Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Chocolate & Spice

We went and picked up our kitchen flooring from Lowe’s last night, going with a cork snap and click floating floor. There are some big cracks in our concrete slab in the kitchen, which prevents us from putting down tile. I know – there are isolation mats I could use to prevent cracking, but we also wanted something reasonably soft to walk on.
On the way to Lowe’s we stopped at a restaurant that I’ve wanted to try, the Chocolate & Spice Bakery on Sahara. There have been quite a few good write-ups on the place, it’s not far from our house and I just love pastries, but for some reason we just haven’t stopped there. They also serve soup and sandwiches, so feeling light a lighter meal we thought that would be a good start. Unfortunately my great anticipation turned into a not very exciting reality. That’s the way things go sometimes.

Our first indication of things came when we drove up to the place. It’s in a corner strip mall, the kind that has buildings all around in a large square facing towards a common parking area in the center. This mall is rather large, with a lot of storefronts. Unfortunately it is similar to many small malls in Vegas; a large number of the places are vacant with ‘space for lease’ signs in many windows. There is a good mix of businesses; a lawyer’s office, insurance agent, health spa, gold and coin store, big sushi restaurant in the corner with good street visibility and the bakery right next to it. Pulling up last night about 5:30 there were no cars at all parked in the rather large lot, which made me wonder if the food places were open. It was Tuesday, which is a rather slow night anyway, but no cars at all? Where do the employees park, all the spaces are visible in the middle there?

But the lights were on, and we saw somebody walking inside, so we went in. It was a rather large place with high backed soft seats clustered in the windows and lots of tables and chairs to eat at. Unfortunately there were no customers, just one girl behind the counter and somebody back in the kitchen area. Feeling like food before pastry I ordered a bowl of the season specialty corn chowder and a Panini, B selected a chicken pot pie along with some nice iced teas. There had a selection of different sandwiches, salads and soups on the board behind the counter. It took a few minutes to make but even though we were the only ones in the place the girl put them next to the register and called for us to pick them up rather than bringing the food out to us – I guess it might be a requirement of the type of food service license they had, being self-serve instead of a full service restaurant.

My soup was a rather watered down thin yellow broth with no thickness or corn apparent. It had very little taste, not even as good as those boxed corn soup things I’ve tried from the supermarket. The Panini was also rather dull. B didn’t comment on her pot pie, it looked to have a nice flaky top but was made in a small aluminum tin like frozen ones, she did say it tasted a bit stale, like it had been sitting for quite a while.

But we didn’t come for the dinner we came for the desserts, so after eating our main items we wandered back to the display case to select sweets.

There was a small selection of chocolate covered candy, but we wanted some of the pastries. B went for a small cheesecake covered with blueberries, and I picked a chocolate covered banana mouse thingie. Everything in the case looked lovely, but there was not as large a selection as I hoped, only about a dozen different items. We sat back down and proceeded to consume our desserts, and were rather disappointed again. Both items looked rather pretty but tasted rather dull. I was hoping for something dramatic but ended up with more of a flavored paste than a complex dessert.

While we were eating a group of girls came in, there ended up being five of them sitting over in the high back chairs by the window behind us. I didn’t hear what they ordered, but several had coffee which was served in paper cups. All of our food items came on china plates and bowls, but the iced tea was in plastic cups. The group looked very comfortable sitting over there, but I thought that things might have been a little better if the drinks were served in real cups instead of paper.

All in all, it was a disappointment. I’ve been reading grand reviews about this place for months and looking forward to a tasteful experience but everything was just plain and dull. Oh well, I hope others like it and they do well, I so wanted another regular place to go, but there are other places in town to try.


Anonymous said...

Bonjour et merci cher Joe de nous parler de ce restaurant "Chocolate & Spice Bakery" !
C'est bien, tu nous donnes ton avis sur les plats et les desserts que vous avez commandé. L'endroit semble agréable mais comme tu dis ce qu'ils proposent manque un peu de gout. MERCI pour les photos.
Je suis allée voir sur le site internet du restaurant. Merci de nous donner le lien.
BISES et bonne journée Joe !

will said...

Two warning shots and you still sailed ahead! An empty parking lot and empty restaurant are clues that something involving ambulances, cops, food inspectors or a NSA wetworks team might have been there earlier. Just sayin'.

angryparsnip said...

Sometime we eat an early dinner and are the first ones in or pretty close to it. But... goodness no one in the parking lot and plastic cups ?
Very disappointing after you have been waiting to visit.

Love your earth visit counter !

cheers, parsnip

SOL's view said...

Plastic and paper cups? Disappointing and rather low brow!

Wonder how it managed to garner so many great reviews then??


PerthDailyPhoto said...

So disappointing when expectations aren't met..and yeh, paper cups are pretty icky for a sit in cafe. I'm guessing you won't be back there Duncan :)
Oh my I'd forgotten how tiresome it is doing renovations and getting tradesmen to turn up on time is almost impossible! Love the sound of your new floors, is that the last thing to do ?

JoeinVegas said...

Yes - floors going in, then just the footing around the walls to blend it all together.

Anonymous said...

MERCI Joe pour ta visite ce mercredi sur mon petit blog !
GROS BISOUS et bonne continuation !!!

Blond Duck said...

That's terrible. I hate it when bakeries don't live up to the pizzazz.