Archive for April, 2015

Chocolat Vitale

April 25, 2015

Seeing as how April in Seattle has been about as cold as February, I thought I’d take myself out for some hot chocolate at Chocolat Vitale in Phinney Ridge. Oops, did I say hot chocolate? I meant drinking chocolate, of course! The difference is in thickness – drinking chocolate is a much thicker, richer version of hot chocolate… and therefore better. This little chocolate/beverage cafe does it right, complete with steamed milk and your choice of chocolate.

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I chose the darkest available, a dark cocoa from Venezuela (you can also get it as a mocha, which I imagine would be divine).  The owner disappeared into the back and returned a few minutes later with a steaming, foamy, and incredibly chocolatey cup:

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I also got one of her own chocolates (most of hers are imported from Europe) – a dark chocolate nut cluster. It was good, but the true highlight was indeed the drinking chocolate, which was electrifying and comforting at the same time. It had a deep, complex flavor, and easily satisfied my chocolate cravings for the day. In case you were wondering, the drink can also be ordered cold – so I’ll be stopping by again this summer!

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Intrigue Chocolates

April 20, 2015

Fran’s and Theo’s chocolates are easy to come by in Seattle, but if you’re in the mood for more of an adventure (and to me, a trip to Pioneer Square is always an adventure), check out Intrigue Chocolates. It’s hardly a chocolate shop – more like a kitchen where you can sample and buy what they’re making. Aaron, the owner and chocolatier in chief, will share generous samples and explain the process for eating an Intrigue ganache truffle: don’t chew it, let it melt in your mouth!

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If you’re lucky, he’ll also let you try the “zombie” mixture – they basically melt down all the unused chocolates (all different flavors) and pop it in the fridge until it hardens back into a ganache – with every bite a different flavor. I walked away with a sampler (note, these must be kept refrigerated):

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My favorite flavors were Jamaican Hot Chocolate, Basil, and Earl Grey. You can expect strong flavors along with the obvious love and care that goes into the chocolates. I highly recommend stopping by – they’re open Saturdays until 4 PM and it’s fun just finding the place, which is tucked away up a staircase and down a hall. Make it an adventure.

Lunchbox Lab

April 11, 2015

When the sun’s out, I want ice cream – or better yet, a milkshake. I’ve loved milkshakes since I was a kid, but adult milkshakes (AKA boozy shakes) are even better. There are several places in Seattle that will give you a quality boozy shake (Hot Cakes being my personal fave) but nothing beats the variety at Lunchbox Lab.  A chill restaurant to being with – they have excellent burgers and bomb tater tots – it only gets better with their grown-up shakes.

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Did I mention the variety? I got the banana cream milkshake with vanilla rum. This satisfied both my love of banana desserts and my love of milkshakes. Oh and my love of alcohol. I’ve also had a very satisfying Oreo milkshake with whiskey.  My friend got a Nutella milkshake with I-forget-what-tasty shot:

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She sucked hers down – I took longer to finish. I’m usually good with half a milkshake, but I couldn’t let the rest of mine go to waste!  Lunchbox Lab has an epic happy hour and pleasant outdoor seating with a fire pit. And they’re open late! Definitely on my “most beloved” Seattle restaurant list.

Yellow Leaf Cupcake

April 5, 2015

I’ve been eating Trophy Cupcake and Cupcake Royale for years, yet strangely I’d never made it to Yellow Leaf Cupcake Co in Belltown. In addition to cupcakes, this cute “micro-bakery” makes gourmet macarons and cookies in addition to pulling an excellent espresso. I loved the flavors of the macarons, the most exciting (to me) being the Samoa flavor – if you’re familiar with the Girl Scout cookie you’ll know what I mean.

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I got the last one! It was light as air, and while it obviously didn’t have the crunch and texture of a Samoa it did have the flavor! Next, I selected a couple cookies, which are giant-size and also come as cookie sandwiches with buttercream as the filling.

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The sugar cookie on the right, while pretty, didn’t impress me as much as the peanut butter cookie, which was rich without being overly sweet, and intensely peanutty (a good thing, in my book). One of the best peanut butter cookies I’ve had in this lifetime, although I admit I scraped off some of the frosting because it was so rich. Lastly, and most telling, the cupcakes.

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On the left is the peanut butter banana cupcake (which was somewhat disappointing in that it tasted like a vanilla cupcake with some peanuts in it) and on the right, the pancakes and bacon cupcake… yes please!!! Once again, I scraped off most of the frosting – I am NOT a buttercream person, but if you are you’ll love it. The cake portion itself was the best I’ve had – no kidding. It really did taste like pancakes, and there were chunks of crispy bacon in it!!! Love this. A definite must-try for Seattleites and visitors alike.