Location: 1747 N. Damen Ave., Chicago, IL 60647
A Quick Word:
When it comes to dessert, wouldn't you want to come to a restaurant named Hot Chocolate? I know I did. But, I also wanted to try their highly regarded burger and other menu items that are sourced from local producers and farmers. Their menu appears to change frequently (like many other restaurants in Chicago), depending on what ingredients are in season. I will say, their desserts and hot chocolate are great and definitely worth trying. Unfortunately, with the food, I was just really disappointed. After having such fresh ingredients, my burger came out overcooked to nearly well-done after requesting a medium RARE preparation. Furthermore, their appetizers are nothing unique and nothing memorable. The hot chocolate is essentially liquid milk chocolate so just think of the word rich as you take your first sip. I am glad I gave it a try, but I would only come back to share a hot chocolate and share a dessert. I will pass on the food for now. For that reason a 3.5-mile rating is all I could give it.
What We Ate:
Medium Hot Chocolate
Mac & Cheese
Pork Belly Salad
My little brother made a last minute decision to add the pork belly salad to our list of shared appetizers. And we were all glad he did. The dish was made with a mixture of cured pork belly, honey crisp apples, spaghetti squash, shaved parmesan, and pecans. It was dressed with a citrus vinaigrette. The pork belly was lightly seared to make it less fatty and more crunchy. It had that bacon-like flavor to it but with more substance and chew than typical bacon. The apples were sweet and their parmesan was not too strong... my dad even enjoyed it and he dislikes most cheeses. Great salad and great size for an appetizer.
I had heard the hamburger from Hot Chocolate is the best in Chicago. This recommendation came from another trustworthy foodie. So I knew I had only one option on their menu... Their hamburger (should be called cheeseburger), is made with a high quality ground beef patty, aged cheddar cheese, house made pickles, and bacon. You have the option for a fried egg, which is a no brainer... YES. All of this is served on a garlic toasted sesame bun. The burger comes with homemade potato chips. I really did enjoy the hamburger except for one thing--mine was overcooked. I asked for medium rare, but received a medium well burger. Somehow though, it was still extremely moist and flavorful. The egg added the richness and the cheddar the much needed sharpness to cut some of the char flavor. The burger presentation is clever with two mini bottles of ketchup and mustard sitting on the plate. Chips are tasty, but way too many fill the plate. Great burger, wish mine was cooked to temperature, will definitely order again though.
Crab Cake Sandwich
Banana (In Three Parts)
Chocolate & Pears
- The restaurant may be hard to find, if you are going north and head underneath the bridge, you have gone too far.
- Don't try buying the take home mix. It is $20 for 2 cups of hot chocolate... yeah, highway robbery.
How far would I walk for this food?