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Bittersweet Chocolate Cafe, San Francisco

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Bittersweet Chocolate Cafe, San Francisco

Melanie Wong | Jun 13, 2006 10:35 PM

For last Sunday's cook-out in Crissy Field, I swathed myself with a cotton sweater, flannel-lined jacket, long pants, and wool socks. Soon I was regretting not bringing a stocking cap and scarf for a summer in SF beach outing in the shadow of Golden Gate Bridge. By 6pm, we were ready for hot chocolate, and not just any hot cocoa, but really good hot chocolate. The chowies among us knew about Citizen Cake, but a quick call told us it was already closed by this time on Sunday. Remembering the raves for Bittersweet, soon we piled into cars for the ride over the trek over the hill into the Fillmore. We got there a half hour before closing for an impromptu hot chocolate tasting.

While waiting for our drinks, we sampled a couple of the mini cupcakes, which Cyrus carefully cut into tiny quarters. They look better than they tasted. The buttercream swirl was good, but the cake part itself was dried out and not that flavorful in both examples. David Boyk repeated again his long held opinion that a cupcake, as well as its cousin, the muffin, can't hold a candle to PIE.

We taste-tested Mocha, vegan Bittersweet, and the Classic (shown below). Until reading rwo's post below, I didn't realize the coffee in the Mocha was Blue Bottle. Yet, I should have recognized its profound smoothness and seamless integration with the chocolate notes. The Bittersweet actually had the most interesting flavor with less sweetness and fruitier high notes as well as more bass tones. But, we all agreed that the Classic was the platonic ideal of hot chocolate. Our romantic ideal too because we just loved it in every way.

The handmade marshmallow was a nice sweet. But it failed in meltability and added to the cup didn't contribute anything to the experience. One quibble here is that the drinks were served much less than hot, more like just warm to the touch. Or maybe my lips were too cold and blue to detect true heat.

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Image: http://static.flickr.com/77/166335015...

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