I finished working brunch this afternoon, and when I stepped out of the restaurant at 4:30pm it was already getting dark. Too early for a cocktail, but almost too late for anything else. Besides, this holiday season was a rough one, and I’ve resolved to clean up my system for a little while. Well, toxically speaking. So I took my aching legs for a walk to “the Pearl,” our swanky little boutique area, in search of something warm to drink. After doing a few laps, I arrived where I expected I might, at this little chocolaterie. I walked in and examined the various cases: one with shelves of handmade bonbons, truffles and other chocolate confections, and the other full of cakes and pastries. I have to mention that I love that this bastion of chocolate richness, sugar, and fat, is directly across the street from Portland’s premier vegan cafe (Blossoming Lotus) and yoga studio. In fact, one of their employees was in line for a triple-espresso just before me.
I looked over the menu and stood in line for my treat. When I got to the front, the girl working asks me “so how’s your day been going?” And I (wearing all black except for the hat that my tired eyes were hiding under) reflexively crinkled my brow and replied “well, if it were going well, I probably wouldn’t be in here right now.” (In a pastry shop. At 5 o’clock at night.). She still had a friendly smile and said, “oh. I wonder why everybody’s having a bad day today?” Well, I’m gonna venture to say that it’s THE WEATHER. It rains every fricking day. Okay, it didn’t rain on Tuesday, but it was still cloudy the ENTIRE DAY.
So I ordered a “drinking chocolate” and an indulged in an oatmeal cookie and enjoyed them both immensely. The drink is basically melted chocolate with cream, with the consistency of a thick chocolate sauce. It’s what you get in Europe if you order a “hot chocolate.” In Spain anyway. It was served in tiny cup with a little spoon. It gave me just enough lift to get back out into the cold and the energy to go to Whole Foods to buy some vegetables that made up for it.