Our first stop on my birthday bakery crawl was Alma Chocolate, a quaint little chocolate shop in NE Portland. While Alma’s storefront has been open since 2006, I just recently heard about it as the place to get good quality, locally made chocolate confections.
While it is a small space, there is loads to look at and covet – a display case of delicious chocolate truffles and freshly baked cookies, tables with their housemade bark and toffee, and a bookcase of fancy chocolate buddhas, hamsas, and other “icons” made of dark chocolate and covered in 23 karat edible gold leaf.
Owner Sarah Hart, who named Alma after her grandmother, is a whiz with chocolate creating delicious concoctions from some unlikely pairings, like what’s found in the Thai Peanut Butter Cup made with real ginger, lime, Thai chiles and red volcanic sea salt. The strong Thai flavors work incredibly well against the peanut butter to create a unique and tasty truffle.
Not interested in chewing? Alma offers shots of Drinking Chocolate. Really, it is essentially melted chocolate in a glass, so it can be so decadent that it is overwhelming. But if you are interested in a real chocolate fix, this is the ticket. Their Mayan Milagro features cinnamon, chiles and ground almonds. As the almonds are ground into tiny bits, this drink has an unexpected texture but the flavors in the chocolate (while super rich and not for everyone) I thought were spicy and delicoius.
If you are more in the mood for a baked treat, their cookies were delicious! Portland Monthly hailed Alma as having one of the best chocolate chip cookies in Portland. And I would have to agree. Their chocolate chip cookie is fantastic and filled with superdark 70% chocolate, giving it more of a punch than the semi-sweet alternative.
What to Get:
- Thai Peanut Butter Cup Bon Bon: This is just too wild to pass up, it is definitely worth it.
- Salted Peanut Butter Cup Bon Bon: Super smooth and creamy peanut butter covered in dark chocolate that melts in your mouth. An unbelievably more delicious and more upscale version of a Reese’s.
- Chocolate Chip Cookie: Alma might be known for its gold painted religious icons, but this cookie really is heavenly.