Texas is one strange place. I have lived in and travelled to many places around the world, and my first experience of living in the US is in Texas – trust me it has been a huge culture shock. It’s true that everything is bigger in Texas, but it goes beyond that. Many things are upside down, backwards, in fast forward or just plain wacky.
But the one thing that Texas does better than anywhere else in the world, the thing going for Texas in my food lover eyes is BBQ. Oh not, this ain’t no put some meat on a little grill kind of BBQ. This is proper, larger than life Texas BBQ. ….. I consider myself mostly a vegetarian but I will gladly sit down to a plate of BBQ meat, and lick my fingers afterwards. The meat is cooked slowly until it is so tender it’s falling off the bone, its unique.
I waited quite a while for Tejas Chocolates to open. First I found out that Tejas Chocolates were based in Tomball, Texas, just north of Houston. Then I found out they were building a magical space called the Craftory where you could go to see how they make their chocolates from scratch. The Craftory was delayed many many times and after a while was finally transformed to include not just the chocolate, but also the owners’ other favourite thing, BBQ. Several more months later they finally opened and have been selling out every day ever since. They have two counters, one that sells BBQ, the other truffles and their own Tejas chocolate bars, and of course, hot chocolate.
After making the 30 minute drive up from Houston, we started our visit off with some BBQ, ¼ lb of pork ribs and another ¼ of pulled pork including some of their home made BBQ sauce and incredible mole made, of course, with their own chocolate. For sides, the carrot soufflé and cornbread pudding are incredible. Once we were filled up, Rich went back and asked what hot chocolate was on offer. Each time we go they have a different hot chocolate on offer. The first few times they had a hot chocolate make of Dominican single origin chocolate with a pinch of chilli added (recommended). Beautiful. The last time we went they had one made with chocolate from Papua New Guinea. Each time, it’s resulted in one happy tummy I’m telling you!
As soon as they opened we visited 3 times in the matter of 1.5 weeks. By the third visit, they thought we were locals even though we were driving a good 30 mins or more to get there each time. There is a large space inside to eat where you can also watch them make their chocolates. Outside on the terrace you can enjoy your meat while being surrounded by the wonderfully smokey smell of the next batch of BBQ coming to life. All of this is located in a beautiful old house right across from a large free parking lot (a must for Texas) in the center of town. Now Tomball itself is nothing fancy (but charming nonetheless). The drive there and back and all around is nothing to write home about, although the Craftory is right in the middle of the old main street filled with the mandatory antique stores. But it doesn’t matter. Texas Chocolates is reason enough to visit.
If all that wasn’t enough, the owners, Scott and Michelle are there everyday, with huge smiles on their faces. They go out of their way to make you and your tummy happy. A real jewel.
Verdict: I can’t imagine anything better. I’m taking a break so I don’t overdo it but have plans to be back again in a week…if you can call that a break. Thanks Scott and Michelle! Tejas Chocolate and the Craftory, 200 N. Elm Street, Tomball, Texas, USA