There are five Starbucks within five minutes of my house. Now keep in mind, I don’t live in NYC. This is Columbus. It’s not even downtown Columbus. There’s a company that makes steel bars behind my house. This is not the trendy part of town.
But if I need coffee, and need to pay an exorbitant price, I have five choices. I can pretty much drive in any direction and will pass one of these options on my way to wherever I desire. So I was very relieved that when a new store opened down the street, it wasn’t a Starbucks. Instead it was a Chocolate Café.
Never heard of this company? Neither have I. For all I know this is the first, but it certainly looks like a chain. I had little idea of what to expect (I suppose I wouldn’t been surprised if there weren’t any chocolate) I entered yesterday. Turns out that the Chocolate Café is to chocolate as Starbucks is to coffee.
The majority of my experience with Starbucks is from China, which may not be completely accurate. But they seem to have a wide variety of coffee, as you’d expect. In addition they have coffee related products, coffee paraphernalia, coffee-like drinks (cocoa, steamers etc) and various gourmet goodies. So the best reason to go is certainly coffee, but you have a lot of options. Chocolate Café is a chocolatier on one side, an ice cream shop in the middle, which shifts into chocolate desserts before settling on chocolate drinks. I’ve never had Mexican Cocoa or a Banana Steamer, and look forward to doing so when it’s cold enough to justify it. In addition to a full range of coffees they also include gourmet sandwiches and salads, which admittedly have nothing to do with chocolate. Unless there was cocoa in the secret sauce of the Reuben sandwich I sampled. As with Starbucks the atmosphere was pleasant, the prices were a bit too high and everything generally tasted pretty good. My sandwich was pretty great, and the free samples in the chocolate area (I am a student after all, I’m not going to buy something when they provide free samples) were quite tasty.
Welcome to my neighborhood Chocolate Café. Feel free to build three or four more so I’m not forced to travel in a Northwest direction to get some more chocolate goodness.