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The Worst Hot Chocolate

I just went to the Max Brenner's on 2nd Ave tonight and ordered a Mexican Hot Chocolate. It cost $4.55 for a small cup to go. Its hot chocolate infused with red chili, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper. This had to be the worst hot chocolate I've had in my life, bar none!! All I tasted was some nutmeg and a whole lotta chili and pepper. I had to throw it out after 3 sips as it kept getting hotter and hotter with no discernable chocolate taste.
I just believe that chocolate should be the star player in hot "chocolate" and that all other infusions, add-ins or whatever you may call them should play a supporting role. Sure they should be present and sneak up towards the end to provide some extra flavor and/or heat, but they should in no way dominate to the point that the flavor of the main ingredient ends up getting hijacked. If I had to choose between this or getting a box brand powder, I'd rather make Swiss Miss or Carnation at home than drink this again.

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  1. I agree w/you about the regular flavored hot chocolates. I once tried the toffee (I think) hot chocolate and it was weak and runny w/only a toffee candy taste. If you're going to get any of the hot chocolates there, get the Italian style hot chocolate, which is rich and thick. City Bakery is still my favorite.

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    1. Interesting, I never had any of Max Brenner's flavored hot chocolates but really enjoyed some kind of hot espresso/chocolate beverage that was supposedly only 100 calories. It was small, but satisfying.

      1. I had the Mexican hot chocolate there and thought it was pretty good, though not the best I've ever had. In mine the spices were not overwhelming and the chocolate came through strongly - maybe you had a badly prepared cup?

        1. La Maison du Chocolat has the best cup of hot chocolate in the city. Yes, you will pay $8 for it, but it's a big cup of liquid chocolate! Opt for the "to go" cup, which is larger than the "to stay" cup. It's really big enough for two people to share. I have not found a better cup of hot chocolate in NY, and I have looked!

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          1. re: Non Cognomina

            I just tried another cup on Friday at $8.67 per cup. I found it thin and weak.

          2. Max Brenner's Italian hot chocolate is a worthy second after City Bakery.

            1. city bakery is the worst. that gummy concoction is revolting.

              Jacques torres for a thick hot chocolate and Pierre Marcolini for a light one.

              1. I like City Bakery's version, but it is heavy. I've found Mariebelle's American-style hot chocolate to be very good and quite a bit lighter.

                1. Try a "wimpie" at City Bakery. They add milk to their very dense hot chocolate and it is wonderful.

                  1. I had a Mocha from Max Brenner last Saturday and was totally underwhelmed. Not hot, average chocolate flavor, all for $5. The Jacques Torres version of espresso w/liquid chocolate sends you on a trip to another planet. No comparison.

                    Frankly, I don't get the Max Brenner thing AT ALL. The place seemed filled w/tourists and the whole "chocolate culture" thing just seems like so much (too much) marketing to me.

                    1. I had Max Brenner's low calorie hot chocolate. At 110 calories, it tasted like brown water. It was not sweet at all. Probably just skim milk and cocoa powder. I added some sugar, but I couldn't save it. With tax, it was more than $4 and a rip off. The concept is cute, but the food is heavy and generic tasting (I had samples of their chocolate chunk loaf and chocolate-covered nuts). I can make better hot cocoa at home!

                      1. Don't understand the fuss about City Bakery's signature hot chocolate, it makes me gag. It's way too thick. It's like a lukewarm milkshake and the it's not a pleasant experience. Now all the other gourmet chocolate places are following suit. Why can't hot chocolate be deep and rich with flavor, have some body to it but not feel like drinking styrofoam?