Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I'm one of those people who adores all things chocolate and casts a suspicious eye toward anyone who claims not to like it. Months ago, I was giddy with excitement when Deals for Deeds launched their group buying site with a $20 card good for 10 chocolate drinks from ACKC on 14th Street NW. I went out on a bit of a limb buying the card because I didn't even know if I'd like one drink from ACKC, let alone 10 of them. However, I figured that finding a way to use 10 chocolate drinks would be a nice problem to have.

We finally made our way to the chocolate wonderland that is ACKC. The name stands for Artfully Chocolate, Kingsbury Confections, and is the love child of an artist (Eric Nelson) and a chocolatier (Rob Kingsbury). In 2007 they combined their talents to launch ACKC which is part art gallery, part chocolate shop, part cafe, and all awesome.

In addition to loving art and chocolate, the owners have a thing for Hollywood divas. As a result, they named their chocolate drink concoctions after sassy entertainers. You can get any "Diva" drink served hot, as an ice cream dessert, or as an ice cream milk shake. Since it is finally cooling down outside, B and I opted for the hot variety.

We had a hard time deciding among the 14 different Divas but finally settled on the Charo (semi-sweet chocolate swirled with caramel and topped with whipped cream and Ghirardelli caramel sauce) and the Bette Davis (milk chocolate infused with almond syrup topped with whipped cream and toasted coconut flakes).

This is not your average hot chocolate. Rather than using cocoa powder, ACKC melts down discs of chocolate resulting in a thick and creamy masterpiece. If you're looking to save a couple of fat grams, you can choose skim milk in your drink. We did and the drink did not lack in flavor or consistency. With 2 holes punched in my drink card, I'm already plotting what I'll drink on my next 8 visits!

Second Thoughts from B

I'd be one of those people who has drawn the stink eye from J when admitting that I don't crave chocolate. But not craving it doesn't mean I don't enjoy it (albeit in smaller portions than most).

While we're on the topic of odd-ball things about me that would raise an eyebrow, I've never had a cup of coffee. I'll give you a minute, good reader, to peel yourself from the ceiling. Ready to continue? Good.

My aversion to coffee is partially because I'm a cheapskate (remember the poor grad student story?), partially because of the taste (though I love the smell), and partially because of the inevitable caffeine addiction (I like being able to function in the morning). And since my body is sheltered from the daily caffeine barrage of coffee, a strong cup of hot chocolate often keeps me wired for hours and that was the case Friday night. This is no packet of Swiss Miss. This is the real stuff and it may even taste strange because of it.

Remember the Steve Martin movie called "L.A. Story" with a young Sara Jessica Parker? During a scene where Martin's character advances to second base with Parker he says, "Your breasts feel weird." Without missing a beat she replies, "Oh, that's 'cause they're real." The point is that many of us who grew up with powder hot chocolate have grown to love it and this makes actual hot chocolate - like the stuff at ACKC - taste odd. But if you can get past your own expectations of what it should taste like, you'll notice that the grown up version of this childhood delight is oddly complex, oddly sweet yet still bitter and even savory, and oddly wonderful.

As the local, fresh, organic food craze has taught us, things are better when they are real. After all, I wouldn't want to dispute the great sage Sir Mix-a-lot who said, "silicone parts are made for toys."
ACKC on Urbanspoon

P.S. Last chance to enter the drawing for two free Ford's Theatre tickets! See this post.

1 comment:

Vidda said...

Put this place on the list of places I want to go!