I once saw a woman tell someone their fortune by looking at the position of tea leaves in an empty cup of tea. The apparently haphazard placement of the pieces of leaves in her opinion was not haphazard at all but placed there by fate and the position of these leaves could clearly tell an expertly trained eye what you could expect in your life. I started my morning at L.A. Burdick with a pain au chocolate that was crispy and light and generously filled with (I am assuming their) dark unsweetened chocolate. The crispy bits from the top of the croissant left over on the plate reminded me of those tea leaves and I wondered if someone out there might be able to tell my future based on the position of those buttery bits of crisp?
Even an amateur would have probably been able to tell me that a pretty decadent hot chocolate was in my near future and it arrived within a few minutes. They have several drinking chocolates to choose from. There are dark, milk and white chocolate options as well as a range of single source varieties from Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Granada, Madagascar and Venezuela. I opted for the Burdick Blend Dark Chocolate which had a beautiful rich brown color, a dollop of milk on top and sprinkled with chocolate powder. It was quite decadent, only lightly sweetened, a special treat.
As one might expect, this store was filled with chocolate treats. Two of their specialties seem to be small chocolate mice and penguins, for sale individually or in small boxes, all packaged in light brown boxes with spring green ribbons. A steady stream of locals were coming in to buy these little mice and penguins. I guess this shouldn’t be a surprise since this chocolate shop is located in the Flatiron district increasingly known as a foodie mecca in NYC. A block away is Beecher’s Cheese where you can press your face against the window and actually watch them make their cheese from scratch and then go inside to taste and buy it. There is also Union Square farmer’s market just a few blocks away and the Institute of Culinary Education where you can learn how to take that fresh produce and turn it into restaurant quality meals. In between all of this food don’t forget to visit the Flatiron building which gave its name to this neighbourhood. Upon completion in 1902 it was one of the tallest buildings in the city at 21 floors. It is unique and recognizable because of its triangular shape and takes its name because of its resemblance to a cast-iron clothes iron.
Verdict: Founded in 1987 by American Larry Burdick who trained in Paris and Switzerland, there are now several locations across the US. Their hot chocolate is beautiful and available to buy online. Enjoy! L.A. Burdick, 5 East 20th Street, Flatiron, New York City, USA