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Baby-on-Board Review: Ethel's Chocolate Lounge

By Elizabeth Shapiro in Food on Jul 26, 2007 3:00PM

2007_07_Ethel%27s.jpgFrom a mom’s perspective, the concept of Ethel’s on Southport is brilliant: part cafe, part lounge, it’s a fantastic place to catch up with friends… and to bring your kids.

Ethel’s award winning chocolate is reason enough to frequent this location (although some might disagree). They offer a stunning variety of funky flavors from a fruity cosmopolitan to a jasmine green tea ganache and all of your favorites in between: peanut butter cups, dark chocolate truffles and toffee crisps among them. They’re a bit on the pricey side at $1.50 a selection, but if you’re looking to pamper yourself, it’s well worth it. If you’re in a rush, snag a box to take home; it’s a better deal, and they often have specials where you can get an extra box for free.

2007_07_Chocolates.jpgEthel’s also serves up some strong coffee. This summer, they’ll even blend you a thick, rib-sticking, creamy iced java drink. The prices are high (said blended drink costs around $6), but most include at least two pieces of chocolate. Their chocolate fondue is heavenly, it’s richness far surpassing other fondues we’ve had in the city. If you have some time to linger, you a few friends can dip pretzels, fruits, pound cake pieces, marshmallows and graham crackers into warm chocolate bliss for about $20. Better yet? Book a party and bring a bottle of wine. They’ll even supply the stemware.

We’ve always thought that this was a sweet place for a date, or a cozy space to indulge with a friend. Recently, we met up with a few other moms and their kids here and were amazed with how accommodating Ethel’s staff was. Furniture was moved to give the young ones a space to roam while their parents refueled with cool drinks and truffles. The woman manning the counter made sure that every drink was made quickly and well; after our share of grumpy coffee shop employees, her graciousness made us love Ethel’s even more. If you do bring your little ones here, be attentive around the counter: the samples are easily swiped off by those reaching limbs.

The next time you make a date with your mom-friends, head out to indulge at Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge… with or without your kids.

The location Chicagoist visited is at 3404 N. Southport. Check the website for other locations and hours.