Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 Recap

We attended the Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014, also known as "For the Love of Chocolate". This was the first time we had ever heard of this event so we were definitely excited to check it out! The event was on Saturday February 8th 2014 from 1 to 5pm in downtown Escondido, which had the easiest parking of any event we've gone to (multiple free lots and street parking). Tickets were $20 for designated driver (no alcohol) and $35 including alcohol if you purchased before the event and an extra $10 on the day of. There were 25 participating locations, a mix of restaurants and businesses hosting the chocolate-inspired treats, wine and beer. Just about every location was on Grand Avenue so we pretty much followed the map in order. After grabbing our event tickets and alcohol wristbands, we were ready to go.

Food

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Coco Savvy Chocolate collection

Coco Savvy Chocolates - (clockwise starting at top left) White Chocolate with Lemon Basil, Milk Chocolate with Viola and Orange Zest, Dark Chocolate with Sweet Basil, White Chocolate with Pistachio and Rose Petal, Dark Chocolate with Viola and Merlot Infused Sea Salt, Milk Chocolate with Opal Basil. Each flavor was sampled at a different location. These were all fabulous but the sweet crystallized petals and burst of basil leaves made them stand out over other chocolates.

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - La Tapatia - Drummlets in Mole Sauce

La Tapatia - Drummlets in Mole Sauce. The mole sauce on these were made using mexican chocolate (Abuelito by Nestle) among other ingredients.

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Bellamy's - Chocolate Bisou

Bellamy's Restaurant - Chocolate Bisou - this dessert is layered with hazelnut in the bottom and a crunchy praline middle with chocolate mousse.

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - The Grand Tea Room desserts

The Grand Tea Room - red velvet cupcakes, scones, and a dessert bar. I don't know what the item on the right was but it was delicious!

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - V Chocolates - Dark and Milk Chocolate Caramels

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - V Chocolates - Toffee

V Chocolates - (first pic) Dark and Milk Chocolate Caramels, (second pic) Toffee. The Caramels were very very sweet, as caramels tend to be. I couldn't eat more than a small bite of the gooey caramel insides. The Toffee was similar to an almond rocca so that worked for me!

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Intertwined Bistro Wine Bar - Chocolate Cups

Intertwined Bistro Wine Bar - Chocolate Cups, Mousse and Applewood Smoked Bacon. These perfect bite-sized creations were one of the best desserts at the festival. I believe it's not on the menu and was created especially for this festival, but I'd be happy to be wrong about it!

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Kettle Coffee and Tea Co - Chocolate Croissant

Kettle Coffee and Tea Co - Chocolate Croissant. We enjoyed the flaky sweet crust and nibbles of chocolate between the layers.

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Petersons Donut Corner - Chocolate Doughnut Holes

Peterson's Donut Corner - Chocolate Doughnut Holes. It's a doughnut with chocolate flavoring! Enough said!

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Plan 9 Alehouse - Whoopie Pie

Plan 9 Alehouse - Whoopie Pie. These sure do look like macaroons but they are not. Still, pop them in your mouth and it's decent.

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Winz Wine Bar - Bacon Chocolate Truffles

Winz Wine Bar - Bacon Chocolate Truffles. These were really infused with a bacon taste, even in the chocolate portions! It was a bit strong overall.

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Esco Gelato - Chocolate Brownie Gelato

Esco Gelato - Chocolate Brownie Gelato. Deliciously creamy and enjoyable amount of chocolate rations.

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Esco Gelato shirt

They also have an adorable hamster(?) mascot that was posted on their outdoor sign and these custom made tshirts.

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Cuscatlan Salvadorian Cuisine - Pupusas

Cuscatlan Salvadorian Cuisine - Pupusas. These are a traditional Salvadoran dish made of a thick, handmade corn tortilla and both flavors (bean and cheese, ground pork) were absolutely delicious! We have never had Salvadorian food before but we'll be back to try other things at this restaurant.

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Major Market - Mini Chocolate Eclairs

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Major Market - Flourless Chocolate Petites

Major Market - (first pic) Mini Chocolate Eclairs, (second pic) Flourless Chocolate Petites. The perfect mini size for snacking on eclairs with a chocolate glazing. I don't remember how the second one tasted though.

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Lucios American Grill - Chocolate Delights

Lucios American Grill - Chocolate Delights. Not sure what the dessert name is but we'll update when we find out. These were also tasty.

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - O Sullivans Irish Pub - Shephards Pie

O'Sullivans Irish Pub - Shephards Pie. Everyone in our party liked the hearty flavor and finger-licking goodness. It was also the first "food" we hit that wasn't chocolate!

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - A Delight of France - Almond Croissant

A Delight of France - Almond Croissant.  Another perfect and flaky layered mouthful of happiness with an almond twist.

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - California Avocado Grill - Chocolate Covered Strawberries

California Avocado Grill - Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Swamis Cafe - Crispy Brussel Sprouts

Swamis Cafe - Crispy Brussel Sprouts. This is a popular appetizer at Swami's (when you're not doing breakfast) and was glazed with a sweeter sauce over healthy brussel sprouts and tender pork belly.

Alcohol

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Alcohol wristband with tear-off tabs

The wristbands were interesting for this event. They came with 10 detachable squares, which you would redeem for each drink you try. At the time of this picture, I had 5 left.

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Robert Hall winesEscondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Lost Abbey beer

Most places had the standard wine bottles and beer bottles. I happened to like the sweet Muscat from Robert Hall. For the beers, I took more pictures than samples.

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Offbeat Brewery cooler

Offbeat Brewery beer came in a big red cooler with taps!

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Plan 9 Alehouse master brewer Aaron Calles

Plan 9 Alehouse - master brewer Aaron Calles

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Diabolo sparkling drink

One of the galleries included Diabolo, which was a refreshing sparkling type of beverage. I don't like carbonated drinks much but this one was absolutely worth it!

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - DOWs WineEscondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Cordiano WineryEscondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Shadow Mountain VineyardsEscondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Maui Brewing Company beer

Above are a couple more wines and beer that I took photos of. They include DOW, Cordiano Wineries, Shadow Mountain Vineyards, Maui Brewing Company

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Horse and Carriage Ride

For a donation, you could take a horse and carriage ride to cruise down the main street. Don't forget to tip your driver!

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - Coco Savvy Chocolate booth

The Sweet Street booths were also available for browsing at this event. Here is the Coco Savvy one with friendly representatives and more deliciuos samples!

Escondido Chocolate Festival 2014 - entertainment by Caliber

Entertainment at Sweet Street was provided by Caliber. Three of their members posed for a picture here. Check them out here

As you can see, there are definitely plenty of food and drink available, although it obviously is geared toward the chocolate dessert side! I hope they include more chocolate vendors for next year. I counted only three main ones other than the restaurants! Also, there will be a CHEESE festival in the fall by the same event planners! We hope to attend that event too!

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Comments

Faye's picture
Submitted by Faye (not verified) on Wed, 02/19/2014 - 9:21am

Oh what a feast!! Did you think you got your $35 worth of nibbles and drinks? It seems like it's worth the price. Could you sample as much as you wanted? The flaky chocolate croissant looked amazing.

The last two beers in a can look like soda.

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Wed, 02/19/2014 - 5:04pm

You usually get one sample per place. We hit all 25 places but we didn't use up all our drink tabs (skipped some beer tastings). We were still completely full at the end of the event. Personally, I could do just the food portion for $20 and be relatively happy (other than needing more exercise later)! One of our party brought a ziplock bag so we began to save chocolates samples as we were getting full!

Mary's picture
Submitted by Mary (not verified) on Tue, 02/25/2014 - 8:33am

Oh that looked like a lot of fun! It seems like it wasn't totally all chocolate which is good since you still need something savory to go with all of the sweets. There are a couple of El Salvadorian restaurants in City Heights and near Downtown that have some really excellent food - pupusas are delicious.

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Tue, 02/25/2014 - 1:15pm

Yay! Now I'll have to check out the other Salvadorian places you mentioned since they are closer. I hope you posted about one of them. I'll check your blog later! =)

Natasha Anderson:Media Coordinator For the Love of Chocolate's picture
Submitted by Natasha Anderso... (not verified) on Fri, 02/28/2014 - 11:28am

Thank you Oh So Yummy Bloggers for coming to The Escondido Chocolate Festival. We are glad that you enjoyed the tastings and the pictures look amazing. We have a few events planned for the year to include The Wedge Beer Wine & Cheese Festival and Oktoberfest. We'll keep you guys posted. Thanks again! :-)

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Fri, 03/28/2014 - 2:57pm

I can't wait for the fall events! I have a friend who LOVES cheese (more than chocolate) so I'm bringing her!

Miss Kim @ behgopa's picture
Submitted by Miss Kim @ behgopa (not verified) on Tue, 03/04/2014 - 7:56pm

Whoops...I didn't know this was a blog run by more than one person. I just noticed that and posted a comment on another post (not by you...on the Southern food one).

Wow what a fun chocolate event! I love chocolate too (obviously).

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