbraten, or the most German dish of all: Hungarian goulash. Edible addendums of potato salad, sauerkraut, and spaetzle will further insulate ribs against winter chills and misfired cannonballs. And like a good German restaurant or bad German daycare center, Swan Market keeps a slate of imported Deutsch beers on tap ($3.50/glass, $12/pitcher). Lunch items are typically between $7 and $8. Most of Swan Market's wares can also be bought for $4.99 to $7.99 per pound at its deli counter.