Being a chocolate tourist is no walk in the park. We put a lot of thought and effort into tracking down and capturing our chocolate makers, and even then sometimes the pursuit of fine chocolate in an unknown neighborhood is… elusive.

Especially when it’s New Year’s Eve.

The Chocolate Chase: Looking for chocolate in all the wrong places (and finally finding it) | #thechocolatetourist

In the spirit of April Fool’s Day, we’re going to give you a little peek behind the curtain and take you along with us on a not-so-successful run at chocolate tourism. Try not to die of suspense.

I was home in Virginia for Christmas, spent some time knocking around the District, and on this, two days before I was to return to LA, it seemed apropos to check out a few more DC chocolatiers. My parents even came along.

The Chocolate Chase: Looking for chocolate in all the wrong places (but the ending will surprise you) | #thechocolatetourist

Dad does the driving. Mom insists on sitting in back so I can have more leg room.

I thought this would be a really fun excursion, let Mom and Dad see me in action and get a taste of some truly inspiring chocolate.

The Chocolate Chase: Looking for chocolate in all the wrong places (but the ending will surprise you) | #thechocolatetourist

The Arlington Memorial Bridge on a beautiful DC day

The Chocolate Chase: Looking for chocolate in all the wrong places (and finally finding it) | #thechocolatetourist

Passing the Lincoln Memorial on our way to Georgetown

The first trick of chocolate touring is to know where you’re going. Between Google Maps and GPS technology, this is usually possible. Sometimes, however, a chocolatier has moved or gone out of business.

So when we arrived at 1039 33rd Street NW and couldn’t find anything to do with chocolate, it was a very disconcerting experience. Where J Chocolatier was meant to be, a restaurant now stood. Thankfully the proprietors were coming out as we approached, and explained the chocolate had been gone for nearly a year.

Well.

I now know that J Chocolatier is a pop-up shop, meaning it’s mobile and mysterious, like smoke. Well, not quite like smoke because smoke doesn’t have a website announcing its next location.

So we missed it. It’s too bad too, because look how cute this is:

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that New Year’s Eve is not a holiday – right? Most stores are open the day before New Year’s. They close New Year’s Day, but on all the other days of the same week it’s business as usual.

So when we arrived at Fleurir hand grown chocolates, I was excited to behold:

1. A storefront with a sign
2. An old District brick building painted white (I love old buildings)
3. A great parking spot

The Chocolate Chase: Looking for chocolate in all the wrong places (and finally finding it) | #thechocolatetourist

Look! It’s a beautiful old building!

Salivating with anticipation, it was all we could do to pause for a picture before rushing to the door. Only to find it locked.

Locked?

With no signs of life and no hours of operation posted, we meandered sadly away. At least the front door had a nice big window so we could see inside. I bet it smelled good!

The Chocolate Chase: Looking for chocolate in all the wrong places (and finally finding it) | #thechocolatetourist

So close, yet so far. On the outside looking in.

But this is not the end of the story!

Our stomachs told us it was lunch time, and just around the corner we found the Avocado Cafe – offering delicious sandwiches and wraps and fries (FYI on certain occasions, french fries are an acceptable substitute for handmade chocolate).

It was early for the lunch rush, and we chatted with the proprietor about our failed mission to patronize the chocolate arts. After enjoying a fantastic lunch, we were presented with this. On the house.

The Chocolate Chase: Looking for chocolate in all the wrong places (but the ending will surprise you) | #thechocolatetourist

Chocolate cake for three, courtesy of Avocado Cafe.

Sometimes chocolate can come from the unlikeliest places.

And that’s half the fun of it! Where will chocolate take you today?



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