Every year, as my birthday approaches, my wife is forced to go through the painstakingly difficult process of buying me a birthday present. She tends to hem and haw over what would be a wonderful, unexpected surprise, but in the end, she knows that edible gifts never fail (so long as they’re not one of those wax covered fruit bouquet abominations). As un-manly as this may seem, when she picks me up a box of chocolates, I’m like a schoolboy on Christmas. I tear open the box immediately to examine the little nuggets of joy inside my personal treasure trove…smelling, nibbling, savoring. It’s my own momentary chocolate euphoria.
This year was no different. On my big day, I came home to a white box wrapped in ribbon resting on our dining room table. Inside I found a collection of tantalizing truffles from River City Tea, Coffee, and Cream. I was a happy man.
- from River City’s Facebook page
River City is a small, cozy coffee, tea and gift shop located along Kavanaugh in Hillcrest. Anyone looking for a comfortable location to study, read, or visit with an old friend would feel welcome at any of their small tables or couches placed around the shop. Customers will find a nice selection of Arkansas-made jams and jellies, syrups, teas, and coffees for purchase on the neatly arranged shelves. But it is difficult to walk in without locking eyes with a large, beautiful, curvy glass display case filled with truffles and other chocolates. The truffles are sourced from Sweet Shop USA chocolate makers and shipped to River City for your enjoyment. Selection changes periodically, but based on my sampling, I’d expect it’s difficult to go wrong here any time of year.
Of the truffles I was able to taste, there are a few I’d recommend you wrap your lips around as soon as possible. The amaretto truffle comes with a lightly whipped dark chocolate center with amaretto liqueur flavoring, dipped in milk chocolate and then double-dipped in white chocolate for a bonus layer of hardened chocolate crust. The dark Swiss mint is a decadent dark chocolate center blended with peppermint oil, again double-dipped in milk and dark chocolate. Similar preparations can be found with centers filled with raspberry puree, butter toffee, strawberry, Meyer lemon, and peanut butter.
Two truffles in particular were so luscious, I had to run back to the shop that week to get a second stash. Always a sucker for the classic sweet/salty combination, I whole-heartedly give my stamp of approval to the sea salt caramel truffle. Caramel is blended with a milk chocolate ganache center, dipped in dark chocolate, drizzled in milk chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt. The combination of crunchy salt, hardened dark chocolate, and the smooth caramel center is more than many of my taste buds ever deserve to taste, but sometime you need to indulge. Similarly, the “Over the Top” truffle takes a caramel crème brulee ganache center, double coated in milk chocolate and sprinkled with sugar crystals. You’ll never want to eat something singly coated in chocolate again after you’ve done a double-dip, the rest all seems terribly dull in comparison.
Now that I’ve sufficiently drooled on my keyboard reminiscing on these wonderful chocolates, all I have left to say is that River City is a real treat for chocoholics and their significant others alike. I assure you, these truffles will become a birthday tradition for me as I continue to begrudgingly drag myself through my thirties.
River City Tea, Coffee, and Cream
2715 Kavanaugh Blvd