Sunday, October 16, 2016

Toothsome is the coolest place I've ever eaten

Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen is part of City Walk Orlando just outside the gates of the Universal Orlando theme parks. It's also the coolest place I've ever eaten. 

Just look at that picture at the top. Isn't that sweet looking? What you can't see from this picture are the gears and wind turbines spinning and the steam coming out of the top. Toothsome (sorry I'm not typing that full name more than once) is a steampunk themed restaurant, gift shop, chocolatiere and malt shop.

The inside of the place is just as amazing as the outside. It's full of very cool steampunk decor, awesome knickknacks, themed candies, chocolates and staff all dressed in steampunk cosplay. Most of the bottom floor is the gift store and malt shop. The various shakes are so good that the wait time to get one can easily be over an hour. The gift store is filled with a huge assortment of candies and chocolates all with the steampunk theme. In addition they have a cool selection of steampunk themed household decorations. 

The back half of the first floor and the entire second floor is a huge restaurant that has to seat at least 200 people if not closer to 500. Everything sticks to the steampunk theme. There are even giant 3D video walls that make the place look even bigger on the inside by showing the rest of the Emporium at work. With automatons whizzing about and crates of chocolate being made to be shipped out and consumed. There are copper pipes everywhere. Everything is metallic and shiny. The theme is everywhere and the detail is wondrous.

The most amazing part of all of this is that the food was just as good as the decor and theme. Nearly every dish is made with chocolate. They even have a fantastic chocolate stout (named Too Chocolate Stout) that is brewed exclusively for Toothsome. This was the 2nd best chocolate beer I've ever had, beat only by BNL from Flying Monkeys (which you can never get again, sadly). Our meal at Toothsome was the best meal of our entire trip to Orlando, by far.

The menus themselves are beautiful leather bound books that contain a good variety of items. Most of the menu was signature sandwiches and burgers but there were also larger entrees. The appetizer list alone is enough to get anyone drooling. 

Before we even finished reading the menu they brought us a loaf of this incredible chocolate bread with our drinks. This alone set the tone for the meal. It was so good! Chocolaty but still savory. Not in any way a dessert. I could have probably sat there and just had chocolate stout and chocolate bread all night.

Our family started the meal with pork belly sliders with chocolate coated bacon as an appetizer and that, again, had us saying we had to come back. I also ordered some French Onion Soup that turned out to be better than the soup from Windsor's own Ye Olde Steak House (man I miss that place). For a main I got a Croque-Monsieur, my wife got the Forest Mushroom Pizza, my mother in law tried the Chicken Bercy and the kids got some pasta with red sauce I can't remember the name of. We were also treated to a Rice Krispies Shake. Everything was fantastic and I'm not just saying that because Universal Orlando picked up the bill. Seriously, this was damn fine food. 

At some point during your meal at Toothsome you can expect to meet Professor Doctor Penelope Tibeaux-Tinker Toothsome with her robot Jacques. The pair that, at least as far as the theme and story of the place goes, opened the Chocolate Emporium. Jacques was one of the most well done automaton cosplays I've ever seen, complete with remotely broadcast slightly robotic voice. The pair explained the story behind Toothsome and stopped for photo ops with the kids. In addition to this personal touch, the service overall was top notch. The staff were jumping out of their pants to help us and take care of our every need. To be honest this was true of every place we checked out in Universal Orlando.

One thing that I think is well worth noting: because Toothsome is part of the Orlando City Walk and not actually located inside one of the Universal theme parks, you don't need a park entry ticket to eat there. It's open to the public and anyone can just walk up and check the place out. You can check out the gift shop, order a shake or sit down to a fantastic meal. Though if you are going for a meal reservations are very strongly recommended. 

For me, the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen (okay, I typed it out twice, happy now?) was the highlight of our family trip to Orlando. The entire trip was great but my favourite part was checking this place out the first day and eating dinner there the next. If you are ever in the area you really have to check this place out. Unless maybe you don't like chocolate. But who doesn't like chocolate?

P.S. Even if you don't like chocolate or have some form of chocolate allergy (I am so sorry for you) there are plenty of things on the menu that don't actually have chocolate in them. Like this Rice Krispies Shake:

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