Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Do Gay Men Eat Chocolate? -- CLOSED

UPDATE (10/03/09): This store has closed. I guess that answers that.

On Sunday I was strolling the Castro district in San Francisco. It had been awhile since I've been in the neighborhood, so I checked out some of the new things such as this chocolate candy store named, appropriately, Chocolate on Castro.

Squeezed between The Body Shop and Harvey's Hamburgers, this is like a haven for chocolate lovers. It sells a variety of chocolates, some homemade, some brand names like Charles Chocolate and Scharffen Berger. What caught me was the store's shabby chic decor. Here's a mini tour of this four-month-old store:

Here's part of the window display that caught my eye. It had all these quaint French country home furnishing with all these funny things about chocolate such as this sign that says: "Forget love ... I'd rather fall in chocolate." (Huh, I'm not a big chocolate lover, so I'd rather go for love. But that's just me.)

It's funny that during the time I was there in this new Castro store, I was the only guy there. All the workers were female and all the browsers were women as well. So do gay men really eat chocolate? Probably, but I always had the theory that women go ga-ga over chocolate more do men, even gay men. Am I right ladies? So we'll see how long this store lasts. Granted, the Castro is changing and it's no longer just a gay neighborhood as more and more straight couples move in. But it's still predominantly men. Above you see the counter that has all the variety of chocolates like truffles, coated candies and fudge.

They sold a lot a chocolate novelty items such as chocolate pasta, chocolate sauces and chocolate-themed T-shirts such as the one shown above.

Here's their home-made fudge. They had all sorts of flavors. I decided to try the mojito fudge, which sold for $2.50. I have to say, I've never eaten a lot of fudge in my life so didn't know what to expect. I thought it might be more like brownies, but it was actually softer and thick, sort of like a chocolate mousse. It definitely had a minty flavor. I liked it although it was a bit too sweet for me. But something tells me that most chocolate lovers probably love the sweet.

Throughout the shop were these huge chandeliers. I kind of liked them in that shabby chic kind of way.

My take on this store is that it's a novelty chocolate candy store, but not all the chocolate have the appearance of premium chocolates like Rechiutti at the Ferry Building, for example. (Of course, you're also not paying the crazy Rechiutti prices either.) The chocolates (with the exception of known brands like Charles Chocolates) had this real homemade look. Also, the service was pleasant but a bit curt. They didn't seem to want to strike up a conversation as much as getting your order and moving on. Not something that will bode well in a neighborhood location.

Anywho, not sure how successful this will be in this neighborhood. The whole look and feel of the store seemed to scream La Jolla mall than the Castro. Why do I have a feeling that most people in this neighborhood would rather pour chocolate on a lover instead of eating it? ;-)

Chocolate on Castro, 504 Castro St. at 18th Street, San Francisco.

BTW, found this great blog about the comings and goings of businesses in the Castro. It's a shame that there is such a high turnover in this neighborhood. It's odd because gay men have a lot of descretionary income but they apparently spend it everywhere BUT the Castro. Go figure. Anywho, this blog is a fun read.


barbie2be said...

mmmm, yummy! next time i am in the city i will definitely have to stop in.

BTW, notsoccer mom made your pork and peaches for me the other day. it was awesome!

Single Guy Ben said...

Anonymous dude, the title of the blog was just playing some fun because the store is in a gay neighborhood, the Castro. I wasn't asking to create a debate, it was for fun, geesh.

And I do like chocolate. I just don't loooove chocolate. And it's my blog, so I can blog about whatever I want.

Anonymous said...

Chef Ben, I can tell you meant this post to be light-hearted and funny, but it actually has some moments of being sort of offensive to me, one of your gay (well, lesbian, really) readers. It feels like you've made your jokes on the back of too many gay stereotypes.

Why, for example, would you think that just because someone is gay that they'd be any kinkier than a straight person? That would seem to be what you are suggesting when you say that you have a feeling that "most people in this neighborhood would rather pour chocolate on a lover instead of eating it."

Anyway, I usually enjoy your posts, and believe I understand the spirit with which you posted this, but I think you missed the mark.


Chubbypanda said...

My friend, all *real* men love chocolate. Yeah, baby!

Single Guy Ben said...

Jill, dude.

I'm sorry if you felt offended by this post, but when I look over it, there are only two gay references. One is in the title and repeated again in the text, and the other was the ending, which you mentioned. The rest is my same old description of location and the products.

You may feel it missed the mark and you may have felt offended. But as a gay man, I have to say there are other things on the Internet that are far more offensive to the gay community than what I may have written in this light-hearted way.

Anonymous said...

Hahahaha, of COURSE there are other things that are more offensive! I certainly didn't make my comment intending to imply otherwise. In fact, I made an effort to say that the post made me uncomfortable without getting carried away and making any sort of sweeping statements.

You seem like a very thoughtful person. I actually thought you might like to know that your post made one of your regular readers uncomfortable. I'm disappointed that you are dismissive of my comment. A lot of hurt in the world comes from the gap between what was intended and what actually occurs. I was suggesting that what you intended was not received that way.

Is this the end of the world? No. Will I stop reading Chef Ben. No!


Single Guy Ben said...

Jill, Tammy, I appreciate your comments. And my replies were never intended to be dismissive but to point out that I wasn't trying to be offensive and that I didn't think it was a big deal. But like everything in life, this is a learning process.

Not every posting on this blog will be a perfect souffle. Some things may be half baked. That's the reality of the blogosphere.

Given, that, however, I did remove the first item I posted in the "comments" section of this post because a term I thought was funny (that was made, BTW, by someone else on Yelp) may seem offensive to others. So I deleted it.

Of course, Tammy referenced it in her post. So I had to delete her comment because it defeats the purpose of me deleting the initial posting that was offensive if it just gets repeated anyway. Oh, my, where was I? I need a Tylenol. Oh yes, I deleted Tammy's reference to the offensive comment, but I'm a big believer of open discussion, so I don't want to appear like a censor. So here's Tammy's original posted comment with the said reference excluded: (Maybe we all should go get some chocolates now! ;-)

Posted by Anonymous:

Anonymous said...

Props to Jill. As a straight woman, I too found today's posting to be a bit offensive and off the topic of what you normally post. While your intention wasn't to offend, comments above like "XXXx xxxXXX" is just gross and seems out of place for a dialogue about food. But the great part about blogging is this type of back-and-forth dialogue. -- Tammy

P.S. As a chocolate lover, I plan to drop in and visit Chocolate on Castro the next time I'm in the area. :-)

Anonymous said...

A chocolate shop that is designed like a place I want to live. Must. Go. Visit.