Now, while I am not saying that this ice cream is the healthiest treat you can have, I do believe in treating yourself. However, of the ice creams out there you can eat, Ben & Jerry’s is some of the better options. Such a wide range of flavors, the do not use milk from cows treated with rBGH, and their list of ingredients is a lot shorter and a lot easier to read than most brands.
Even before I became concerned with health and ingredient labels however, Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food has been one of my favorite flavors of ice cream (THE favorite for a while). If you cannot read the picture, Phish Food is “Chocolate Ice Cream with Marshmallow, Caramel & Chocolate Shaped Fish.” I love digging the little chocolate fish out of the marshmallow and caramel, and I often find myself saying “Just one more fish” about five times before putting down a carton. I allow myself a serving of ice cream everyday, no matter what, and Phish Food is one of the two flavors I rotate between.
Shortly after the first time I ventured down to Le Chocolat du Bouchard, my friend Melanie (the one that I started the Death by Chocolate Quest with), was up in Chicago visiting. I had suggested a trip down there, but she protested that it was too far away. So, we decided to find someplace local and Leonidas is where we ended up.
The company has three Chicagoland locations:
59 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
1157 Wilmette Avenue, Wilmette, IL 60091
1348 Shermer Road, Northbrook, IL 60062
Initially, we tried to go to the location in Northbrook, but it had not opened yet, so we headed over to the Wilmette location. I know I took pictures of the items we ordered, but it was quite a while ago, and I am not sure where they disappeared to.
The menu was no where near as vast as that of Le Chocolat, but one thing they did have…Nutella Crepes! In the end, Melanie and I ordered a Nutella Crepe and a Belgian Waffle with chocolate sauce and split them both between the two of us. The Nutella Crepe was perfect, and we were also very surprised by how sweet the Belgian Waffle was. We could not decide on a drink from their menu, so we asked them specially to make us the most chocolatey drink they had. It was not as chocolatey as I would have liked, but it was still very good.
Leonidas also has a wide selection of chocolate candy to select from, but while we each took home 2-3 pieces, we had left them in her car when we went shopping afterwards. It was not a hot day, but the car always seems to trap heat and the chocolate melted together. I tried to eat mine, but the mixture of flavors was just too much of a put off.
Overall, while I enjoyed the items they had on the menu, they were not on the same Chocolate Cafe scale as some of the other locations I have visited. Their Wilmette location is only eight minutes from where I work, so I definitely plan on heading back up there for another Nutella Crepe sometime soon.
March 16th, I spent the morning (freezing) walking in a St. Patrick’s Day Parade down in Naperville, IL, and of course I could not depart the area without making a quick stop. Since the first time I went to Le Chocolat with my good friend, Becca, they have remodeled, and now have a cafe side, and a store side. I was very confused when I accidently entered through the store side, but was quickly directed through a opening connecting the two.
If you check into Le Chocolat on Foursquare, you will see lots of comments referring to slow service. Unfortunatley, this is often the case here, but the staff has always been helpful and polite. I think the lack of urgency may be somewhat intentional, because let’s be honest, who thinks of a chocolate cafe as someplace to rush through? However, you can sit down and take your time, OR you CAN order your beverage/dessert to go. It took a few minutes to receive my to go order, but it was no worse than waiting at any other restaurant. The girl handed me my dessert, with a quick instruction on how to prepare it, a few minutes later I received my drink from the bar, and then I headed back through the opening to browse the shop while sipping on my Triple Chocolate Hot Chocolate.
First, the Hot Chocolate. Very good, very rich. I would definitely choose the Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate over the Triple Chocolate, but that should by no means deter anyone from trying the Triple Chocolate, it is more of a personal preference. However, I promised myself I would not repeat an item on their menu until I had tried everything, so onward I go!
The shop is AMAZING. So many different options, a large counter full of chocolates that you can select by the piece, special shaped chocolate (like a grand piano (which I wanted to buy for my mother), or an Eifle Tower), even artisan breads, candle holders, and other little gift items. The girl behind the counter was very helpful, as I had to ask several questions since not everything was labeled. There were lots of little boxes of chocolates pre-made, but they were never labeled with what flavors they were, and many of the chocolates in the case were not labeled either. I still do not know what the little red colored ones were in the case, but I would wager a guess that they were spicy. After browsing long enough to almost finish my Hot Chocolate, I selected a Chocolate Coconut piece for my mother, a Salted Caramel Chocolate pice for my father, and a Chocolate Mint piece, a Chocolate Caramel piece, and a Triple Chocolate egg for myself. I did not have a chance to try the Salted Caramel Chocolate, but the rest was all amazing. They were a little pricy, but what gormet chocolate is not?
Eventually, I tore myself away from the shop, though not before signing up for their rewards program, and made my way home. Upon arriving home, I immediately dove into the last item that I thus far glossed over, the dessert. I ordered the Chocolate Mousse Cake, and it was delicious, I was especially pleased when I realized that the chocolate sauce they give you is one of the hard shell varieties. It took me three sittings to finish of this cake, but it was worth it.
Le Chocolat du Bouchard, you have pleased me, yet again!