On our road trip to Sedona, A and I paid a visit to the town’s well-known vegetarian restaurant. What is interesting about ChocolaTree (pronounced Chuh-cola-tree) is that it is 99 percent vegan (some of their sweets have honey) and mostly raw, yet they don’t announce that—probably to avoid scaring away the tourists. I first heard about the place on XOJane.com, because the cousin of an XOJane writer, Liz Armstrong, founded the place. Liz writes about new agey stuff on XOJane, and the place is pretty new agey—crystals galore, a magical herb garden and patio out back, and the heavenly scent of chocolate all up in your nostrils sending gasmy thoughts all throughout your body. Or at least, that’s what happens when I smell chocolate…
The place makes everything right on site, and they have delicious house-made packaged foods for sale, like dehydrated kale chips…they taste a lot better than they sound, scout’s honor.
A and I split their sampler for two and the Viva Burrito. The sampler had the best raw hummus I have ever tasted, guac, “Nori Nachos” and these amazing chia crackers—all house made, all raw, all coregasmy. We asked for hot sauce because we’re total spice lushes, and their house made hot sauce is probably the best thing I have ever put in my mouth. (Shhh, don’t tell my boyfriend.)
The raw Viva Burrito—stuffed with cabbage, red peppers and tomatoes–had this delicious home-made creamy vegan cheese, but unfortunately there was only a smidge of it inside and as a result A and I were fork-fighting over it like some hungry crows.
But the best part of course was dessert. We eye-f*cked the plates of the women next to us before quizzing them on what the best selection was, so that we could better prepare ourselves. Remember that my mother is a pastry chef and makes the best vegan cakes, so I can be a bit snobby about my sweets. However, they did not let us down.
We ordered a slice of creamy pumpkin pie, with a texture of cheese cake and a crust made of coconut. Upon my first bite, I spurted “THECRUSTISCOCONUTTHECRUSTISCOCONUT” to A, to prepare her…we are both coconut fiends. It was phenomenally subtle, not over-the-top cinnamon-y the way some pumpkin treats can be. And the sweetness wasn’t overwhelming, allowing you to really taste the earthy pumpkin goodness. Bangerang, ChocolaTree.
We also shared some of the best vegan chocolate ganache I have ever had. It was decadent and creamy, intensely bitter, not too sweet, melt in your mouth and left me tonguing my fork like it was going to buy me dinner.
I really loved this place, from the warm inviting atmosphere, to the friendly staff–a pleasant man with a hipster mustachio served us–to the blow-your-brains-out food. For me, raw food can be either bland or intense, but ChocolaTree, you make raw look good. Thanks for getting in me!