French Broad Chocolate Lounge – the name alone can cause chattering endorphins.
After Teen Daughter, her friend and I finished up the Asheville Photo Walk this past Saturday, we grabbed some pizza at the Mellow Mushroom (Broadway and Walnut) and then walked over to the Chocolate Lounge.
Inside, this space reminds me of a college hang-out I used to go to in the . . . a long time ago. It was called Just Desserts and we’d hang out there for hours, sipping, nibbling, talking, reading and listening to whatever musicians had decided to show up that night.
Straight back and to the left is the epicenter of chocolate indecision.
While perusing the chalkboard, counter tops and cases, a little round sticker caught my eye. On five or six different plates of truffles, it read, “Appalachian Grown – Local Food“. Yes, I expect to see this on produce, but never had I considered seeing it on truffles! Kudos to the Lounge!!
We placed our orders and found a table. Lounge staff brings your order to you – no little order numbers on the table, no names called out – they remember and deliver.
Even the oh-so-comfortable seating is chocolaty:
Finally choosing the Orange Buddha Truffle, it came as a surprise later to find out it was Vegan! The coconut cream used in place of dairy was smooth and luscious. Chewing was taboo after each small bite – only a slow dissolve for maximum savouring of the orange/chocolate goodness.
And now, drum roll please, the Pure Dark Chocolate Liquid Truffle. This mixture of heavy whipping cream and 65% “chocolate drops” is served hot in local potter Melissa Weiss’ hand thrown mugs with demitasse spoons. The Lounge also serves a cold Liquid Truffle. Gotta’ give it to Teen Daughter for ordering this. Her friend and I thought about it, but were worried it would be way to rich. Our mistake!
It was such a mistake, a few nights later we grabbed PIC and the four of us went back for sipping chocolates all around.
French Broad Chocolate Lounge offers more than the run-of-the-mill truffle flavors, specializing in “world flavors” such as mole negro, masala chai and indian culfi.
For the cacao aficionados, must tries are the Lounge’s single origin truffle collection. Each type of truffle in this collection is made with cacao from a specific country (Madagascar, Ecuador, Hawaii, Costa Rica) and crop. Other ingredients in the truffles are kept to a minimum so you can taste the subtle differences between the different types of cacao.
And, so I don’t forget anything, this is how they describe themselves on their website:
“featuring our own handcrafted artisanal chocolates and pastries, our signature liquid truffle hot sipping chocolates, local draught beer, small-production wines, locally roasted French press coffee, organic loose-leaf teas, locally made ice cream, a collection of small production artisanal chocolate barsâ€¦ plus comfy chairs, mellow music, and wireless internet.”
Now for the exciting news: French Broad Chocolate Lounge is expanding!! They’re in the process of remodeling the second and third floors of their building and hope to be done by the end of August. Don’t hold it against them if they take a little longer, though. You know how remodeling goes.
The plan is to add a kitchen on the third floor (that way the owners can create their confections on-site rather than in their home kitchen) and a multi-use second floor that will include additional seating , a tasting bar and a room for private parties.
Everyone needs a little chocolate in their lives. French Broad Chocolate Lounge is one of the best places to get it.
French Broad Chocolate Lounge
10 South Lexington Ave (a block off Pack Square)
Asheville, NC 28801