Sitting at the corner of McKinney Avenue and Blackburn Street, Belgian inspired restaurant Sablon Chocolate Lounge uses high- quality chocolate in almost all of its menu items.
At around 7:30 on a Friday night, every restaurant in Uptown was crowded with people. As I scanned each storefront on McKinney Avenue, a glowing yellow sign caught my eye. Even better, when I walked inside, it was not very crowded, and there was no line at the register. However, I did go to Sablon at dinnertime on Friday so it might be busier after dinner when dessert-junkies’ cravings hit.
When I walked up to the register, the employee handed me a Kindle Fire with the menu on it. The electronic menu paired with dim mood lighting made Sablon feel like an upscale restaurant. When I returned to the register to order, another employee swung open the kitchen door, and the scent of delicious chocolate hit my nose.
The menu includes many items, incorporating chocolate in different ways. From a Chocowich Shake to a Banana Marshmallow Pizza, I had Charlie’s whole Chocolate Factory at my fingertips.
I ordered a variety of different items: Hazelnut Crepes, Creme Brulee Frappe and the Chocolate Lava Lava Cake. Each item I ordered got to my table at a different time. First the Creme Brulee Frappe, then the Hazelnut Crepes and finally the Chocolate Lava Lava Cake.
The Creme Brulee Frappe was a smooth blend of caramel, white chocolate, ice milk and espresso. It was topped with whipped cream and a caramel drizzle with milk chocolate dripping down the sides of the cup. It was delicious and probably my favorite item I ordered. Although this item did not feature much chocolate, the espresso and caramel mixed with white chocolate was an excellent combo. Non-coffee lovers, don’t fret! This is still a great option because the espresso is not too strong.
The presentation of the Hazelnut Crepes was so beautiful that I almost did not want to eat them. They were served on a large white plate with melted milk chocolate and powdered sugar covering it. The four corners of the plate highlighted a different food or side. In the first corner, there was whipped creme with a cherry, then vanilla ice cream, sliced strawberries and finally the crepes themselves.
The crepes were filled and topped with house-made hazelnut spread. It was even more delicious than the famous hazelnut spread Nutella. I opted to add strawberries and whipped cream on top.
Finally, I finished off my chocolate adventure with the Chocolate Lava Lava Cake. It was a brownie lava cake with hot molten chocolate inside served with ganache and vanilla ice cream on the side. The cake itself was covered in melted milk chocolate, strawberries and white chocolate chips.
When I poured the ganache on the already chocolate-filled cake, I was overwhelmed by the amount of chocolate on my plate. At first, I thought it would be too much, but I was pleasantly surprised because it wasn’t too decadent.
After finishing my meal, I felt like I had gained 15 pounds, but I did not regret it. If you are in Uptown and have already eaten dinner, I would recommend Sablon as your choice of dessert. The fun and flavorful menu is any chocolate lover’s dream and I will definitely be back for more.
FROM THE FOURCAST KITCHEN:
Staff writer Campbell Harris’s chocolate milkshake recipe
In a blender, place milk and syrup. Cover and blend on high speed for about 2 seconds.
Add ice cream. Cover and blend on low speed for about 5 seconds or until smooth.
Pour into glasses and serve.
3?4 cup milk
1?4 cup chocolate flavored syrup 1?2 vanilla ice cream
Story and photo by Campbell Harris