Sunday, November 21, 2010

Warm Hands, Warm Heart

I'm not a big chocolate hound, but the other morning I had a hankering for a mug of hot chocolate. Maybe it was the chill of winter in the air, maybe it was the rich smell of steaming chocolate, but it made me pick up the phone to call my friend Giovanna, who knows how to satisfy a chocolate craving like few others.

It was a little early to go to Alma Chocolate for a cup of their orange or chile-laced drinks, so she suggested Coffeehouse NW and their special mocha made with Michel Cluizel chocolate. It didn't take much urging to get her to agree to come along, so I picked her up in Chili and we made tracks over to the Euro-charming, very tiny coffee bar on West Burnside.

Cluizel chocolate is well-known to choco-maniacs as among the finest in the world, having been made by the Cluizel family for three generations from their home base in Normandy, France. When combined with a shot of espresso and poured into a preheated cup,  its aroma reminded me of childhood when a steaming cup of hot chocolate made winter's chill melt into oblivion. And the slightly-but-not-overly sweet taste almost made me look forward to the cold days coming, as long as I could also have a mug of this to linger over on a regular basis.

Details: Cluizel Chocolate Mocha at Coffeehouse NW, 1951 W Burnside St. 503-248-2133.

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