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Westgate Hotel Gives Chocoholics a Fresh Taste

Westgate Hotel Gives Chocoholics a Fresh Taste

Lindbergh Field Numbers Surpass Pre-9/11 Totals

Move over fashion demagogues, the food demagogues are moving in.

First there was the coffee craze, then water was in vogue. Now it’s all about chocolate.

And at least one local hotel and a museum are publicizing their devotion to the “in” confection.

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The Westgate Gourmet and Wine Delicatessen in the Westgate Hotel is featuring Chi Chocolat’s truffles, handcrafted in Little Italy, “for those who have an emotional relationship with chocolate,” said Lisa Lem, Westgate’s director of marketing.

The boxed candies are intended to complement the European tradition of classic furnishings and service that the Downtown hotel is known for.

“We’d talked about offering specialty candies, particularly chocolate before,” Lem said. “But we never found any that could pass approval of both our French chef and our French food and beverage director.

Chi Chocolat, a specialty confectioner, opened in February on India Street. The Westgate Gourmet is the first outside venue to offer its products.

Meanwhile, the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park will feature an entire exhibit on chocolate “that will explore the relationship between human culture and this rainforest treasure,” between Feb. 1 and May 5, according to a press release.

“Most people know chocolate today primarily as a candy or a sweet dessert, but it wasn’t always so,” said Jessica Holmes, the museum’s education marketing manager, in a press release. “The ancient Maya of Central America knew it as a frothy, spicy drink, made from the seeds of the cacao tree and used in royal and religious ceremonies.”

The museum is planning cooking demonstrations, guest speakers and other special events highlighting chocolate. Every Sunday during the exhibit, it will hold “Chocolate Sundays,” from noon to 4 p.m., with local chocolatiers sampling and selling their wares.

And at the end of the day chocoholics can go on the wagon with the popular Atkins diet.

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Up, Up And Away: While the total number of passengers who flew into Lindbergh Field in July rose only 3.1 percent to 1.6 million compared to the same month last year, the monthly tallies have outpaced pre-Sept. 11, 2001, totals. The year-to-date count was 9.5 million, up 7.6 percent from the like period in 2003.

In July 2000, Lindbergh Field logged 1.5 million passengers, a 3.7 percent hike from July 1999. For the year to date in July 2000, the total was 9.2 million, a 3.3 percent increase from the same period the year before.

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Daphne’s Opens In Hillcrest: The opening of Daphne’s Greek Caf & #233; in Hillcrest on Washington Street in a strip mall containing Supercuts and Blockbuster Video marked the 44th eatery for the 13-year-old San Diego-based chain.

The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner Sunday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Dishes include chicken or steak kabob, Greek salads, gyros and falafel. The lunch menu costs about $7 and dinner averages about $8 per plate.

Send tourism and hospitality news to Connie Lewis via fax at (858) 571-3628. She may also be reached by phone at (858) 277-6359.

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