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Indulge Your Inner Child with a FREE Tour of the TCHO Chocolate Factory

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If TV is anything like real life, then you probably got sick the day your family, fifth grade class, or intrepid bunch of crime-fighting, mystery solving youths visited the chocolate factory, missing out on what surely would have been the high point of your sugar-crazed adolescence. You can make up for it by touring the TCHO (pronounced ‘cho’) chocolate factory right on Pier 17.

TCHO two gives FREE tours daily, seven days a week, starting at 10:30 AM and 2:00 PM. You will most likely need to sign up in advance to guarantee a spot. Each tour can only accommodate 29 people. Currently, you need to sign up about ten days in advance, so it’s not something you can very well do on the fly. HOWEVER, you can wait in line as a walk up in case there are any reservation no-shows. There’s no guaranteeing that there will be no-shows, because let’s face it, who’s going to no-show for a little slice of their Willy Wonka fantasy? So sign up in advance at

The tour itself is a little pretentious. The artisan chocolatsmiths are out to prove that their method is better than all the commercial crap out there. But take the opportunity to learn, even if you have to do it through a significant amount of eye rolling. It might just give you some cache to have coffee/beer/wine-snob levels of knowledge about chocolate. You’ll learn about the different types of beans used to make different kinds of chocolate and their extra-pretentious method of ensuring the chocolate has the exact right moisture content. You’ll learn about how good chocolate sounds different when you break it and how pure cacao has antioxidants and omega-3 acids and how it probably cures cancer. At the end, you’ll get to do a tasting, which is structured like a wine tasting; you start with the lightest and move up to the heaviest, for the sake of the palette. At the end, you will receive a coupon for 10% off at their store, but most of their products aren’t in your broke-ass budget anyway. The FREE chocolate itself is worth it, though.

Pier 17
[The Embarcadero]
10:30 AM and 2:00 PM Daily

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Nate Cox- Low-Budget Literati

Nate Cox- Low-Budget Literati

Nate was born in the People's Republic of Berkeley and has gotten weirder ever since. After pursuing an economically unwise degree in Literature at UCSB, he has returned to the Bay to try this whole starving artist thing. Get him drunk enough and he will tell you about everything from Aboriginal Australian languages to jazz theory to how he coulda been a contendah. In his spare time, he looks at satellite images on Google Earth of places he will never go.