Monday, July 27, 2009


On the summer weekends I normally put something on the grill for me and my babygirl, but with us being cooped up in the crib lately, we decided to try a different move. For Saturday brunch, we met up with her cousin, Monique and go to one of my favorite nightime dessert spots in Chicago, Mindy's Hot Chocolate, located in Wicker Park. With the Wicker Fest being held this weekend just 2 blocks away, this turned out to be a straight up win. When I'm in that area, I normally stop by Hot Chocolate and pick up a few goodies to bring home, and they always wrap the fancy box with a brown bow, which definitely puts on win status for the night. See, the pastry chef, Mindy Segal is a nominee for the James Beard award for Outstanding Pastry Chef, and to those that don't know, that means she's kinda like a big deal.
Walking into this place, there is a huge waiting area, where there's a showcase of some of the sweets just to get you familiar, leather seats,
and a beautiful painting of a woman's ass. On top of all that, the music selection is a go!
I ask you, what guy doesn't want to wait in this spot? Needless to say I sat back and quietly enjoyed the artistry while the ladies chopped it up.
After a quick 7 minute wait we were seated. No need to look at the menu, I already knew what I wanted, I just waited for the ladies to decide. I went with the Warm Doughnuts and French Press Coffee for starters, then the BLT. Both girls went with the Grilled cheese and the Black & Tan Chocolate drink, served with house made marshmallows. The doughnuts came out first and did not disappoint. They were little too hot to handle, which is a good thing, otherwise I woulda' scoffed them all down in 10 seconds flat. I would've had them with just the cinnamon and sugar dust that was sprinkled on them, but they came with raspberry preserves on the side that made them even tastier. Only gripe, the serving of 4 was not enough. Being in the coffee business for a few years, I'm a coffee snob, so I'm crazy critical of coffee. Most restaurants use good coffee, but normally the wait staff doesn't take the time to serve it right. It's always either cold or burnt, sometimes both, but never like a coffee house or busy diner. Mindy's french press coffee was definitely top notch - hot, fresh, delicioso! If waiter would've asked if I wanted another, I would have said yes. It matched up nicely with the doughnuts, but as you can see, I ran out of coffee, so the leftover doughnut came home with the kid.
The sandwiches came out, and I was ready to get to business. Everything was fresh and upscale. Butter Lettuce, Tomato, Sugar Cured gourmet bacon, mayo, all on a toasted sesame bun. Me and my girl traded a half sandwiches so we could try everything. The BLT was good, but certainly not great. I'm not sure what didn't put this sandwich over the top, because it did nothing wrong. Maybe when I order a VERY simple sandwich at a restaurant this cool, my expectations are too high. But I wasn't totally let down, just not totally moved.
The Cheddar Melt on the other hand was bangin'! Aged cheddar on pumpernickel toast. Thats it. One bite into it and I knew it was serious business and not Cracker Barrel and Wonder bread. Cheese and bread done perfectly. right amount of crunch & perfect amount of cheddar. Both sandwiches came with a side shot glass of roasted tomato soup that I wished came in a bowl. A big bowl. Very tasty and spicy and matched up nice with both sammiches.

Overall, we enjoyed the lunch and as much as I would normally like to have a brewski or two, I opted out...I figured I'd catch a few at the Wicker Fest! On the way out, my girl went to the showcase and copped a few goodies for later on. For your buck, Hot Chocolate is not an everyday spot for lunch, but definitely one to keep in your books for dates and sweets for your sweet when you tryna make up! because you will get what you pay for. I will be back for dinner.

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