On Saturday Kim and I found ourselves on Penn Avenue in West Reading. It's weird, I really enjoy the shops and stuff on Penn Ave, but I hardly ever go there. Usually I only find myself there for Art on the Avenue and at that point it is all hot and busy and I am not really getting optimal enjoyment out of the experience. So I was pleasantly surprised when we ended up there accidentally on our way home from lunch at Panda Heaven.
It was windy and colder than we had though, so we went to the first place we could find that was still open (it was 5:00 and a lot of the shops had already closed). This led us straight to Haute Chocolate, which is open until 10:00 on Fridays and Saturdays.
I've had Haute Chocolate's chocolates, which are both beautiful and delicious, but I'd never actually been inside before. It was very... orange. I hate the color orange, so this was not necessarily a good thing. There were some chairs and tables, but not enough to make it too cramped. There were chocolate bars and stuff to buy along the wall as we came in, nit the the fancy truffles are in a display at the counter. The counter area was a little tight, but it was pretty busy and it didn't really cause any problems, so I guess it wasn't so bad.
There was also a nice selection of cupcakes, which seem to be all the rage these days, but we didn't try any since we'd just had a rather filling lunch. They looked really good, so I imagine I'll be having one before too long. I am, in fact, considering a series of cupcake review posts, since so many cupcake places have sprung up around here lately. So I'll have to add Haute Chocolate to my list of cupcake locales.
The drink menu is very large. Kim and I both got a variation of iced dark hot chocolate - I got coconut and she got raspberry. Oh. My. God. It was like drinking a giant melted chocolate coconut candy over ice. It tasted like Easter and childhood and amazing. And it was so thick and rich! And the dark chocolate keeps it from being too overwhelmingly sweet.
The service was speedy and everything was very clean and well-kept. Kim and I took the last table available, but there were more outside that we could have used had the weather been better. I definitely plan on going back.