by Caitlin Saniga | photos by Joel Hawksley
I visited: French Broad Chocolate Lounge, a cafe in downtown Asheville featuring just about every type of chocolate dessert or drink you can think of — cakes, cookies, tarts, chilled desserts, drinks, truffles, brownies and more — plus a few non-chocolate sweets, like the creme brulee I tried. Prices for desserts range from $2 to $7.50.
I tried: one of the few non-chocolate desserts on the menu, lavender creme brulee.
Why it stood out: You’re probably asking yourself, “What was she thinking ordering something chocolate-free at a chocolate cafe?” The truth is, I ordered this creme brulee and a slice of the Theros olive oil chocolate cake with local strawberry sauce (still quite good), and the creme brulee blew the cake out of the water. The sweet custard base was sublimely smooth with just a breath of lavender flavor, and the crunchy, caramelized top layer was the perfect contrast, cracking gracefully with a nudge of the spoon. If I’m ever back in Asheville, this dessert will definitely be on my “Must Eat” list.
It cost: $5
Find out more:
French Broad Chocolate Lounge
10 S. Lexington Ave.
Asheville, VA 28801
(You can order chocolate truffles and other goodies online!)