Dietrich’s Chocolates and Espresso Place
1734 E. Evans Avenue, Denver
closed Mondays; opens at 8 other days
Dietrich’s Chocolates and Espresso Place had a pleasant, festive, old world atmosphere when my husband and I arrived there for breakfast September 6 and settled into a corner by the window. Business was brisk. A woman and her young sons occupied the table next to us, and a group of four sat across the way.
The lady I’d met the weekend before served the food, while Erich Dietrich stayed busy in the kitchen, cooking. Since Dietrich’s is open every day except Monday, I wondered if he spends six days a week there, cooking breakfast and lunch and making chocolates.
Todd ordered the Bavarian breakfast and I ordered the egg breakfast, along with hot cocoa. I melted one of my last Wen Chocolates homemade marshmallows in the cocoa and felt deliriously happy. Todd said the breakfasts reminded him of the breakfasts he had in Germany the summer he and his best friend spent six weeks in Europe. Ah, the memories of youth—when we could eat all this stuff and not get fat.
Our two breakfasts were heavy on the meat and cheese and light on the fruit, but mine looked so pretty on the plate, I had to take a picture of it. I tried to make my poached eggs on a croissant into an Eggs Benedict without sauce. It was a little awkward, and I felt that I was failing Restaurant Etiquette 101. I guess I should have slid the cheese under the eggs. Somebody tell me how to eat this food, please! I don’t have any memories of Bavarian breakfasts to fall back on!
The first time I’d visited Dietrich’s, on Labor Day weekend, they were closing early since business was so slow—everyone was up in the mountains, one of the women at the store said. Personally, I’d rather stay in town and check out the candy stores. I’d grabbed a box of 25 chocolates and proceeded to devour them within two days (with some help from Todd), but this Saturday I had some time to linger, observe the vibe, and try the chocolates I’d missed before.
The store sells virtually every kind of chocolate candy imaginable. If you’re craving some kind of chocolate-covered thang, it’s the place to go. When Erich comes out of the back, get him to tell you how he double-dips the truffles to keep them from drying out in Colorado’s arid climate. He’s happy to talk about all the new flavor combinations he’s created lately.
One of my favorites was the chocolate-covered pistachio marzipan. Another, the mint truffle, was gently minty. I also liked the ginger and port truffles. Subtle flavors are definitely a hallmark of Dietrich’s creations. But then, as if to contradict me, there’s the lemon cream, and the Irish cream is rolled in bright green sprinkles.
And, of course, since it was one of the first stores I visited, I didn’t think to take pictures of the individual truffles. My apologies. They looked good, OK? Go see for yourself already.
Dietrich’s Chocolates and Espresso is one of the oldest chocolate stores in Denver, if not the oldest. Erich Dietrich trained as a chocolatier in Germany, opened his first shop in the United States in 1975, and brought it to Denver in 1978. Perhaps the Russell Stover’s stores in Denver are older, since Russell Stover’s was founded here in 1923.