Category Archives: Fremont

Chocolate Happy Hour

Chocolopolis truffles in display case

For those of us who love chocolate, let’s face it, any time one is savoring chocolate is considered “happy hour”. But to have a formal chocolate tasting, one of our local, fine chocolate businesses, Chocolopolis, actually has a Happy Hour. Once a week on Thursday evenings at their store (1527 Queen Anne Ave. N.), they feature a certain theme: chocolate from a certain country, how chocolate flavors vary between different regions in the world, or tastings of different “inclusion” chocolate bars that have a surprise center, to name a few. Besides selling chocolate from around the world, their fine chocolatiers also make award-winning truffles under their own brand in their on-site kitchen.

The chocolate Happy Hour tasting table, Chocolopolis.  Photo: Alethea Myers

Washington State, not just Seattle, is home to quite a few artisan chocolatiers. This isn’t surprising in the Pacific Northwest, since other artisan foods such as single-origin coffee and microbrews are highly prized for their unique taste. Around Seattle, Fran Bigelow of Fran’s Chocolate’s experimented with sprinkling sea salt on her chocolate caramels years ago, which became extremely popular and may have started the sweet & salty combo movement we see now. Frango mint chocolates at Macy’s locations are produced locally and began back in 1927. Chocolat Vitale in northern Ballard serves their own rich, European hot chocolate made from real chocolate instead of powder (and sell other chocolates, too). Theo Chocolate, a relative newcomer, is housed in a former brewery in Fremont (a hops scent is still sometimes prevalent in the lobby air), and created the first U.S. certified-organic chocolate bar. And Dilettante Chocolates started on Capitol Hill over 40 years ago, and actually make cocktails featuring their confections (Mint Kiss Martini, anyone?).

Chocolate arranged by World Region

So back to Happy Hour at Chocolopolis: One can learn much from store owner Lauren’s mother, Marcie Adler, who has worked there for 8 years since the store opened. She was guiding the tasting theme this evening: Ecuadorian chocolate in different percentages (55%, 70%), under different brands. She explained that the key to tasting fine chocolate is to let it melt on your palate, no chewing allowed, and move it around in one’s mouth since taste buds vary.

Marcie also mentioned that cacao, which chocolate is made from, only grows 20 degrees north or south of the equator, so is a specialized crop. Hawaii is the only U.S. state that can grow it. At Chocolopolis, they divide their chocolate bars into world regions (such as Asia, South America, Madagascar, others), via a handy wall chart and labeling, which makes it easier to shop for small-batch, single-origin bars. And besides making their own, some of the other beautiful truffles they stock are from Orcas Island, Los Angeles, France, Kansas City, and San Francisco.

Chocolate labelled by region, Chocolopolis

If you really want to splurge on every artisan chocolate under the sun and even take educational classes, go to the Northwest Chocolate Festival each autumn to get your fix. Or occasionally stop by for happy hour on a Thursday night in Queen Anne.

Get Your Girl Power On At The 2017 Northwest Women’s Show!

Century Link Field is about to get a heavy dose of Girl Power on March 18th and 19th!

The Northwest Women’s Show is coming back and celebrating its 29th year of showcasing the latest and greatest in fashion, health, food and fun!  Enjoy seminars, entertainment, fashion shows, and hundreds of exhibits ranging from food to jewelry to healthcare and beyond.  And don’t forget to grab some tasty snacks and a sip from the Wine & Spirits Lounge, provided by Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

If that doesn’t sound like enough fun, they’ve lined up two full days of fabulous main stage entertainment, plus another stage just for what are sure to be fascinating seminars.

Enjoy live performances including fabulously fun celebrity impersonations from The Wild and Colorful Le Faux Troop, Sexy Northwest Firemen & The Boogie Boot Babes Onstage with KMPS, see what will be hot in 2017 with a Fashion Forecast from Macy’s and more.

The complete list of scheduled seminars is still being updated, so be sure to check the website for more info and to see who you want to hear speak.

Expo Floor Map. Please click here for more details

When you’re not enjoying a great show or seminar, stroll around the exhibition floor and explore booths from lovely companies such as Stella & Dot, Damsel In Defense, Jamberry Nails, LuLaRoe, The Healthy Bra Company, Younique Cosmetics, Pampered Chef, Pure Romance and many, many more.

Be sure to stop by “Celebration Central” for exhibitions from Urban Float, Ideal Image, SubZero Ice Cream, Choukette eclair’art, Mermaid Hair Extensions and more!

This year’s event will run on Saturday March 18th from 9 AM to 5 PM and on Sunday March 19th from 10 AM to 5 PM. Sponsors for this fun and fabulous event include Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Virginia Mason Medical, Western Washington Toyota Dealers and BECU Credit Union.

The Northwest Women’s Show is an annual tradition, bringing women from all walks of life together to celebrate the beauty of the feminine, to learn about what’s new and next in fashion, food and health and to just have a good time! With two stages of entertainment and seminars, too many amazing vendors in the exhibition hall to list here, fashion shows and yummy bites and sips abound, The 2017 Northwest Women’s Show is sure to be a splendid good time and a great excuse to celebrate sisterhood!

Tickets are only $17 and are available here.

Buy your tickets before February 28th and save $3!

2012 Farmer’s Markets Summer Season Updates

If you weren’t out enjoying this lovely turn of the weather this weekend you were one of few; as the sun starts to come out, so do the summer crops and the local farmers markets will open in a few weeks with a ton of fresh new produce. The 2012 farmer’s market season took off running this year, with some markets already up and others soon to follow in the next few weeks. The surrounding Seattle areas will have a few new faces like the Shoreline Farmer’s Market that will open June 16th and will close down others like the

Photo Courtesy of Zachary D. Lyons, copyright from the 2011 Wallingford Farmer's Market

Georgetown market, who didn’t see enough foot traffic the last few years, but hopes to return in the fall with more people coming in and out of the neighborhood. Keep in mind the U District and West Seattle Markets run year round; here is a list of openings to look out for when you’re in the neighborhood:

Burien: 11am-6pm Thursdays

Columbia City: 3-7pm Wednesdays ( and will open early to chefs only to check out the loot before the crowds, from 2-3pm)

Lake City: 3-7pm Thursdays, beginning June 14.

Phinney: 3-7pm Fridays, starting June 3rd.

Madrona: 3-7pm Fridays beginning May 18th.

Magnolia: 10am-2pm, Saturdays starting June 9th.

Queen Anne: 3-7:30pm Thursdays, beginning June 7th.

Wallingford: 3:30-7pm Wednesdays beginning May 30th, (opening early for chefs only from 3-3:30)