In January I went to NYC quite a bit, but this past month I got to stay in Chicago a bit more than usual. The lazy cat in me meant that I spent quite a bit of time sleeping on the weekends still, but we did manage to venture out a little bit.
On my list of places I’ve been meaning to visit were Xoco and Grahamwich, which I finally made my way to this month.
So Xoco is a Rick Bayless restaurant. It’s next to his more famous Frontera grill, which I haven’t been to yet. But, I think Xoco deserves the limelight in its own right.
For starters, the hot chocolate there is quite fresh. The hot chocolate there isn’t the super sweet kind that you’ll find at other place, rather thick, rich, and creamy. Some of the chocolates are almost like drinking a chocolate puree. It’s pretty interesting, but rather delightful on a chilly night that needs some spicing up.
Of course when we went, we were gluttons, so we ordered two orders of churros, one w/ a chocolate shot, another with mexican vanilla soft serve.
I think both the softserve and the chocolate shot are pretty good. Although, I think Ray said he liked the softserve better.
The hot chocolate was quite thick
So if you’ve ever been to Mindy’s Hot Chocolate, you’ll know that the hot chocolate there is rich and thick as well. But, Xoco’s is maybe thicker, just as rich, but less sweet. The consistency is what you’d get if you had a fine emulsion of ground cocoa beans and cream/milk.
We also ordered a torta to share, but in my excitement and later regret I ate it really fast and didn’t take any photos. If you do order the Chochinita Pibil, beware the habanero sauce. I didn’t take the warning from both the server and cashier too seriously and doused my sandwich into the sauce soaking it all up. I was fine until about 5 minutes later when the heat hit me. But the sandwich overall is quite good.
Speaking of sandwiches, the pastrami reuben at Grahamwich is also quite good.
I didn’t realize that rye, pastrami, sauerkraut and thousand island dressing go so well together. You get salty, sweet, and sour all in one sandwich combination.
We also got their maple bacon donut.
It was okay. I think you can get better ones at do-rite, glazed and infused, etc. I would probably also skip their sodas, as their orange and ginger soda just tasted like orange crush.
Not a bad for a weekend.