The Chocolate Bar
November 2010. From the time you breeze in till the time you walk slowly out with your belly full of goodies. Your senses will be engulfed in a huge variety of color, smell, taste, and sound. The smell of homemade chocolate is overwhelming, and the taste is so rich it explodes you’re taste buds and leaves you craving for more and more. Visually exciting, The Chocolate Bar tempts your taste buds with colors through a display of numerous chocolate shapes. From the blending of milkshakes to the grinding of espressos you’ll always hear upbeat sounds, music, laughter, and conversation among customers. My favorite part of visiting the Chocolate Bar is the first few seconds when I walk through the double doors and see all the different assortments of chocolates and dessert and taking a deep breath in of the sweet smell that overcomes you. It is my favorite place among many other Houstonians to go when you have a sweet tooth. They offer everything from truffles to chocolate-dipped fresh fruit, cheesecake, homemade ice cream and even chocolate novelties, which also make great gifts. You can also find unusual items covered in chocolate like Pringles, Twinkies and Lucky Charms cereal to name a few. But what really caught my eye were these massive four layer chocolate cakes on display. One of the unique things about this store is it has something for everyone including your dog. With a small choice of carob and peanut butter covered bones with elaborate edible designs for your pet. In short words it’s a chocolate lovers dream! Located in the Montrose area, the Chocolate Bar offers a great location. It’s location in one of Houston’s most cultural rich neighborhoods offers visitors both local and from out of town the chance to see one of this city’s many treasures.
I first moved to Houston when I was nineteen in the Sugarland area, the city was so vast I couldn’t contemplate ever knowing my way around it. There were few places I visited which were only the typical local restaurants, malls, and stores in my general area. It wasn’t until one summer afternoon my family and I had to go into the city to run some errands and we happened to come across The Chocolate Bar. Out of plain curiosity we stopped and we have been hooked ever since. Shortly after that I joined the Air Force, and left Houston for four years. During my four years away from home I would come home to visit my family here. The Chocolate Bar was a must stop visit for me at least once every visit. I was stationed at Laughlin Air Force Base right outside of Del Rio, TX a small border town in west Texas. There wasn’t anything comparable in that town to Houston. So with that, this was an awesome place I loved to visit when I came home to visit my family and friends. If offered something out of the norm that I wasn’t used to seeing back in Del Rio. It offered delicious sights and smells and above all a friendly place where everyone has a smile on. You are always greeted with a sweet smell of chocolate as you walk in along with a friendly hello or welcome from a staff member behind the counter covered in chocolate cover fruits and nuts. Walking in and taking a look around is my favorite part of the experience, it allows you to walk around and look at the many variety of chocolate moldings. There are chocolate pizzas to dog treats, and bells to dollar bills. Then I like to make it over to the ice cream area where they have roughly twenty flavors, all with a chocolate theme to it. When you sit down with your dessert of choice after debating over and over what flavor of this or that should I get, you get a feeling of warmth and excitement as if you were a little kid again trying a delicious desert for the first time.
My most memorable experience there was for my twenty third birthday back in February. I went there after enjoying a nice dinner with my family and close friends. It was the first time that I was going to trying one of their amazing chocolate cakes. They have many different styles of cake and all have their own names to them. I got a huge slice of Aunt Etta’s which is four layers of extremely moist dark chocolate cake with toffee and bittersweet chocolate bits between each layer. This slice of heaven will cost you around $10, not exactly cheap, but worth it. They’re also conscious of the diabetic population offering the best sugar free chocolate treats in town. It was a dark evening which usually means there’s some playing soft live music. One side of the shop actually does sort of resemble a bar. In fact, on Tuesday evenings, you can enjoy listening to a live band while indulging in your favorite chocolate treat.
A creative man by the name of Gilbert Johnson had a childhood passion for making chocolate. He dreamed of a shop serving all ages with smiles and sweet treats, where chocolate could become a complete entertainment experience. To make his dream reality, Gilbert enlisted Eric Shamban and Tino Ramirez as founding fathers and on October 10, 2000, The Chocolate Bar was born. Today, Gilbert’s dream is thriving in two locations thanks to loyal customers and exceptional service from enthusiastic and friendly employees.
One of my favorite times to go is when I have my six year old niece Isabella with me, it’s nice to see her young eyes open when we walk into the store and have her ask me “ Uncle Mark, can I have anything I want?” With such excitement in her voice it only leaves me with one answer every time, “Yes of course!” We always end up choosing their ice cream which again has any flavor to please any chocolate lovers taste. My dessert of choice I a rich chocolate ice cream with nuts and small pieces of brownies. Although on the prices side this place is truly worth every penny of it. So if you’re looking for a nice atmosphere, good people, and conversation, and above all a delicious variety of dessert then The Chocolate Bar is the place for you
Mark Hurtado is a first year student at the University of Houston Downtown, who is thinking of majoring in Political Science. He grew up in Corpus Christi, TX where he graduated from Richard King High School in 2005. After high school he went on to serve in the United States Air Force for four years, at Laughlin AFB, TX.