Chocolate Fashion is the Keeper of the Chocolate Flame in the Gables
Every day at Chocolate Fashion is a little different. Different menu items rotate in and out as new recipes are tried. But there are two constants: The love of chocolate and the presence of owner Persy Berger.
While Chocolate Fashion started as a small bakery business run out of Berger and her ex-husband’s home 16 years ago, it is now a staple of downtown Coral Gables that specializes in French pastries and French-style breakfast and lunch. And, oh yes, a constant selection of goods made from that roasted and ground paste of cacao seeds known as chocolate.
Berger is behind the counter every day, often arriving at 5 or 6 a.m. with her head chef. “We make everything from scratch,” she says. “We don’t buy anything already-made.” That’s quite an accomplishment considering the four display cases full of pastries, chocolates, tarts, cakes and more; cases that are already being depleted by 9 a.m. on weekday mornings. Everything from the jam to the salad croutons to the loaves of bread lining the walls are homemade from French recipes.
Berger is also constantly working with her head chef to develop new recipes, like a steak sauce (bourbon whiskey, balsamic vinaigrette and a secret ingredient) served with the filet mignon that usually appears on the weekend menus. But the real draw of Chocolate Fashion lies in the brightly lit cases that form the counter. Here you can find chocolate balls of every variety, fruit tarts loaded with berries and thinly sliced chocolate curls, and white chocolate mousse cakes with crème brûlée tucked sneakily inside.
The most popular pastries are the flaky croissants, often drizzled with chocolate (of course) or loaded with sticky almonds and dusted with powdered sugar. But it’s hard to take your eyes off the brightly colored chocolate mousse topped with passionfruit, or the key lime tart with toasted whipped cream, or the chocolate cakes, chocolate eclairs, chocolate muffins – you get the idea.
“We don’t give our customers anything we wouldn’t want to be served ourselves,” says Percy. “And we do things with heart – not because we have to, but because we love to do it.” Our advice: Stop by for a pastry, but stay for breakfast or lunch. And don’t forget to take home a few chocolate bonbons.
248 Andalusia Ave.