Review: City Bakery, NYC

Oh SWEET MOTHER. This hot chocolate is heaven on earth. This is what all hot chocolates should aspire to be. I have found my one true love and it comes in a little blue takeaway cup.

My first City Bakery hot chocolate was on an unusually sunny February New York day when we decided to picnic in the park. I’d read about City Bakery so we wandered over to pick up some goodies. Most review sites talk about the homemade giant marshmallow (really cool, but not what hot chocolate is about for me) but not many really discussed the thick, rich, bitter, intense chocolate.

The staff pump the hot chocolate out of big vat – seemingly having to put all their weight on to get it out, it’s so thick. It’s obviously made offsite so I don’t know their hot chocolate secrets but whatever they are doing, they are doing it beautifully.

City Bakery are hot chocolate heroes. They make the hot chocolate I’ve been searching for all my life. If you’re in New York, make sure you go and have a sample. It’ll change your life.

Review: Este, Bristol

Look how PRETTY.

A couple of weeks ago a friend and I got trapped by the rain in Este, on the way home from a walk. It was a delightful place to get trapped, filled with lovely artwork and super cheery staff. We ended up having supremely healthy veggie bowls, filled with delicious green things but of course, I also had to try the hot chocolate.

It came looking like a masterpiece, with a lovely little biscuit and marshmallows on the side. The game was that I whisked the chocolate into the frothy milk and then poured it into the cup.

Sadly, this way of serving hot chocolate never works. The milk needs to be boiling hot to get the chocolate to melt so whenever it’s served like this I end up with a milky, frothy mess with little bits of floating chocolate. The idea and intension of this way of serving hot chocolate is wonderful and fun but it doesn’t produce the best results and I always end up disappointed.

Go for the veggie bowls and churros, maybe skip the hot chocolate and pick one of their many teas instead.

Review: Clinton Street Bakery, New York

Clinton Street Bakery is going to be on my list of brunch recommendations forever. The cheese grits and one of the most amazing things I’ve ever eaten and the fried green tomatoes are something I’ve always imagined eating.

The hot chocolate came in a bucket of a cup, a least twice the size of the coffee cups. It came with lashings of cream and chocolate sprinkles. It was a bit sugary sweet for me but it did taste of ¬†actual chocolate rather than just milk. Good for those with a sweet tooth but not for those in search of the dark, richness of the ideal hot chocolate…


Review: Magnolia Bakery, New York

Loads of reviews coming up from my recent trip to NYC, with some absolutely winners, but lets start with the bad.

Magnolia Bakery, known for its incredible cupcakes, seemed like a great place to grab a coffee/chocolate on the way to the theatre. It was slightly terrifying inside, with tourists trying to choose the best of the best of the sweet stuff.

I was pretty excited, given the reputation of their cupcakes, but the first sip tasted of disappointment. How on earth did they make it taste that sweet?! It was marshmallows and sprinkles when there were no marshmallows and sprinkles nearby.

Go for the cupcakes, stay away from the hot drinks (my mum dumped her coffee too).