The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

hot chocolate shot, muffin, and scone

This morning after mailing a package at the post office on 4th Ave and 11th Street, I thought,

"Hm. Should I get food?"

The answer should have been no. Or, more forcefully, NO ROBYN JUST RUN, RUNNN FAR AWAY FROM THE FOOD, OR BABY BUNNIES WILL SOMEHOW SUFFER AT THE HANDS OF YOUR GLUTTONY, EVEN THOUGH THAT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE. I'm not hungry in the morning and eating when I'm not hungry just ruins any possible hunger that may come later in the day when my stomach is 1) in a churning mood and 2) I'm less comatose. (Actually, I wake up in the morning pretty easily. I just happen to walk around in a zombie-like state.)


Naturally, from 4th Ave and 11th Street one walks to University Place and 13th Street. Huuuh? Well, you know me; I like to try new things. I had never gotten Joe's hot chocolate drinks before (or any beverage from Joe), but I figured they must have some. I'd much rather go to Jacques Torres for hot chocolate, but they don't open in the wee hours of the morning. People generally perk up with coffee, not molten chocolate. Damn fools. Someone needs to promote hot chocolate as the quintessential morning beverage.

hot hot hot
hot hot hot

Their menu offered "European drinking chocolate" above "hot cocoa". Ahh! Hot cocoa! I had a feeling that "hot cocoa" wouldn't have a high enough chocolate percentage to satisfy my chocolate desire (not that I had much of one at 8-something AM), thus I went for the "I dunno what it is but I'll get it anyway" "European drinking chocolate". The barista explained to me that it was a thick hot chocolate drink that came in a tiny espresso cup. Innnteresting. Since I had the choice of regular or spicy, I went with spicy. $3.52 later, I was given...

european drinking chocolate
european drinking chocolate

...a tiny cup of pudding-esque chocolate substance and a tiny spoon to eat the pudding-esque chocolate substance with. I invite you to observe the viscosity:

closing in on the spoon!

Whoa. Alright. The chocolate had a great taste, which I'd describe if I didn't lose all those brain cells in "The Great War". Maybe it's safer to say that there wasn't anything offensive about the taste. Not too bitter nor sweet, not too chocolately nor not chocolatey enough. I was going to say that it had an earthy taste, but by that I mean substantial, not, dirt-like. It tasted brown. Pretty good stuff.

BUT ALAS. This isn't something you can comfortably drink. It's not quite pudding and it's not quite a liquid you can sip from a cup. If you think City Bakery's hot chocolate is thick, at least you can drink it. You have to suck this baby down or daintily lick it off your tiny spoon (you're apt to eat it in a dainty manner beacuse of the daintiness of the cup and whatnot). Admittedly, I find this viscosity level odd because I'm not used to it. If you're from Europe, please chime in on whether this is how you drink your hot chocolate. Yes, ALL OF EUROPE. THE ENTIRE COUNTRY. Speak up, damn you.

Bottom line: it's not bad, but since it's not what I was looking for, I was disappointed. If you want a shot of chocolatey pseudo-pudding drink that you can scrape out of the cup with a spoon for $3.52, go for it. It was worth trying once, but I wouldn't get it again.

Muffins and More
Muffins and More

Yesterday I did another random food-hunt by going to Muffins and More on 4th Ave. God knows how many times I had passed it without even checking out what they had. Hello, muffins are awesome! Indeed, they do have "more"; inside you'll find a substantial sandwich menu and other baked goods, like scones and rice krispies treats. However, I figured I'd go with their moniker and get a muffin.

carrot muffin
carrot muffin

At $1.95, their muffins are more expensive than most places (from my experience, $1.75 is the mean price). I kept thinking to myself, "I hope this muffin is awesome." Yeah, I'm pretty weird.

Result: the muffin was awesome. The carrot muffin didn't skimp on the raisins (which is good if you like raisins...which means you'll hate it if you're Garfield) and was moist all throughout except for the crispy cookie-esque top. Ahhh, I love a crispy muffin top. And CRISPY MUFFIN TOP LOVES YOU. Of course, it's also got carroty goodness. It's got everything going for it. I'm definitely gonna try another muffin, or perhaps a scone. Or sandwich. Or ALL OF THE ABOVE.

butter scone

On Monday after class, I stopped by Balthazar Bakery with the intention of picking up a chocolate loaf to split with a friend. Unfortunately, they only have that on the weekends. [shakes fist] To make my trip worthwhile, I decided to get a plain scone. I had only tried a sticky bun from Balthazar before and found it disappointing (maybe it was too...old). BALTHAZAR, TIME TO REDEEM YOURSELF--SCONE STYLE.


Yeah, this so passed the scone test. I'm definitely putting this in my list of "best scones", along with Financier, Levain, and Bouchon. What made it so good? Perhaps it was the butter, or the just-right tenderness, or the not-too-moist-or-dry-ness, or the crispy golden sugar-topped crust, or...OH, I guess it's all of that. Get yourself some awesome scone action for $2. DO IT.

I was going to write a long, semi-thoughtful response to this book I just read and ramble about the meaning of baked foods, but I'm too lazy. Lucky you.


cybele / March 9, 2006 1:50 AM

I'm probably crazy, but that super thick hot chocolate sounds really good to me. I might seek it out when I'm in NY next month.

serena / March 9, 2006 5:04 AM

yay, i get to be first to comment!

um, in my experience, most hot chocolate served in the UK tends to be your bog standard overly milky cup of instant cocoa powder. but hot chocolate in france & spain is much more than hot cocoa - thick, sublime, viscous chocolate goodness.

what you're having above does look a bit too thick though - i'm still used to being able to drink (or semi-slurp down) my hot chocolate.

(i'll make it a point to conduct more field research when i'm in paris in april! whee! you know you wanna come with me ;)

Dave / March 9, 2006 10:26 AM

That hot chocolate look great but I have to agree I would rather be able to drink it. Maybe they should call it Hot Chocolate Bisque?

Calling something after another country is always intriguing My grandfather use to have his pancakes with two fried eggs on top. I asked why and he said "Oh, that's Canadian Style". Imagine my embarrassment when in Montreal once. I ordered pancakes "Canadian Style" and the waitress didn't know what I meant. When I described it was pancakes with two fried eggs on top she replied "Oh, you mean American Style".



Cathy / March 9, 2006 10:28 AM

Hmm... I saw that drinking chocolate on a Samantha Brown show when she was in Spain. She said the tradition there is to order a cup on chilly nights along with something dip in it. I can't remember the name of what she was dipping, but it looked like those cinnamon dessert sticks you get at Taco Bell. *drooling* I saw it on TV so it has to be true. ;)

Mmmm a butter scone sounds nice right now.

Julia / March 9, 2006 10:44 AM

That first picture of the "European" hot chocolate looks pretty much like what they serve in Italy, maybe not so thick (you can drink it) but pretty close.

Hey Robin, I'm going to be visiting NYC in a few weeks. Instead of stalking you, could you write a top ten of the ten places I HAVE TO go to?
Only if you don't know what to write about one day between now and the 22nd of the month.

In Paris / March 9, 2006 10:51 AM

Try Angeline's Salon du The. It's thick but not pudding style. It's syrupy thick. Tastes just like a melted chocolate bar and they give you a pitcher of whipped cream to add at your leisure.

The pudding style is reminiscent of some coffee I had in Florence. You could turn it upside down DQ blizzard style and had to eat it with a spoon.

I haven't seen that done before with hot cocoa.

Michelle / March 9, 2006 12:03 PM

It looks like it's similar to the hot chocolate they have in Spain. Only they serve it with warm, crispy churros to dip into the chocolate. It's known as churros con chocolat. I had it at several places in Spain, but my favorite is at Chocolatería San Ginés in Madrid!!!

roboppy / March 9, 2006 1:48 PM

Oh my god, LURKERS!

Hi. :)

Cybele: Nono, you're not crazy at all! It sounded good until I realized I couldn't really drink it. Wah! You're gonna have a LOT to see when you come to NY, hehe. I wanna hear about it!

Serena: Oh noo, you were second! So close. You can get the "I was second!" award!

Mm, France and, I have to visit them now. I'm leaning more towards France than Spain for some reason (well, if I have to choose one...I know more French thank Spanish). I think my little drinking chocolate up there was too thick. :|

OH GOD, I wish I could join you in Paris! Alas, I'll be learning stuff. Or something.

Dave: Chocolate bisque...whoaa...I'd eat that.

That's so funny about the pancakes; I never heard that before! I'd just call that "pancakes with eggs on top". I don't know what would be considered American style though...pancakes with eggs, bacon, and sausage on top? Plus a heart doctor on call?

Cathy: CHURROS. OH MY GOD...the experience of ingesting the chocolate drink would've been 10000 times better with fried dough sticks! AHHH SPAIN, IT ENTICES ME.

Julia: I guess my stuff was a smidgen too thick. Do they come in cups that small in Italy too?

I'll think of a list! Hehehe. There are probably suggestions on Chowhound too. BUT I CAN MAKE A LIST, yes.

Ani: I hope you like em! I went back to the muffin place today, hehe.

In Paris: Thanks for the into! SYRUPY THICK sounds good to me. And a pitcher of whipped cream? OH JESUS. France = awesome.

As for turning something over, that sounds too intense. I'd still eat it, of course.

Michelle: Okay, I really want this churro action now. I think there are some places here that do that, but I haven't been to any Spanish restaurants. Obviously, I gotta change that. Thanks for the link!

Rose / March 9, 2006 11:13 PM

I love Joe's-I find it a great place to study, lots of light.

I know you're not into tea, but I love their chamomile/peppermint flavors!

I've never seen the "european hot chocolate" on the board---then again, I don't look hard when I'm there cuz I'm there to study!

Have you tried their muffins? I recommend them.

santos. / March 9, 2006 11:34 PM

robyn, if you ever make it to the philippines, we do the churros and chocolate thing too. amongst other things :)

roboppy / March 10, 2006 2:16 AM

elas: 1. Thanks!
2. But he's cute!...ish...actually, he's kind of annoying. But those Saturday morning cartoons have a special place in my nostalgic heart.

Rose: Maybe I should delve into the WORLD OF TEA. As long as it comes with lots of sugar packets.

I never noticed the hot chocolate either! Then again, I never looked for it. BUT SHOULDN'T I HAVE A RADAR FOR THESE THINGS?!

Never tried the muffins, but I'll keep em in mind! :D

santos: OMG, I SO WANNA VISIT! You have noooo idea. I MUST GO I MUST GO.

lori / March 10, 2006 3:27 AM

Robyn, that hot chocolate looks like it's crying out for churros or something to be dipped in it. Personally, I want to be able to slurp my hot chocolate if I can't at least sip it.

From Our Kitchen / March 10, 2006 6:35 PM

Oh, please eat more scones! I've been really enjoying your hot chocolate trek, but scones are one of my all time favorite foods! I'd love to see you test scones from all over New York :)

roboppy / March 11, 2006 1:30 AM


From Our Kitchen: Eat more scones? SHALL DOO!!! After a while though, you find your favorites and ...a lot of them are just disappointing. I don't wanna be disapointed anymore! :(

CoatMan / March 11, 2006 3:11 PM

Hey, I just found your 'blog. I like a girl who likes her food ;-)

Also, good photographs: did you take them yourself?

roboppy / March 12, 2006 2:14 AM

CoatMan: Glad you like my blog! Thanks for not lurking. ;)

Yup, I take the photographs, and then PHOTOSHOP UNSUCKIFIES THEM FOR ME. Well, it takes a bit of effort on my part, but ...yeah, I have to whack my photos with a Photoshop pretty stick. All I can do is hold my hand still.

Wei: YES. Scones are awesome.

cc / March 12, 2006 10:40 AM

Found your site while thinking about having dim sum today. Love your go out to eat more than I do...that's saying something, something good.

roboppy / March 13, 2006 11:26 AM

cc: Glad you like the photos! I realllly shouldn't go out to eat so much...but sometimes i make my own food and realize, "Hey, this would've tastier and possibly cheaper if I went out." Doh. I don't eat just for sustenance. :P

Mason: I think some of my other entries could make you hungrier. Mwahahaa...

cybele / April 8, 2006 2:05 PM

Okay, I think my hot chocolate experience was quite different than yours. I talked with the counter guy (the Waverly location) and asked if it was pudding-like, and he said "not if we make it right". Sooo I ordered the spicy one and it was thick, but nothing I could stand a spoon in - just a good not-too-sweet chocolate flavor with a nice burn of chilis after.

At first I thought that the portion was a little skimpy, but it's so rich, I really didn't need more. I had a pecan biscotti with it (it had orange rind in it) and it went spectaculary.

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