The title "Chocolate Gourmet" almost conjures the image of those smooth, curvy pieces of artfully crafted desserts that are aesthetically pleasing to behold – but sometimes less than pleasing to indulge. Not so with this dessert-based company that specializes in cookies and truffles; here taste comes before beauty. In fact, some of these products are downright unattractive concoctions, but that's part of the fun – the company itself labels most of its products either "ugly truffles" or "damn good cookies," and both opinions are pretty damn accurate.
Every truffle and cookie comes with a cutesy, clever name: "Homely Hazelnut," "You Suck Lemon," "Messed-Up Mocha" for the truffles; "Chubby Wubby Chocolate," "Rockabye Raspberry," "Controlling Coconut" for the cookies. The "Oozy Boozy Caramel" truffle consists of a bulky, clumsy mass of creamy caramel, toasted pecans, and milk chocolate ganache, while the "Maternal Macadamia Nut" cookie generates a vanilla sugary rush and emits homemade, handcrafted goodness. Despite their supposed ugliness, each selection has its own personality, and that old cliche of having to try each one seems all too apt. Fortunately, there's plenty of assortment boxes that can get many of them out of the way in one quick purchase: from 6 to 32 pieces of truffles ($16-$69), 20 to 66 cookies ($26-$69), or a massive "show them you care" box that crams large handfuls of both ($60-$180).
The candies themselves are conceived and created in a warehouse on Walnut, but you can pick up goodies at their retail booth within the Andersonville Galleria on North Clark, primarily composed of small local retailers selling art, clothes, accessories, and other super stylish products. In context of the gallery, Chocolate Gourmet's truffles are that much more refreshing – ugly style and delicious substance.
Average cost: $21-$30