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Best Sweet-Shop

Chocolate Iguana
500 N. Fourth Ave.
7090 N. Oracle Road
7125 E. Tanque Verde Road

STAFF PICK: Like its namesake reptile, the Chocolate Iguana is neither fat-free nor health smart. Purely decadent and sinful, it boasts a signature double-mocha. This unpretentious café is a local haven for sweet lovers who consider dessert a major food group (the Iguana's homemade apple torte is lunch, as far as we're concerned). Floor-to-ceiling shelves are a kaleidoscope of jars with confections like double-chocolate malt balls, chocolate covered espresso beans, gummy everything, and jawbreakers galore--surely this is the good stuff hidden inside fairy-tale gingerbread houses, luring the innocent since time immemorial. Only the confident and experienced customer could possibly make the decision between the flourless chocolate torte or the white chocolate mousse torte. And one proud pastry proclaims in hand-lettered modesty, "The best carrot cake." Of course, the best way--the only way--to make such consequential decisions is to take a friend and ask for two forks. For a "light" morning breakfast or an evening treat, the Iguana has a variety of scones, cookies and bars such as their doo-dah squares, "outrageous brownies" and lemon bars. And don't forget their candy cigarettes, old-fashioned Necco wafers, and unmerciful basket of half-price pastries.

Case History

1997 Winner: The Chocolate Iguana

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