One of the great things about Vancouver is that there is -always- something going on.
Oh, and that Groupons make them even more accessible, of course. ;)
Last week, I got a Groupon for $5 hot chocolate and Belgian waffle from Leonidas and it just so happened to coincide with the annual Hot Chocolate Festival. Yes, these things exist, and they’re amazing. And it meant special hot cocoa flavors that were specifically for the festival, which makes it feel even more special, no?
Here’s the special ones they had:
DARK CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY – dark chocolate and raspberry cream
"TOSCA" – dark chocolate ganache and rum with a hint of pistachio flavored ice cream and white chocolate
FROZEN NOISETTE – Buche Pralinee: Milk chocolate and pure praline with milk chocolate ganache, chopped hazelnuts
RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE – white chocolate raspberry cheesecake ice cream with white chocolate; optional white chocolate with butter cream and pineapple flavor
All come with a choice of chocolate or liege waffle sample and are available every day of the festival
Even with only four choices, I still had trouble deciding. I ended up going with the raspberry and my hot cocoa buddy for the night went with Tosca. Turns out, when they said raspberry, they meant -really- raspberry which was delicious but a little more fruity than I’d normally want hot chocolate. On the flip side, the Tosca wasn’t quite their cup of tea (cocoa?) but I loved it, so we ended up trading about half. I certainly won’t argue with getting some of both!
We got our waffles first. Mine is the bottom one and obviously has the better chocolate L, but I also somehow managed to get two berries in my whipped cream.
The guy doing the plates and hot chocolates seemed slightly frazzled, so maybe he put on a berry, it fell off, and he didn’t notice, so he added another, thinking he hadn’t done it yet? That’s the totally logical and way too thought out explanation I’m going with. :P
When the hot chocolate finally came out, my L had partially sunken in. I barely got a picture while he was apologizing before he whisked it away again, insisting on redrawing it, despite me telling him it wasn’t necessary.
So sweet. He apologized yet again and told me that it probably wouldn’t last long but to enjoy.
Instead, this time, it stayed until the bottom of my cup. I think I have a way with keeping my hot chocolate drawings in place, huh?
Toward the bottom, it slightly morphed and looks more a J, no?
Now at some point, we were chatting along and the unthinkable happened. The plastic fork he was using decided it just wasn’t cut out for waffles after all.
And suddenly….weee! Waffle went flying behind him, into our pile of coats. Joking, he pretended to toss it at my plate, but uh, apparently it was the night of flying waffles instead, and it bounced on down to the floor.
Overall, the Leonidas visit was definitely a good one. The hot chocolates were delicious, the waffles yummy, and the service was spot on.
And I love their cups. I could still feel the warmth of the hot drink, but no risk of dropping it or burning myself either. Next time I’m there, I’ll be sure to try some of their chocolates while I’m at it, too, mmm.
Oh right, and for our pre-cocoa dinner, we stopped at Caffee Artigiano for a roast leg of lamb sandwich with red pepper pepperonata, minted goat cheese, and rosemary aioli. Their sandwiches are hearty enough that one was plenty to split and head off for cocoa right after. :)
Maybe I should make this a series? Seeing as how I keep referencing things they really seem to like around these parts?
Not only do they call it Kraft Dinner (I thought that was an old term! Like before it got brought down to “macaroni and cheese",” some people may have referred to it by brand name? But no, they actually call it that *and* label it that on the box!)….
But check out how many kinds there are! I wish my picture had been taken from further back because if you look at the top, that whole next row up is all mac and cheese, too.
Er, “Kraft Dinner”….*giggles*
Extra cheese, cheese and tomato, alfredo, sharp cheddar, three cheese are the pictured ones. I looked it up and KD (yes, they even call themselves that….doesn’t it make them sound cool? *stifles more giggling*)also has some made with cauliflower….whole wheat original and whole wheat white cheddar….white cheddar, mild cheddar, original, extra creamy, and spirals. I think that’s all of them.
Well. That’s all of the macaroni varieties. Did you know they also have crackers?
Oh yeah, crackers….
*cough* Weirdos *cough*
And did I mention that they eat it with ketchup? No really.
I thought this video was just extreme exaggeration or a parody making fun of a few people (or kids) who happen to put it on their occasionally.
But I was wrong. I’ve seen it done. More than once. It’s a real thing. A common thing even. I might even go so far as to say a custom.
Actually, check this out. There’s a whole thing about Canadian culture in Kraft Dinner’s Wikipedia page. Here are some snippets:
- One author noted that "in Canada it’s the number-one-selling grocery item and an object of worship on par with hockey."
- In Canada, Kraft Dinner has iconic status and is associated with young adults, in that it is an easy and inexpensive food for young people living away from home for the first time.
- "Kraft Dinner revolves in that all-but-unobtainable orbit of the Tim Hortons doughnut and the A&W Teen Burger. It is one of that great trinity (…) as genuine Canadian cultural icons."
- Of the 7 million boxes of Kraft Dinner sold globally each week, Canadians purchased some 1.7 million of them.
- …Canadians, who have a more intimate and intense relationship with Kraft food products than the citizens of any other country
- Canadians and Kraft products have bonded the way Australians have bonded with Marmite
Yeah. *shakes head at those silly Canadians* :P
Two different grocery stores. The first had them all neatly arranged in a semi-circle display, and the second had giganto-monster carrots.
And if you want to add to that, the Vancouverite I’m staying with decided to make pickled carrots first thing when I arrived.