A note from the Bitches: ACKC is now closed and has been replaced by the Drafting Table.
I simply adore ACKC Cocoa Bar—what’s not to love? It’s a boutique chocolatier with cards, unique gifts and chocolates that’s perfect for picking up a last-minute birthday or hostess gift. It has amazing desserts, coffee, and hot chocolate, making it perfect for meeting a friend or for studying and reading the newspaper on a lazy afternoon. Best of all, it’s in my neighborhood.
ACKC also offers Sunday brunch. I was slightly unnerved at the idea of eating a full meal at the café, as it is the only meal it offers and it’s more of a dessert and coffee shop. But, if it involves chocolate, I’m willing to give it a try.
I opted for my go-to hangover beverages—tall glass of water, cup of coffee, and orange juice—rather than ACKC’s great bottomless mimosa deal, $10 for all-you-can-drink. While the coffee was stellar, the orange juice was mediocre—definitely not fresh-squeezed and not even as good as Tropicana, either. (I’m a Floridian, we know our OJ, people). Meanwhile, beau had a delicious cappuccino.
For brunch, I chose the lavender chocolate stuffed French toast, which is flavored with paprika and sprinkled with powdered sugar and lavender petals. You choose from white, milk, or dark chocolate filling. I initially opted for white chocolate, but the waitress politely led me the way of dark chocolate, saying the white may be too sweet.
The French toast was decadent and unique—two pieces of fluffy white bread flavored with paprika and oozing with rich dark chocolate. I’d never eaten lavender before (isn’t it more for lotions and eye pillows?) and was surprised how well three unique flavors—paprika, lavender and chocolate paired together.
Meanwhile, beau opted for the chocolate bacon torta, which was essential a variation on the chocolate French toast with bacon thrown in. He says,
“My torta was a really awesome dessert-as-a-meal entree. It was pretty much french bread, with melted chocolate and bacon mixed in. The bread was moist and fluffy, and the bacon was pretty good and added a much-needed crunch. The fruit cup that that came with it didn’t really go with the torta that well—watermelon and grapes are not a good compliment to chocolate and syrup, in my opinion.”
I concur on the lackluster fruit cup. While it was not as awful as Mei n Yu, I’m a stickler for quality, delicious fresh fruit and this did not meet my standards.
Meanwhile, beau thinks it’s a bit overpriced—after all, the dishes were plastic. He explains,
“I take issue with the pricing. $14 for an entree would be pretty normal at a nicer sit-down restaurant. This is a chocolate and pastry retail shop that happens to serve brunch on the side. I’m down with drinking from plastic cups and using plastic forks and knives, but don’t charge me a premium.”
The Bitch and Beau say: A-. You go to ACKC for chocolate and carbs, essentially dessert-for-breakfast. If you arrive expecting that, it’s a great experience—and the bottomless mimosas are a great deal. We’d obviously prefer fresher fruit and real silverware, but we quickly forget about that when you put a plate of chocolate-covered deliciousness in our face.
1529C 14th St. N.W.
2003A Mt. Vernon Ave.