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Fearless Critic restaurant review
DC
Food
Feel
Price
4.8
7.0
$10
Sweet drinks, Baked goods
Café

Hours
Mon–Wed 10:00am–9:00pm
Thu 10:00am–10:00pm
Fri 10:00am–11:00pm
Sat 9:00am–11:00pm
Sun 9:00am–9:00pm

Features Date-friendly, delivery, kid-friendly, outdoor dining, veg-friendly, Wi-Fi
Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Not accepted

www.thecocoagallery.com

Logan Circle
1529 14th St. NW
Washington, DC
(202) 387-2626

Alexandria, VA
2003 Mount Vernon Ave.
Alexandria, VA
(703) 635-7917
Hours
Sun–Mon 11:00am–7:00pm
Tue–Wed 11:00am–8:00pm
Thu 11:00am–9:00pm
Fri 11:00am–10:00pm
Sat 10:00am–10:00pm
ACKC Cocoa Bar
Spunky, eclectic, fun, and flashy—but short on the sweets, where it counts

Entering ACKC Cocoa Bar is like walking into someone’s inner fantasy in the form of a retail store. For the record, this someone really likes chocolate, orchids, greeting cards, dessert-themed gifts, and the color red. Despite the seeming incoherence, the store is fun. If ACKC Cocoa Bar were the product of someone’s imagination, that someone would be a sassy broad who used to sing for the troops and now warbles in an art-gallery-cum-chocolate-store amidst strings of musty plastic flowers, a gaudy chandelier, and lots of color. She’s pretty cool in a retro kind of way.

Drinks at ACKC are named after different leading ladies with elements that reflect their personalities. Hot chocolate is made with hot shavings in steamed milk and infused with other flavors via a strainer. The effect is inconsistent depending on the drink. “Liz,” for instance, is lavender-infused, semi-sweet chocolate. The floral note is so light, however, that all that’s left is a very slight bitterness and none of the aroma you would expect. Furthermore, for a cocoa made with shredded chocolate, the base is thin and watery, containing none of the deepness and richness that we seek. Whipped cream is so meek that it quickly disappears under the chocolate.

The fiery “Lucy” performs better. Though it’s still thin, an infusion of chili peppers in the piping hot cocoa leaves your mouth with the same burn that you’d get from a good bowl of hot-and-sour soup—a prickly heat that slides down your throat and collects above the stomach. This is a drink you need to sip carefully. To balance out the heat, you may consider one of the sandwiches or pastries made by a local baker. Be warned: though they are passable, they often contain flaws like dryness and less-than-freshness.

A visit to ACKC is like a trip to your batty Aunt Mildred’s. You will ooh and aah over her newest collection of furniture and art and have a good cackle over a warm drink and an ordinary sweet. And although you’ll leave with a generally positive impression, you won’t be quite sure when—or if—you’ll go back.

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