I am by no means a self-proclaimed chocolate connoisseur. Dark chocolate lover, though, yes indeed. Package whore? Definitely. These two loves bring me to my current post about Alice Chocolate, which was presented to me as "the world's most expensive chocolate" ($30 for a Kit Kat-sized package, yikes). With 68% cocoa and great packaging, I was sold. It resembled a CD, with a slide-out case, which framed an even smaller package. Opening the flap of the smaller box revealed lovely foil wrapped chocolates and a hint of pink in an otherwise sea of black and white. The packaging is brilliant in the way it builds anticipation with each layer, adding to the whole chocolate eating experience. A products' exterior design is a true reflection of the interior product, IMO (Taco trucks are exempt from this statement).
On to the taste, the most important element. I peeled the foil away to reveal the most perfect piece of chocolate, with the Alice name and silhouette imprinted on it. I took a careful bite, since each bite was worth its weight in gold. I let it melt a bit on my tongue. Unlike anything I'd ever tasted. No acidity, no fruitiness, no bitterness, no undertones of spice or coffee. It melted more like a milk and had a very true chocolate taste. A definite must try for any dark chocolate lover.
We were lucky enough to inherit a much-coveted reservation at Hungry Cat's Third Annual Crab Fest (thank you very much Susan) yesterday. All you can eat Maryland crab and spectacular cocktails. You can't beat that on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. I had been looking forward to this day for weeks and it did not disappoint.
The seating was set up in a communal fashion. Long tables with newspapers sprawling over them and loud music playing - this was definitely an event. We chose an outdoor table to enjoy the sunny day. I'll admit I was a bit nervous, since I was not well versed in the art of crab boils. I'm from the Central Vally and B is from the Midwest, enough said. We both had no idea what to expect. We started out with a few drinks. I had a Thirsty Cat Bloody Mary (made with fresh tomatoes, of course) and B had a "Natty Boh"... Short for Natural Bohemian Beer, a lager brew originally from Baltimore, MD. After enjoying our drinks and the sight of bibb outfitted eaters, our first course arrived.
It was a little warm for soup, in my opinion, by tasty nonetheless. A little something to whet our palates for the main course. This was served alongside some grilled corn on the cob and cornbread. This actually would have served as a substantial meal on any other day, but not today. I was looking forward to how full I was going to be. :)
Before we even had time to start digesting, out came our second course. It was a 4 oz crab cake, which according to our server, was made from a 100 year old recipe. It was served with grilled bread, creamy coleslaw, a remoulade sauce and a side of macaroni salad. This crab cake was a serious no-frills cake, with zero fillers. No celery or bell peppers in sight. With the Natty Bohs flowing we were starting to have a good Crab Fest time. Now it was time for the main event of the afternoon.
With a quick lesson from our neighboring Baltimore-native crab eaters, and a wooden mallet, I was ready to go. Going along with true Maryland tradition, our server piled a bunch of steamed crabs in the center of our newspaper-lined table. It was so much fun getting all messy. By the end of it all, I had crab in my hair, crab juices running down my arms and shells everywhere. Here's a picture of some of our crab carcasses. They did clear our mess away once. So imagine this picture times two!
I lost count of how many I ate, but it was definitely one too many. I was stuffed. It's a good thing that desserts go into a second stomach, right? Just enough room for a refreshing plum cobbler. Nice and tart.