The Chocolate Dessert Cafe

The place: The Chocolate, in a large, old house near the unfinished condo complex, at 212 S. State Street, Orem, UT 84058

Contact info: online at http://www.thechocolatedc.com, sort of on Facebook, by phone at (801) 224-7334

Reservations: No

Hours: 

  • Dessert: Mon – Thurs / 11 – 10
  • Dessert: Fri – Sat / 11 – 11

About: We love chocolate and the word “chocolate” is synonymous (in our minds) with dessert. So for those of you who don´t share our cocoa passion, we have other offerings. But if we had it our way, the heavens would rain chocolaty brown goodness. Source: The Chocolate website, http://www.thechocolatedc.com/faq.php

The ambiance: It’s a lot like walking into a large, old house that magically has two small dessert cases, four cake plates, and a heavenly scent of warm sugar. There are a couple smaller tables on the ground level, along with a couch and easy chairs on which you can relax. There is also a second level that I didn’t visit because I was quite content sitting at my table and devouring my dessert. It’s homey (of course) and comfortable and fosters a real sense of friendship and family. Am I getting too mushy on you? I can’t help it — dessert makes me content.

Photo courtesy of The Chocolate website photo gallery, http://www.thechocolatedc.com/

Photo courtesy of The Chocolate website photo gallery, http://www.thechocolatedc.comI /

The Munch: I wanted to try all the things, trust me. It’s very difficult for a girl like me walk into a strictly desserts restaurant and use self-restraint, but I’d just eaten a large meal of delicious Thai food and was quite sure I wouldn’t be able to hold much more. They were sampling out their Turtle Brownies, which were decadent, dense, moist, fudgy, with crunchy pecans and creamy, sweet caramel, and I considered purchasing the rest. But I felt determined to try as many items as I could, so I passed and then made the difficult decision between what looked like the world’s most perfect fruit tarts, large, frosted sugar cookies, cupcakes, or a slice of three (four?) layer cake. I finally chose the latter. And because I’m a nice wife, I purchased one cupcake for Husband, who ate it in probably thirty seconds and one inhalation. Really — I brought it home, stepped into the bedroom to hang up my jacket, heard the rustling of the bag, returned to the kitchen, and it was gone. I ordered:

  • The Brooklyn Blackout
  • German Chocolate cupcake
The presentation was beautiful as well.

The presentation was beautiful as well.

I wanted to love my piece of cake, a “luscious, sweet chocolate cake paired with a dark chocolate filling and rich dark chocolate frosting” (source: The Chocolate website, http://www.thechocolatedc.com/menu.phpin the sort of way that would drive me to purchase a whole cake for $48 to enjoy for the rest of the week. I didn’t, which isn’t to say it wasn’t completely and utterly delicious, and that made me just a little disappointed. To date, however, I’ve found only one chocolate cake that was the epitome of what I want chocolate cake to be, and it was at a bridal fair I attended (when I wasn’t planning on getting married), so it was a little moot. I prefer cakes to be on the lighter side to cut through the richness. If you like a dense, rich cake, then The Chocolate will absolutely deliver, and I’d say my lack of pure elation was due entirely to my personal preferences. The filling and frosting, however, were divine — not too dark and bittersweet, but not so sweet that I felt the need to run to the dentist afterward. I was encouraged by my hairstylist to order the Kitty Katrina, a vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream, but I don’t believe in vanilla desserts and opted against it. However, I had a bite of my friend’s, and I felt as though it was a really delicious dessert if you’re not morally opposed to a vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream. The flavor was like eating a vanilla bean rather than an ambiguous sweet, white taste, and it was quite rich, certainly something I’d recommend to others.

Husband didn’t have a lot to say about the cupcake beyond “Yeah, it was good,” but if he’d taken time to savor it, I’m sure I could have coaxed out a little more review. I chose it because that’s one of his favorite flavors and the frosting to cupcake ratio seemed perfect — although I am a huge fan of frosting, I’ve been to cupcakeries that had as much frosting as cake, and that was too much to handle. I’d certainly return and try their other cupcakes as well, which are more traditional cake flavors as opposed to their signature cakes, which are Fancy. With a capital “f.”

Photo courtesy of The Chocolate website, http://www.thechocolatedc.com/menu.php

Photo courtesy of The Chocolate website, http://www.thechocolatedc.com/menu.php

The bill: Sitting somewhere around $8.50 with tax and tip — I can’t locate either the receipt or the transaction online, so I’m giving my best guesstimate. While the prices may seem a little steep, they’re definitely worth it for the quality of product you receive. Also keep in mind that if you go to a restaurant, a three layer cake can set you back up to $9 or $10, so $4.89 per slice is quite a bargain.

Total score: 8/10 — the desserts were delicious and the atmosphere comfortable, plus the staff was so sweet and friendly (as you’d expect at a cafe that probably goes through a ton of sugar a month). I’m looking forward to returning so I might sample their other tasty offerings — after all, I’ve got my eye on that fruit tart.

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Station 22

The place: Station 22 Cafe, in that hip little strip of downtown Provo, at 22 West Center Street, Provo, UT 84606

Contact info: online at http://www.station22cafe.com, on Facebook, by phone at (801) 607-1803

Reservations: No

Hours: 

  • Lunch/Dinner:  Mon – Sat / 11 – 10

About: At Station 22, we dig way down deep into our American roots to bring you fresh, reinvented versions of family recipes, classic dishes and some new flavors you never imagined. … Station 22 grew organically to become what it is today. Rather than bringing in an outside concept, the historic downtown brought this concept to us. We have tried to tailor this restaurant to the needs and wants of the community by listening closely to comments and critique. We adjust constantly and strive to improve our business every day. We hope it shows! Source: Station 22 website, http://station22cafe.com/our-roots/

Station 22

The ambiance: You get the sense that a lot of Provo hipsters are spending their time at places like Station 22. I’ll admit, the funky decor (large, artificial deer heads are apparently a hot commodity in Utah county — see also: The Awful Waffle), mismatched chairs, and twine-wrapped napkins made me a little worried that my friend and I would suddenly find ourselves in what appeared to be a food-serving concert for Iron & Wine. But, “judge not lest ye be not judged,” and it’s a welcoming, comfortable restaurant with a friendly staff.

Station 22

The Munch: Since I am the type of person who reads a menu and peruses Facebook photos beforehand, I knew I was going to order the Sage-Fried Chicken and Waffles, and I was genuinely hoping my friend would order the Southern Shrimp & Grits (she did, after my light “encouragement,” aka I think she saw my face and knew if she didn’t order it, our friendship would be on the rocks). Therefore, we ordered:

  • Sage-Fried Chicken and Waffles
  • Southern Shrimp & Grits
  • Cookies & Milk

Chicken and Waffles, Shrimp and Grits

I’ve spent years watching food trends like chicken and waffles come about, but I feel quite particularly about where I might consume said food trends. Even though IHOP features them prominently on their menu, I’m probably not going to try them there. However, I felt like Station 22 was probably going to be my best bet in terms of restaurant choices for chicken and waffles, and I’m so glad I tried them there.

The waffle was a little sweet and buttery, the fried chicken was perfectly crisp and delicious, without being greasy, and it stayed that way for the remainder of the meal, even after I dumped all the maple syrup (real) over it. The chicken was topped with two thick-cut slices of candied bacon, and fried sage, making for a sweet, salty, savory, hearty dish. If you question whether chicken and waffles are a good pair, you should stop right now and head straight to Station 22. This entree alone was delicious enough to make Station 22 my favorite restaurant in Utah county, bumping Pizzeria 712 to second place.

The shrimp and grits, however, were nothing to sneeze at. The grits were supremely cheesy and flavorful, with a good texture (not mushy). The shrimp was plump and meaty, which is a difficult thing to find in a landlocked state, and the spicy bbq sauce was both full of heat and sweetness, creating a well-rounded flavor. Served with your choice of a side, my friend and I decided upon the sweet potato wedges, which were crispy, perfectly salted, and served with a great dipping sauce.

To round out our meal, we decided upon the cookies and milk for dessert; two large, homemade cinnamon-sugar cookies, served with cardamom milk. The presentation of all the dishes was impeccable (chicken and waffles in a personal-size cast-iron skillet, fries in a paper-lined basket), and the dessert really took the cake (one bad pun per post, please). The milk was served in a small milk jug and was warm, a perfect accompaniment to the cookies. While I don’t particularly care for the flavor of cardamom, I found the combination rather comforting, and it paired well with the cookies. I would certainly order this again.

Cookies and Milk

The bill: $13.64 with tax and tip, although our server offered dessert for free because it took awhile to get to our table, so it would have been more along the lines of about $16 (since my friend and I were going to split the cost of the dessert down the middle). For the quality and quantity of food, Station 22’s prices are extremely reasonable, and it’s an excellent place to meet friends or have a nice date night.

Total score: 10/10. Unquestionably the best restaurant I’ve been to in Utah county, more delicious than even Pizzeria 712 because it features a homey menu full of comfort foods. They use sustainable, organic ingredients where they can, and it shows.