Dropped by Huckleberry Cafe in Santa Monica after being inspired to do so from my Tweeps @dianatakesabite and @laocfoodie who had been discussing the cafe’s pizza of the day — purple sprouting broccoli, roasted potatoes, caramelized onions & goat cheese. So I was in line about to close out my bill when I spotted a tray of salted caramel bars in the refrigerated case conveniently located right by the cash register.
They’re the biggest slabs of caramel I’ve ever seen; brownie square size. They look like lemon bars in that the sweet part sits atop a shortbread layer. “Are those too sweet?” I asked the lady behind the counter. “They are pretty rich but you can cut them in squares…they’re my absolute favorite thing ever,” she said. Sold!
The thing is I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat the bar in one sitting. I mean, it’s a huge piece of caramel. But the lady gave me a little plastic container to store it in the fridge between bites.
When I got the bar back to my desk, I cut off a sliver. At this point the caramel was already soft and sticky. I licked my fingers clean of the remnants of the caramel left behind when I picked it up. It was so sweet, brown sugary with that hint of saltiness that hooks you and tricks you into eating more. Reminded me of the fleur de sel caramels I used to make. The hard cookie crust was buttery and crumbled when I cut the bar in pieces. After the first bite I felt a little dizzy from that shot of sugar hitting my bloodstream. OK, one more tiny square and this goes in the fridge.
Thing is, it never made it to the fridge. I kept it on my desk and watched the edges of the caramel square start to round out as it warmed up in the room temperature. The bar got smaller and smaller and then disappeared into my happy belly.
Definitely the best $2.50 I ever spent. Yup! It was only $2.50 for that bar. An awesome deal considering brownie bars at Starbucks usually cost $3+.
1014 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90401 (map)