Archive for January, 2010

Cafe Chocolati

January 28, 2010

Chocolati, a Seattle chocolatier, has several cafe locations in addition to their factory in Greenlake.  I stopped by their Wallingford location (they also have a location in the downtown Seattle Public Library) to see what all the fuss is about.

The cafe is the right combination of Seattle-grunge-coffeeshop and Seattle-fine-chocolateshop and there was a heady aroma of both coffee and chocolate (the best of both worlds!).  Although some people have complained about poor service, I didn’t have any problems (although I didn’t go with the barista’s recommendations).

There was no real food, so if you want a sandwich or some breakfast with your coffee you’ll need to go elsewhere. However, in terms of desserts, there were two different displays to look at – one consisted of all the different chocolates offered (made in their own factory) and another of various cookies and dessert items:

I chose two chocolates – the Bittersweet and the Cocoa Beware.  To round things out, I also grabbed a Chocolate-Dipped Chocolate Chip cookie:

The chocolates were good, although I didn’t think the Bittersweet was bitter enough. The Cocoa Beware was much more intense and interesting, with a hint of nutmeg.  But the real highlight was definitely the cookie. It was everything I like in a cookie – soft but not chewy, crumbly, buttery, flavorful. The high-quality chocolate coating (and chocolate chips) made it complete. I would definitely go back just for the cookie (or a cup of hot chocolate… I hear it’s really good!).


Cafe Solstice

January 19, 2010

When I was a grad student at the UW I used to take “study” breaks at Cafe Solstice (on the Ave between 41st and 42nd), and would always take home an espresso brownie. Although I enjoyed the caffeine and sugar rush, I found the interior of the cafe itself to be quietly invigorating with its simple wood furniture and rotating local art. Although it can get crowded around lunchtime (they make excellent sandwiches)  as students trickle in for their midday coffee, its peaceful on the weekends with plenty of space to sit and sample the many homemade treats.

Moving away from tradition this time, I decided to choose a cookie even though they all looked a bit flat and crunchy (I prefer plump and moist – doesn’t everybody?). My usual indecisiveness was aided by the option of an “Everything Cookie” and at the barista’s recommendation I got one of those plus a scone.  I ate my way through the cookie later that day and found it to be good, but not amazing. It wasn’t as crunchy as I had feared, but it had too much stuff in it. Guess that’s what I get for ordering an everything cookie.

What really caught me by surprise (in a good way) was the scone. I’m not a really big scone person, but I randomly picked one to have for my breakfast the next morning. However, when I decided to sample a little of it right before bed (I was never very good at the whole delayed gratification thing) I could not stop eating it…

It was just so good! I polished off the whole thing before going to bed with a full tummy. The icing wasn’t too sweet, it was buttery without being heavy, and their were these little nuggets of … something (white chocolate, maybe?) that just made it perfect. I forgot to ask them what kind of scone it was, but that’s just another reason to go back and get it again…