Valentine's Day: Chocollove Is In the Air by Mariam Huizar

The entrance to the quaint Chocollazo (Photo: Mariam Huizar)

The entrance to the quaint Chocollazo (Photo: Mariam Huizar)

It's Valentine's season, and whether you celebrate the day the traditional way (candy hearts, balloons, roses) or the not-so-traditional way (throwing darts at pictures of your ex), love—like most things—is really ALL about the chocolate. So love the one you're with—even if the one you're with is really just you, standing in front of a mirror with a candy bar in your hand.

If you haven't heard of Chocollazo, you've probably been going to Walgreen's for your Russell Stover's chocolates and last-minute Hallmark card. Am I right? But if you want to dazzle your valentine and shower him or her with love, go beyond the usual heart-shaped box of drugstore chocolates and give the romance of a confections boutique experience.

Chocollazo's fresh, bright white decor and impressive black chandelier will completely wow your valentine before you even sample the gorgeous confections shop owner Mary Collazo serves up!

Take off the love goggles long enough and have your sweetheart choose from the in-store handcrafted decadent truffles or bon bons, which vary in selection from day to day. These beautiful little gems—boasting of raspberry, rum, lemon, amaretto, and some not-so-readily-found flavors like coconut lime, hot hatch chile, Guinness, and even BACON-GERMAN CHOCOLATE (yeah, you read that right!)—don't just look good, they make your taste buds do a happy dance!

Peruse the case of daily made treasures from the chilled dessert case—nutella silk pie, topped with strawberries and homemade whipped topping (OMG! my absolute fave!), eclair cake, topped with an oh-so-cute miniature eclair, carrot cake cheesecake (for those of you who care about your daily veggie intake because carrot cake is basically a salad, right?), and sweet little berry tarts—just to name a few of the goodies on rotation.

Chocollazo desserts (Photo: Mariam Huizar)

Chocollazo desserts (Photo: Mariam Huizar)

If you'd rather just pick up a traditional baked good, Chocollazo offers brownies, blondies, gooey chocolate chip cookies, homemade oatmeal pies, and even a delightful twist on the Greek dessert baklava. If you're feeling exotic and you want to try something different, give the choklava—rich chocolate in between light and flaky layers of phyllo dough—a try!

Of course there is a whole wall devoted to all the candy favorites from your childhood and beyond. Check out the quirky chocolate mustaches, boxes of different-flavored Japanese Pocky, and bins upon bins of wrapped candies. And if the joy hasn't completely overwhelmed you already, look through the stocked shelf of Chocollazo-created eclectic candy bars made with s'mores, potato chips, and pretzels!

Eat your selections with a frozen hot chocolate in this sweet little store's  whimsical dining area or take your "sweet treat" by the hand for a romantic stroll—complete with some chocolate magic served up by Chocollazo—down the San Antonio River.