Roughly 2 years ago, Charles Chocolates took a little break from chocolatiering abruptly and now after the hiatus, Mr. Siegel has made a return to the world of chocolate with a new factory location in Portrero Hill. (You can read his full story at their website)
You can stop by the place and view the factory at work making all of Charles' specialty chocolate bars like the salty sweet cashew bar, the milk chocolate caramelized crisped rice bar, the crystallized ginger bar or the mocha java bar. Or they famous triple chocolate almonds or hazelnuts. So many to choose from that chocolate lovers may have trouble and you'll probably end up getting more than you need but no less than you know you will want.
In addition to all the chocolate they have hot chocolate choices and a pastries case with cookies, cakes, s'mores and more to choose from if you want something right then. I decided I wanted something now and choose the bittersweet chocolate and caramel tort.
For a mere $5 this thing was quite huge and I will say well worth it. The main thing I liked about this was it was not teeth achingly sweet. It was a nice combination of salty and sweet. The chocolate was bittersweet dark chocolate ganache with an almost most fudge like texture over the top of a creamy (not hard and chewy) caramel that had the touch of butter and saltiness of fresh made caramel. Add in the flaky and more buttery crust and this was a tasty sinful dessert that I was only going to eat part of but ended up gorging through the whole thing. Chocolate heaven after which I wanted to take a little nap.
Now the place is located in an area that is not the easiest to get to without a car, it was a couple buses and a few blocks walk for me. And once I got there I thought for sure there would be a little space to sit down and enjoy the snacks they were selling out of the case, but alas there was not. It was just a retail front to the factory. Because of this I was a little bummed. Here I made the effort to get all the way over here and had to go to a nearby Starbucks to sit and enjoy my dessert. It would have been much nicer and quieter to enjoy it in the place I got it. I mean if you are going to serve drinks and snacks that require a plate and fork to eat you should really have some sort of seating area for those of us who make the trek there. Maybe that's a future plan for them, but at this point it's not available so remember that when you go there. I'm not saying don't go, by all means you should make an effort to try them, just remember you'll have to get it to go. Which in the grand scheme of things isn't so bad, there are worse things in life than walking around eating chocolate. At least you'll be getting some exercise too.