This morning's theme was Milwaukee Chocolate. In addition to sampling some of Milwaukee's (and Ghana's) own Omanhene chocolate (very tasty, if you like the dark stuff, as I do), I stopped off at Milwaukee's own version of the Soup Nazi, at Northern Chocolate. The guy is rather... particular about how his customers behave. It's his store, fair enough. Fortunately, I was prepared for his unusual behavior after reading a Milwaukee Journal article about his place.
After dropping TheGirl at her class, I headed up the road to Northern Chocolate. It's on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, about five or six blocks south of North Avenue. I was careful not to step in the snow bank as I got out of my car, and carefully knocked the snow from my shoes when I reached the sidewalk. I reached the front door to find the proprietor unlocking the gate that controls access to his front door. It went something like this:
"Hi! Are you open?"
"Do you know what you want?"
"I thought I'd look to see what you have."
"All right. Are your shoes dry?"
I lifted each shoe to show it was free of snow and ice. Nodding grimly, he stepped inside, and I followed. As I shopped, the proprietor informed me that he was opening late because of the recent development of certain health issues which I won't go into here, as according to TheGirl, discussing them provides "to much information". I selected a box of assorted chocolates (cherry walnut clusters, mint meltaways, pecan-caramel logs, toasted coconut drops and solid chocolate cresent moons - excuse me while I get another pecan caramel log. Yum!) He began to ring up my total, but then stopped.
"Promise me that you brush and floss," he demanded.
Breathing a sigh of relief that TheGirl had recently pressured me into following dentist's orders for the first time in my life, I assented. The total was around $18. After I paid, we chatted for a few moments about the sad state of pop culture, and our respective careers. The proprietor then moved to the door and opened it for me. Taking this as my cue, I departed, a box of excellent chocolates in my hand.
My personal faves are the dried cherry walnut clusters. Simply delicious! The chocolate at Northern Chocolate is on the brittle end of the spectrum (as opposed to, say, the creamy end of the spectrum occupied by your typical swiss chocolatier), but undeniably good. If you're on the north side of milwaukee (or downtown, river west, or the east side, for that matter) some Saturday afternoon, be sure to dry your shoes and stop in at Northern Chocolate for some excellent treats.
PS: I was informed that the Easter chocolates would be coming out shortly. Molded chocolates are a major selling point of the store. In addition to the clusters and logs, the shelves are lined with an amazing variety of beautiful molded chocolates. I'm picking some up in the next few weeks if I get a chance. I'll post pics here if I pull it off.
Incidentally, prices are about typical for high-end hand made chocolates, and he only takes cash.