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oakland veggie girl | Jun 20, 200401:48 PM     7

It's a little better than mediocre -- but definitely not great. I had a pressed mozerella and garlic rapini sandwich, served with some overly large pieces of lettuce with mild dressing on the side. My friend had an arrugula salad that she said was good. The sandwich was more grilled than pressed and a bit too greasy. And while I loved the raab in the sandwich, the mozerella couldn't stand up to it and was lost. A third flavor -- some sort of mustard or sauce might have been good to balance out the sharp taste of the rapini.

I was, of course, most excited about any and all things chocolate and the sweets were great, in that you can't go too wrong with a sharffen berger filled pastry. But they were not inventive, interesting or even as good as some of the bakeries around town who are using sharffen berger, or other great chocolate, in their treats. We had a chocolate mouse, which was very good and rich and chocolate-y, and we took some pastries to go, which were all equally yummy in their chocolate-y goodness. However, I would not stop at Cafe Cacao to pick-up pastires, above a better pastry maker that uses their great chocolate.

The absolute biggest disappointment though, was their hot chocolate. They have both hot chocolate and hot cocoa on the menu. Hot chocolate is more expensive and uses actual chocolate in addition their cocoa powder. I recently posted on the international board that I adored the chocolate at Angelina's and asked where could I find similar hot chocolate in the Bay. Cafe Cacao was suggested as a possibility.

The hot chocolate arrived cool to the touch and of the very light color that you get when you're making chocolate from a bar and either haven't mixed it properly or haven't used enough chocolate. I sent it back and it came back just lukewarm. It did not have a rich chocolate flavor, it had a sitting-around consistency (which, after asking, I found out it is) and it was not served with creme.

It's possible Cafe Cacao is one of the those places where, if you know exactly what to order, it's good. There's nothing I was impressed enough by, to go back for.

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