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Berkeley: Brunch at Cafe Cacao (Scharffen Berger Chocolate Factory)

Rod Williams | Mar 19, 200504:05 PM

We stopped in for brunch at Cafe Cacao today, the cafe adjoining Scharffen Berger's chocolate factory in Berkeley. It's a pleasant space, long and narrow with a high, industrial wooden ceiling, tall sash windows along one side, mossy-green painted walls with beige trim, and a series of yellow abstract paintings hanging along the wall opposite the windows. There's a pervasive aroma of chocolate which I expected to tire of, but... aah... didn't.

We had a friendly, professional server who recommended several of her favorite items from the menu. We had a California Croque Madame (grilled, pressed sandwich with wild nettles and fontina, topped with two sunny-side-up fried eggs, with some greens on the side -- excellent. Also a Lamb burger with grilled onions, a yummy mint raita and house-made herbed potato chips. The burger was hard to handle -- it fell apart when I tried to slice it in half -- but absolutely delicious. I had a glass of Seven Deadly Zins zinfandel with it.

A lengthy chocolate dessert menu was presented. The chocolate, croissant-based bread pudding sounded good, as did the Divine Panna Cotta, and the chocolate rum tart... it *all* sounded good. But we settled on the Chocolate Tribute Cake, at our server's suggestion -- a chocolate cake with ganache filling and dark chocolate icing, accompanied by boozy black cherries and whipped cream. It was fabulous.

We're planning a return trip to check out the dinner menu...


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