This weekend, we made another foray into the Great Hot Chocolate Quest of Chicago. We went to Xocolatl in West Logan Square; it’s another suggestion from the following list: http://www.chicagonow.com/show-me-chicago/2012/12/chicagos-best-hot-chocolate-ten-places-to-love/
It has several locations including Pilsen and Navy Pier. There were several flavors to choose from: Abuelita, Spicy, Mint, and some mocha flavors (I didn’t recall since I don’t drink coffee.)
I got the Spicy Hot Chocolate and some churros. Goodness, those churros were amazing. For years, I didn’t get the appeal of churros. It was chewy fried dough covered in sugar. (And yes, this didn’t appeal to me. Most fried foods don’t appeal to me). But then I had a fresh churro filled with vanilla from a street vendor in Rio de Janeiro last year. I realized that the churros that I had in the past were all cold and stale. Freshly cooked churros are amazing; they are light, fluffy, and warm. (Most foods are improved by being warm in my opinion). At Xocolatl, I had a churro filled with dulce de leche that was incredible, although it was a little messy. I’d go back to try all the different fillings like cream cheese or vanilla. My fiance tried strawberry and dulce de leche; he said the latter was better. Whatever the filling, you have to eat fresh there in the store before it cools off.
As for the hot chocolate, I was initially disappointed when I read the menu to see Abuelita chocolate. For me, Abuelita is a brand. I was hoping for something more homemade. Don’t get me wrong; I love Abuelita. I grew up with it. As a kid, we’d get the round bricks of chocolate that had to be melted with milk. I sometimes ate it straight…so good. In recent years, Abuelita got bought by Nestle, which did come out with a powdered version that I rather like. It’s sweet and filled with cinnamon. But I like being able to try hot chocolate at stores/cafes that I can’t make easily at home.
So I decided to go with Spicy Chocolate. I don’t usually go for spicy but I wanted something new and different. It was really spicy. I’m not sure what they put in it but it was too strong for me. I coughed occasionally from the spice. There were small orange/red flakes of something. It got a little better when I got half way through, the flakes were more diluted. Sadly, it just wasn’t up there in my top places for Chicago.
But I’d go back for the churros. Go for the churros. All the churros.
That’s all for now!