Usually I’m all about celebrating the end of the work week and the start of the weekend with a stiff drink, but last Friday, the drink I knew would hit the spot and take edge off was of the non-alcoholic variety.
As soon as I pushed open the door and bounded out on to the sidewalk where Flaneur was waiting for me, his chin burrowed down into his zipped up jacket, I thought: oh… my… expletive, it’s freakin’ cold. This calls for something warm. And chocolatey.
And lucky for me, I work a block away from Max Brenner, purveyor of all things chocolatey. There’s a sit-down restaurant (which serves desserts but also savory eats), a gift shop with all manner of chocolate gifts including chocolate bars, chocolate scented body lotion, chocolate mixes, chocolate fondue and for real addicts like me, a “Brown Cross First Aid Kit.” The beau and I, however, headed to the bar, for a fix at the to-go counter.
Being the Italian that he is, Flaneur ordered the Italian thick hot chocolate in dark chocolate (other options were milk and white chocolate). Though a warmer brown than the real Italian counterpart which is darker and closer to the color of espresso, his drink wasn’t bad. It was thick to the point that it coated the sides of the cup, but not so thick (or bitter, for that matter), that you couldn’t finish it. In Italy, the hot chocolate is a dense, slighly bitter, dark liquid that while deliciously rich is also so intense, that it usually comes in espresso-sized cups and small mugs, not in our good ol’ supersized American portions.
I, being the sugar-feind that I am, went the opposite route and ordered a white hot chocolate. But just to make sure I met my daily requirement of entirely too much sugary goodness, I ordered the choco-pops hot chocolate which came brimming with tiny, chocolate-covered wafer balls. Usually when drinks have a garnish like this, such as mini-marshmallows in traditional hot cocoa, there’s only a top layer and once you’ve sucked those up, they’re gone. But not the choco-pops. Every slurp of the velvety, creamy white chocolate also had a mouthful of the crispy little chocolate bits.
I was cozy, warm and content, but the second I stepped back outside and was greeted by that chilly breeze again, I was reminded that I did, in fact, still need another kind of drink.