I have an embarrassing Chicago resident confession: I’d never been to Mindy’s Hot Chocolate until this weekend. After living in Chicago for more than six years, I’ve been missing out on Mindy Segal’s famous hot chocolate for far too long.
After moving to Wicker Park earlier this year, I was waiting for the perfect chilly fall day to indulge in this Bucktown favorite. Now, this particular Saturday happened to be quite warm, but I couldn’t wait a moment longer, I headed to Mindy’s Hot Chocolate with my favorite brunching Bitch, Borden. Together, we experienced the famous drink menu for the first time.
The front doors of Hot Chocolate are near an entrance to the beautiful new 606 trail. Needless to say, we walked by countless young moms clad in head-to-toe black yoga gear while pushing expensive strollers. We mentally made life goals, then put them on pause as we walked into the restaurant.
Hot Chocolate is a small, bustling space with a large bar, open kitchen, and cute antique touches smattered throughout. On this October Saturday morning, the front windows were open wide, giving the dark space a sunny glow.
After skimming the menu of basic brunch cocktails, we quickly turned our menus over to peruse the hot chocolate options. The selection included every flavor combination of hot chocolate you might imagine, including dark chocolate, espresso, chai, caramel and even pumpkin spice varietals. The description of each mix lists the actual ingredients in fractional parts, so cute!
I decided on the Old Fashioned hot chocolate, and, oh boy, I was not disappointed. I’ve heard the restaurant’s hot chocolate was amazing, but words do not do it justice. The rich, warm milk chocolate had hints of caramel and dark chocolate, giving it a full-bodied cocoa flavor. It was topped with a creamy whipped ganache and accompanied by two fluffy homemade marshmallows, which I immediately dunked into the cup.
Borden couldn’t pass up the Pumpkin Spice hot chocolate, a seasonal offering on this weekend’s brunch menu. This hot chocolate had a white chocolate foundation with the perfect amount of pumpkin pie spice and, of course, two fluffy marshmallows to top it off. She let me take a sip, it tasted like a slice of Thanksgiving pumpkin pie in liquid form, dangerously delicious. I’ll admit, I was a little envious of her choice.
Bitches never pass up an opportunity to order French toast, so we did just that. This weekend’s recipe was a basic brioche French toast topped with chunks of warm spiced sweet potatoes, crunchy pecan toffee and topped with a dollop of tart vanilla bean sour cream. We both imagined the sweet potato infused in the French toast batter instead of on top, agreeing that it could have used a bit more flavor to stand out. It sure was a pretty fall sight…
Borden’s veggie scramble was just the right amount of food considering the amount of hot chocolate we were consuming. The eggs were scrambled with a healthy mix of herbs, leeks, Gruyere, and foraged mushrooms. On the side were crispy potato balls and a toasted piece of challah bread. She passed up the bread to focus on our shared French toast dish, but the perfectly crunchy potatoes we’re gone in a flash.
I was eyeing the prosciutto scramble at first, but ended up ordering the seasonal quiche at the last moment. The quiche was a cute little single serving dish with a mixed green salad on the side. Surrounded by flakey bakery crust, the baked eggs sat atop a layer of autumn seasonal squash and a light white cheddar cheese. The squash was bit flavorless, but again another seasonal touch that I appreciated. The quiche was good, but not flavorful enough for me.
Mindy’s Hot Chocolate has an ever-changing weekend brunch menu, taking advantage of seasonal flavors and local produce. We both look forward to coming back this winter for another fabulous brunch and, of course, more mugs of their incredible hot chocolate.
The Bitches Say: A. The amazing hot chocolate is well worth the trip. Plus, their seasonal brunch offerings are great, too.
Mindy’s Hot Chocolate
1747 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Mindy’s Hot Chocolate serves brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.