Bittersweet chocolateria on College ave in oakland
have noticed this place cycling by and decided to try it this afternoon for a pic-me-up.
i had the "european" drinking chocolate, which is just chocolate, no milk. it was very good. like liquid dark chocolate. not even that sweet. i had recently tried the starbucks stuff and it tasted to me like very sweet, hi-end hot cocoa. bittersweet's drinking chocolate is a different thing, perhaps the genuine article (it's my first, so I'm no expert). i have noticed some other drinking chocs in SF that i would like to try. but now i am pleased that this is a 5-min pedal away, and two doors down from our favorite local restaurant (soi 4).
the drink was 2.50. i asked for a slice of bread to wipe it up with and they gave me a large chunk of sour baguette for a dollar. they are just opening up so the counter help is a bit slow, but they're fine. i can't say the same for some of the clientele...but that's rockridge for you.
other available beverages include the "american" (con leche) and the "spicy" (con chile). they also offer a whole rack of chocolate bars from all over the place. i bought a $3 bar of spanish chocolate, 71% cacao, a varietal from ecuador. well traveled. varietal chocolate. i love it.
they were out of take out menus so i didn't catch the address. College, above Hudson, 2 doors north of Soi 4.
I second that recommendation. After trying the European chocolate last Friday, I was back for the Spicy Chocolate ($3.50, I think) on Saturday. It's a very friendly place, and was full of parents and well-behaved tots both times I was there. I liked the European better because it's more intense -- it's nondairy. The Spicy tasted like it had a milk chocolate base, but had a nice kick to it too.
They sell housemade pastries. My friend and I tried the dark chocolate macaroon (fabulous) and the brownie (not so exciting, but perfectly acceptable). The chocolate cake looked wonderful, too, cut in huge and somewhat intimidating squares, but I haven't tasted it yet.
Bittersweet also carries about 75-80 different chocolate bars from all over the world -- I bought several as a gift for a friend whose birthday party I was going to that night, and the guy who rang me up was kind enought to beribbon them.
Unfortunately they close early -- at 6 on weekdays. The counter guy told me that they are planning to expand their hours next month.
i like the mocha (chocolatey but not too sweet) and the spicy too! i once had a sample of the chocolate thai iced tea and it was floral-like (not what i would expect seeing it's called a thai iced tea) but a bit grainy. they serve blue bottle coffee, so non-chocolatey drinks are just as good.
as for the food, u may wanna try a marshmallow w/ ur chocolate drink or coffee. i like the fact that most of the foods they have come in mini sizes. i've had the pear and choco mini muffins, chocolate shortbread cookies w/ a fleur de sel filling, dark chocolate macarons (i wish the shell was choco-based too ... think they're hazelnut), but so far my faves are the brownie bites and the mini ginger scones which i had this morning (okay, they're not chocolatey). and my mum likes the passionfruit pates de fruit.
i think the fillmore location does a better job in making the drinks (and pretty latte art too!), but the rockridge location, though smaller, has a more homey feel to it. most of the staff are pretty friendly too, probably coz they're always on a chocolate high, hee hee. it's not exactly cheap, but don't we all need a treat sometimes? ^___^
p.s. and if u happen to be going there this weekend, check out those easter displays they have.