Saturday, February 6, 2010

Theo Chocolate and Hot Girl Factory – Seattle, WA

Since ChickenLittle had to work the day Pul-Chevy, Coach, and I arrived, he tricked Slutnik into babysitting us until he got off work. We all love Slutnik to death, mainly because she’s ferociously mean to us yet actually likes us, but also because she makes everything more fun. She drove us around Seattle so we could see and buy various things, and then told us she had booked a tour of the Theo Chocolate Factory. She also reminded us we were all grown men and we would be paying our own individual portions of the tour cost and not to embarrass her. I think she knew how futile the last part of that statement was.

We arrived at the chocolate factory and walked into the gift shop area. There were heaping mounds of chocolate everywhere to sample. They would display the actual bars of chocolate and then on a small slab of marble in front of each one were broken up chocolate bars. We of course dug in like 5 year olds. Slutnik went over and told the girl working that we were there for the tour and one of the girls behind the counter yelled at us – “Don’t eat too much chocolate if you’re going on the tour!!” It was in a nice way, not a mean way, but we all looked up and saw a handful of REALLY attractive girls running the shop. So as we ignored her advice and continued to shovel chocolate pieces into our maws, we kept one eye (each, not collectively) on the girls behind the counter. Because, let’s face it, when the three of us get together, we act like Jr. High boys. Girls would come in from the factory area and would swap out with counter girls and those girls were also attractive. I was convinced the factory was a front for crafting very attractive (even if they were a little Seattle-hippie-ish) girls while operating with a chocolate-making public area.

One of the girls lined us up for the tour and gave us all hair nets. We kind of chuckled because there was this new mom on the tour with her infant baby. She put a hair net on the infant as well, which we found amusing. Then she whips her boob out and starts breastfeeding her child while waiting for the tour to start. Greatest tour ever and it hasn’t even started yet. (Did I mention we’re 12?...) The tour lady took us down this hallway into a sort of small classroom. There were pictures of cacao plants and maps and more piles of chocolate samples about the room. The woman told us the correct pronunciation was Ka-KOW! Yes, like a comic book punch sound. So we kept repeating it like some sort of giant bird. I told you we turn into idiots when we are around each other…

The woman giving the tour was very enthusiastic about the ins and outs of chocolate. It was very informative and we accidentally learned a lot. But the learning stopped when the giggling started with the four of us. Coach pointed out the presenter’s sleeve was torn, so we all took a look. Not only was it torn, but the sleeve was actually shredded from her shoulder to her elbow, in various strips. She also had another small tear near her wrist, and then on the other side of the shirt in the front, there were also some small rips. I mentioned maybe she got attacked by a mountain lion on the way to work today and then the learning stopped because we couldn’t stop chuckling.

The girl told us we were heading into the factory to see the chocolate go from bean to bar. She said it would be loud so she put on a small speaker belt around her waist and put on a headset so she could talk over the factory machines. Then she turned to Coach and I and told us we’d be wearing beard nets, in addition to our hair nets. Awesome!!! Coach asked her if he could fill up his beard net with chocolate pieces and use it like a feed bag during the tour, to which she simply replied, “GROSS….” And that’s why I love Coach.

Pul-Chevy is jealous he can't grow a beard. You'll hit puberty eventually, buddy. Hang in there.

The tour was quite loud and we may have caught about 50% of what she said. But there was enough pointing at various contraptions that we got the gist of it. You’d be amazed at how many pieces of machinery and cooking terms sound sexual when you’re acting like a 12-year-old. For example, Ball Roaster, vibrating, spread them, pack it in, and two-fisting all had us crying at various points. And I’ll also casually mention that Slutnik is just as bad as we are when she’s around us, so don’t think that she’s all Miss Prim and Proper or anything. We got to see large machines roasting the beans and turning them into nibs and how they get moved and melted and where random ingredients get put into the mix. We got to sample various kinds of chocolates and also the things that get turned into chocolate, so we were eating some pretty wild stuff. We also got to see the fancy confections area where they hand make lots of cute and tasty (and expensive) small chocolates. Very cool.

Here's a Ball Roaster...(heh heh heh)

The girl running the tour noticed Coach and I were apparently wearing our beard nets wrong, so she told us, in front of everyone, “You know you don’t have to wear those things over your nose.” Coach stopped her and said, “HEY! It looks cooler this way.” I don’t think she was impressed. But if she had seen Coach sneeze into his beard net earlier in the tour and watched it balloon up like a jelly fish having sex with his face, she might have asked him to keep his nose behind the net. (You can also see the infant with a hair net on the left in this photo)
Slutnik and I

The tour ended without us seeing where they actually produce the hot girls in the factory. But the tour itself was very nice. I’d probably do it again and maybe without being a complete juvenile (yeah right, like I can fix that). We adjourned back in the gift shop area so people who are now addicted to chocolate can purchase the things they sampled. They also had this “sipping chocolate”. It was almost like a motor-oil-texture hot chocolate with some chipotle thrown in. It was warm temperature-wise and also had some spice to it. It was decent, but Pul-Chevy really liked it.

Some of the counter girls saw Slutnik’s Rat City Roller Girls roller derby sweatshirt and asked her about it. A couple of them were planning to attend the bout that Sunday (which was part of the reason all of us were out there visiting), and that they’d look for her skating. We told them we’d see them there, and they clearly were not interested in any nerd action. Story of our lives.

We all loved the tour and would recommend this place to anyone visiting the area. It’s not an expensive tour and if you really like chocolate, you’ll be in heaven between all the samples and the educating about the science of chocolate. You can tell Theo takes pride in their chocolate and also in being very “green”. It’s worth checking out, even if you’re not into hot hippie girls.

And so you know, Theo is not a person. It’s short for Theobroma cacao – or Food of the Gods.

Top 5 things about Theo Chocolate and Hot Girl Factory
1. You will eat soooo much chocolate on this tour
2. There MAY be a hot girl or 30 working when you’re there, if you’re lucky
3. Very informative info about how it goes from a bean into a bar
4. I love how our collective mental minds never make it to a high school level when we’re together
5. The fact that the tour guide clearly had a rough morning indicated by her shredded clothing

Bottom 5 things
1. I wish my chocolate-addict sister NotMomsFavorite could have been there with me on this tour
2. Beard nets get in the way when you’re trying to shovel handfuls of chocolate into your mouth
3. It was super loud in some parts and you couldn’t hear the tour part
4. Caramello remains my favorite chocolate bar, sorry Theo
5. Never found the hot-girl-making machines


kat said...

The hot-girl making machines are hidden from the public eye, along with the fizzy lifting drinks, edible wallpaper, and oompa loompas.

As a Theonista (tour guide and one of the retail ladies), I thank you for your hilarious and complimentary review!

Matt said...

kat - you clearly should have told us about the edible wallpaper BEFORE we left the pacific northwest. damn.

thanks for a great tour. damn good chocolate.