The city of Duluth‘s extensive downtown renovation created not only a live, work, play community, but a quaint yet modern Main street lined with locally-owned businesses. In the midst of this historic area is a row of commercial town houses, one of which is home to Chocolate Perks, a casually elegant coffee-slash-ice cream-slash-cupcake-slash-sandwich shop.
Owner Marsha Anderson Bomar, who also happens to occupy a seat in the City Council, offers a place to hang out, relax, and eat breakfast, lunch, or snack. While there are daily sandwich specials offered, the staples here are paninis: grilled cheese, beef and cheddar, Cuban, chicken salad, and ham and cheese. Each order comes with crunchy pickles and prices average at $6.
clearly, presentation is an issue here — the soup was sloppily served that way — drippings and all
I’ve had two of the soups (both very good) and three of their sandwiches here: the grilled cheese with turkey, ham and cheese, and beef and cheddar. I was a bit disappointed with the value of the Grilled Cheese because it came with two slices of regular white bread, 2 slices of cheese, and 2 thin slices of deli turkey. I thought the $6 price tag was a little steep for the simpleness (in taste and creativity) of the sandwich which I can very well get in another deli for a buck less.
The Black Forest Ham and Smoked Gouda panini was a much better value. The sourdough bread was sizable, the ham was tasty, and the cheese was fresh. Overall, a much better choice.
My Beef and Cheddar on my third visit yesterday was another simple sandwich. The brioche was buttery and sweetish as it should be but was clearly ruined by over-toasting (or over-pressing). I know some folks like their bread on the dark-toasted side but it should not be the default. Instead, people should be permitted to have the choice. I wonder why they even allowed this to be served — they probably thought I wouldn’t notice? That or they are just indifferent about the quality of the sandwiches that come out of their kitchenette. This disappointment plus chips set me back $7. Although, I have no qualms whatsoever paying good money on food, it has to have value — portion size, price, creativity, cooking method (was it cooked over heat or was it sourced elsewhere then assembled), and taste. Incidentally, a can of Diet Coke was an additional $1.75. Pretty steep for a canned drink, no?
Aside from coffee and sandwiches, Chocolate Perks also serves ice-cream and homemade cupcakes, muffins, desserts, and chocolate truffles. The red velvet and chocolate mini-cupcakes were good in a fresh kind of way. They are not too sweet and you can tell good ingredients were used. But the best part of these cupcakes were the icing. I don’t eat icing but their butter cream concoction is just so good. The chocolate muffin is by far, my favorite. It is moist, chocolaty, dense, and delicious. Pair that with a cup of coffee and you have a power breakfast (or snack) in your hands.
This is definitely a nice addition to the area for a quick breakfast or lunch or simply for whiling time away. But what would be nice is for them to offer a simple Sunday brunch. And a soda fountain machine.
Join their mailing list or Facebook group page for info on their daily specials.
They use Counter Culture coffee.
3160 Main St.
Duluth, GA 30096