Volume 94, Issue 53

Friday, December 1, 2000


Cycling with the Delgados

Where can a guy get a good hot chocolate?

blink-182 - I wish they all could be California boys

Where can a guy get a good hot chocolate?

By Matt Pearson
Arts & Entertainment Editor

There's a crisis in this city.

It seems local coffee bars and cafes are completely unable to make a good cup of hot cholocate. I fear if this situation isn't rectified, citizens everywhere will have their days ruined by burnt tongues and cups of brown water cast off as everyone's favourite winter beverage.

Let me tell the tale of a recent fiasco. I was at one of downtown's nicest looking coffee bars when I decided to order a nice cup of hot chocolate. I ordered the "Junior Hot Chocolate" and was tersely informed by the server that it would be made with hot water and granulated cocoa mix. In my head I thought, "Way to sell it, honey!" Meekly, I asked how much the steamed milk version cost. I think she borrowed her response from the movie, Pretty Woman : "It's very expensive."

When my low budget version of hot chocolate arrived, it was the colour of clay. I asked if it was possible to have some whipped cream. "The junior doesn't come with whipped cream," she said, eyeing me up and down like a second-class citizen before thrusting two creamers (one expired) onto the counter and forcing a smile.

Needless to say, the hot chocolate was awful After one disastrous sip, I decided to try the place across the street, which looked far more welcoming, albeit lit up like a football stadium. The service was much nicer and the whipped cream was included, but I could barely last in there without my sunglasses and sunscreen. To make matters worse, the hot chocolate was so piping hot it melted my tongue like butter in a microwave.

Not yet defeated, I decided to venture on. The next place on my hot chocolate tour was very warm and comfortable, once I got a place to sit (which took just under three hours). When my hot chocolate arrived, I was in complete awe. It was better dressed than I was! Whipped cream topped with chocolate syrup topped with sprinkles topped with cinnamon topped with a cherry and served with a dainty spoon. By the time I got to the actual drink, there was about half an ounce of hot chocolate.

I was beginning to lose hope in this city. Did any place have decent hot chocolate or was I going to be forced to spend the rest of my night with a can of Carnation instant mix and those little marshmallows that taste like stones?

As I was strolled home, I saw a vision from heaven. I approached this giant brown and yellow castle with my hopes climbing by the second.

Inside, a pleasant young woman took my order. "I'll have a large hot chocolate with a dab of milk, please," I asked with trepidation. "Sure," she smiled, "Would you like 1 per cent or skim milk?"

I could have died. "O Timmy – I should've never taken you for granted, you wise, wise man!"

The young woman looked incensed. "Who the hell is Timmy, man? My name is Loretta!"

If only she knew.

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Copyright The Gazette 2000