I consider chocolate — particularly dark, almost bitter chocolate — a basic food group. And I’m happy to live in an enlightened period in human history, one in which it’s possible to buy serious dark-chocolate beverages with relative ease.
So the description of Mayorga Coffee Factory’s hot chocolate (”handcrafted with European dark chocolate”) raised my hopes. Unfortunately, I was left wondering what exactly they do to that chocolate. The result is less like a fancy chocolate bar grated into milk, and more like a classic American hot cocoa.
That’s not to say that it tastes like a mix, exactly. It’s a better quality drink, smoother and richer than one made from a powder. But it’s too milky, mild and sweet to be filed under the “European dark chocolate” heading.
Of course, hot-chocolate lovers who prefer this style of drink may be pleased. But it’s too bad the South Silver Spring coffee house doesn’t describe it more accurately — not just for my sake, but for fans of mild, sweet, comforting hot cocoa misled into thinking there’s nothing here but a dark, bitter disappointment.
Snag one of Mayorga’s big, comfy leather chairs and soak up the nicest place in town to hang out. Just read the menu with a skeptical eye, at least in the chocolate department.
Mayorga Coffee Factory, 8040 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, (301) 562-9090.
Linda Lombardi is an Associated Press columnist and freelance journalist who works from her Silver Spring home. Check out her street cred at lindalombardi.com.