When Peggy messaged me and asked if I was available later the next day for our third hot chocolate tasting, I jumped at the chance. Since The Root Cafe, a hipster place located in the center of Lakewood, is convenient and we had each been there many times before, it appeared to be a simple decision to make.
It wasn’t until I arrived slightly earlier than Peggy that I remembered why I don’t frequent it as much. First of all, I believe there are many redeeming qualities about The Root Cafe such as their coffee drinks and their yummy food menu, but there are also a lot of turnoffs as well. The main one being the lack of seating and the isolationist vibe that emanates from it. I get it is a place where people park themselves to work but still the atmosphere is lacking the coziness of past places we visited on this tasting tour.
Now onto to the hot chocolate part. I went purist and ordered the plain hot chocolate, while Peggy, perhaps inspired by the two previous tasting stops, went with the Mexican hot chocolate.
Here’s what we thought:
- Flavor. Mine was, well, just ok. I’ve had better hot chocolate out of a package at home. There was definitely nothing special or unique here. Peggy concurred about hers and said the Mexican one hit her in the back of the throat and hard like it’s supposed to.
- Topping. None. Nada. Nothing.
- Size. We both decided to get the medium. It seemed pretty standard.
- Atmosphere. Despite the inviting warm wood interior and eclectic decor, there is not much else here in terms of atmosphere. Peggy observed that there was no talking outside of your table. And unlike our last stop, there was no sense of community.
When we left, I almost wished I hadn’t taken Peggy up on her offer, because despite the company and the conversation, I left feeling unsettled. This was only reinforced when I returned to my car parked on a side street and noticed a parking ticket from a recently expired meter. Even after that, we agreed that we’d both go back to The Root Cafe, because it is popular with other friends but would unlikely go back because of the hot chocolate causing us to question why they made the list.