Hot Chocolate

by Steven Behling


After my third year in graduate school, I moved from a studio in Lakeview to a one-bedroom in Bucktown, where I was rocked to sleep every night by the rattling Blue Line that ran past my kitchen window.  A few blocks away from my new digs was Chef Mindy Segal's Hot Chocolate, the center of all things decadent and rich.  I remember going there with my friend Richie one time and thinking, "Oh, I can totally handle a cup of their dark hot chocolate AND an entire serving of their mac & cheese.  Totally."  No.  I couldn't.  Not without something savory to cut it.  Too rich.  I spent the next hour lying on my bed in this weird space between bliss and anguish...and that's okay.  

When I returned to Chi-Town for a visit in the spring of 2013, I stopped by Hot Chocolate and ordered the Mexican hot chocolate and an order of mac & cheese.  Perhaps it's because my foodie chops had grown since I was a resident, but this time, I was ready.  And it was glorious.  Glorious.

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Go on...zoom in a little closer on those floating house-made fluffy marshmallows atop a 2/3 mix of melty 72% French drinking chocolate, 1/3 milk chocolate, fresh cinnamon and cayenne with a kick. 

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Aww yeah.  Mmm-hmm.  Hey mac & cheese, with your super sharp cheddar and misleading portion size.  I know you spent some time under the broiler, and I like that.

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The richness/awesomeness was nearly enough to send my very pregnant friend, Sonya, into an early labor.  Nearly.

Mindy's Hot Chocolate is located at 1747 N Damen Ave in Chicago, Illinois.