traveling again

I’m heading to New Orleans tomorrow for the annual IACP convention. Since I haven’t finished writing about Chicago yet, you might think I’m a bit of a slacker. Or you might think I just travel so often that I can’t keep my blog up to date. It’s really more of a coincidence that these conventions are all pretty close to each other. Anyway, before I take off, I should try to finish up my Chicago blogging.

I stumbled upon Coco Rouge for the first time last year, strolling around Wicker Park. Now I can’t wait to go back. It’s a chocolate shop, but it’s hard to explain what they do because it’s so special. The flavors are really like nothing else I’ve ever seen before. They sell brittles too, and they’re just as crazy. Read the descriptions of the sweets and you’ll see things like caradamom, rose petals, jasmine, bee pollen, armagnac, and tellicherry pepper. Sometimes the combinations sound pretty weird, but they really work. Don’t get me wrong — if you prefer Hershey’s milk chocolate, this might not be the place for you.

Speaking of the place, as you can probably tell from the photos, it’s cool inside. Oh, and don’t forget about the hot cocoa. That might be the best part. I tried the Madagascan Single Origin. The only time I’ve had hot cocoa like that before was at Jacques Torres. It’s so thick, it’s almost like drinking a melted chocolate bar.

Finding the Bongo Room was a bit of an accident. Not that it’s hidden or anything, but I was pretty hungry for lunch and it’s just the first place that I noticed. Well, I noticed that it was packed inside, and that inspired me to try it out. It turned out to be a good call.

The funny thing is that even looking at this photo, I can’t quite remember what I ordered. (Duh.) What stood out for me was the bread–yummm! I wish I could get my lunch on bread like that ever single day. Really, put anything on that bread and you’re good to go. No wonder this place is so popular. Maybe the Bongo Room could open up a branch in Hoboken? Anyway, I was gonna try to write about a bunch more places in this entry, but this one got too long fast. So maybe after my trip to New Orleans…

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