Chocolate Shop Breakfast

chocolatesWhat’s not to love about breakfast in a chocolate shop? Joined by friend Dianne, Dietrich’s Chocolates & Espresso was today’s breakfast destination. Dianne introduced me to Dietrich’s because it reminds her of the chocolate shop in her neighborhood when she lived in Belgium. After breakfast here I always wonder why we don’t go more often. The unassuming shop almost gets lost in the row of businesses with gaudy signage on East Evans near the University of Denver. Dietrich’s shouldn’t be overlooked.

Erich Dietrich apprenticed for 3 1/2 years under a master chocolatier in his native Germany.  In 1978 he opened his business in Denver, keeping chocoholics swooning over his smooth, rich creations.

Among the cases and racks of handmade candies, six tables await fortunate foodies arriving for breakfast. The menu is simple but when everything is perfectly prepared simple is all we need. I always order the American Breakfast of  two eggs (any style), potatoes, fruit, croissant, preserves and butter. Cost is just $6.25. and, every breakfast comes with a Dietrich chocolate. The large croissants are fresh from Trompeau Bakery right across the street. Don’t want a full breakfast? How about a totally decadent croissant with melted dark chocolate and cappusino!

With so few tables one sometimes has to wait anxiously for a table. I suggest going on a snowy Sunday when slugs are tempted to stay home. It’s hard to leave without picking out a treat to take home or to the office.

When You Go: Dietrich’s Chocolates & Espresso, 1734 E. Evans Avenue, Denver, 303-777-3358. Open Tuesday – Friday 8am – 6pm, Saturdays 8am  – 4pm and Sundays 8am – 2pm, closed Mondays. Breakfast is served until 1pm on weekdays, 2pm on weekends. A lunch menu of brats and a few sandwiches is available all day.

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candy-canesSweet Treat

Hammonds Candies promises a sweet addition to your holiday shopping or stockings. A Denver tradition since 1920 Hammonds is best known for their handmade candy canes. There’s a flavor for every taste – holiday favorites like cinnamon, cherry, peppermint, cranberry and sugar plum. Fruit flavors range from apple to very berry and for the unusual try bubble gum, cotton candy or key lime. And, for a real treat select one of the filled candy canes – chocolate filled cherry, raspberry or peppermint and vanilla filled cinnamon. YUM!

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Hammond’s retail store brims with buckets of candy canes,  baskets of old-fashioned ribbon candy, bags of peppermint pillows and rows and rows of lollipops.   Swirls of the hand-twisted confections come in 1-ounce, 4-ounce and giant 1-pound sizes.

Note: Come Valentine’s Day some of the lollipops take on a heart  shaped twist.

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The friendly staff  leads tours of the candy kitchen. Visitors watch through large windows as sugary syrups cook in huge copper pots, poured onto large cooling tables, coloring and flavoring added before being kneaded, stretched and formed. The mixture must be  just the right temperature to cut into individual lengths. When each batch is ready candymakers deftly and quickly crook each candy cane or swirl lollipops.

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Not surprisingly tours end in the candy store.

Tours are available every half hour year round, Monday-Friday 9am-3 pm, Saturday 10am-3pm. The store and factory are closed on Sunday. Tours are FREE.

Families and individuals are welcome to tour without reservations. Groups should call ahead to schedule a time. Behind the scenes tours can be scheduled.peppermint-pillows1

 

 

 Hammond’s is located at 5735 N. Washington Street, Denver, Colorado. Candy store open Monday-Friday 9am-4:30pm and Saturday 10am4pm. Directions and online shopping available on their website.   

  

Candy Cane Festival ‘09

Each December Hammond’s hosts the Candy Cane Festival – Dec. 12, 2009, 9am-5pm. Take a tour, finish off your Christmas shopping, whisper your list to Santa, feed his reindeer or enjoy the variety of activities. Caroling, storytelling, gingerbread cookie decorating, carnival games, face painting and trolley rides keep everyone entertained.   nancy-shopping1

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The delight of a child- toddler to teen – Santa’s lap is sure to boost your holiday spirits.                      

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After your visit to Hammond’s I bet you won’t be able to wait till Christmas for your first sweet treat.

Yum!

Hammond’s is located at 5735 N. Washington Street, Denver, Colorado. Candy store open Monday-Friday 9am-4:30pm and Saturday 10am4pm. Directions and online shopping available on their website.