One of the things I’m least proud of when it comes to food writing is that I am an absolute sucker for hype and tourist traps. It’s the yenta drag queen in Eileen Fisher in me rearing her perfectly coiffed head and dragging me to places like Serendipity 3 and Katz’s Deli before catching a matinee of fucking Spiderman on Broadway. Luckily, our trip to New York was slightly tempered down, and we managed to entertain ourselves with a minimum of pure, unadulterated tourism. But sadly, my puerile curiosity for the bizarre forced us into Dylan’s Candy Bar on 3rd and 59th, the slutty little sister trailing a noxious odor of sugar and sweat behind stately Bloomie’s.
For all the veterans of combat who read this website, please accept my sincere respect and admiration for what you do. Only yesterday did I get a true taste of what it is to be in an honest-to-goodness war zone, replacing foreign enemies with tiny terrorists from boroughs far and wide. Never in my life did I imagine I’d witness the mental breakdown of an eleven year old girl who has just witnessed the largest Hershey bar in the world, but damn it, I never imagined I’d be playing the role of Pvt. Augustus Gloop on private assignment, either. I skirted throngs of peeved nannies and dodged manchildren to reach my goal: the red velvet chocolate bar. The listless employees, desensitized to the shrill screams of nascent shitheads and blaring juxtaposition of Aaron Carter and Shirley Temple, merely blinked when I shouted my DTs and prepared my foo gas for the Lower Zone.
I found my man, plus a limited edition bacon bonus bar. But only when I witnessed Keepitcoming Love shriek at a cute candy-studded tank top and leap into a bathtub full of dirty gumballs did I realize, too late, that we’d gone too far. The jelly bean eyes of Dylan Lauren herself bored holes into our backs as we beat a hasty retreat. Dylan’s Candy Bar is a self-contained, biohazardous circle of Hell. Once we scraped the memories of sticky floors and $13/lb gummies out of our heads, we tried the chocolates. I have no qualms paying $5-$10 for a good chocolate bar because I am generally confident that the premium is an example of the quality of the bar itself. At the risk of losing my escort demographic as a result of using two hooker jokes in one night, the chocolates of Mistress Dylan are unequivocally the prostitutes who leave you with a hole in your pocket and a burning sensation when you pee. They may just be the worst chocolates I have ever consumed.
The red velvet cake bar, one of three in the dessert bar series, had a strange combination of ingredients that resembled a basket on Chopped with the red velvet cake as the end interpretation. Artificial cookie dough flavor and miniature marshmallows have no place in a red velvet cake, but as far as Dylan Lauren is concerned, the brightly colored, dyed sky is the limit.
The bar apparently contains premium Belgian milk chocolate, but apparently the neutral Belgian variety from the Phony War. The end result on the chocolate front was a waxy, strangely greasy crumble with a bright red menstrual smear carrying the unmistakable reek and pre-engineered, factory canned flavor of a Yankee Candle. The dye lingered on the finish and left a bitter, chalky, strangely fruity aftertaste. Runts and Yankee Candle is what your $2.95 buys you. Dylan’s demonic laugh echoed in the back of my head and I had to go take a walk around the block to clear my head and vomit.
Add a “U” for “Ummy” where the apostrophe is!
At the time, I thought my second purchase was a bonus that I’d simply not seen on the website, a limited edition offering dropped from heaven itself. But when I looked closer, I realized the cruelty in the typeface. The bar wasn’t bacon. It was bacon-flavored to accommodate Schuyler’s allergies and probiotic diet, and thusly contained Bac-O’s. I forged on. As I slipped a morsel of the chocolate into my mouth, my brain’s primordial instincts kicked in in one last valiant attempt to prevent me from expelling this from my mouth on impact. By telling me that I was simply eating a Krackel Bar, which accounted for the crispy texture, I was able to finish the bite. That is, until the liquid smoke and sugar came in. The unmistakable flavor of Bac-O’s flooded my mouth along with the mediocre, overly sweet chocolate, and I could no longer go on.
Note the angry jutting of an elbow in the upper left sector as some poor bystander loses an eye.
Dylan’s Candy Bar bested me. I was defeated. I was scared. I was swayed by the promise of exoticism and for that, I have paid with the ultimate price: my soul. It was horrifying. If I were to go back, it would only to be to torch the wretched mess and never look back. I’ve paid my dues.