HoCho Fest Day 18: Banana Split

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It should be evident that today’s festival item holds great promise to be delicious based solely on its name.
After taking part in an exercise study downtown, I took the opportunity to take a second peek inside Bel Cafe
My first visit had been met with the information that I could not order my drink with a dairy alternative, so I decided to try again later.

The cafe has a very modern and “chic” feel to it; dark wood and brown furnishings, very soft blue walls with simple polka dot designs darting across them. This is also the first cafe I’ve really encountered where a sign tells me to wait to be seated! So I did wait, and I was seated, and I was handed a menu and spotted the hot chocolate festival item, the Banana Split. The description differed from the one on the City Food festival’s page, but I was there for a purpose and this alternative sounded equally as delicious! I inquired as to whether it was possible to get this one with a dairy alternative, and the kind waiter recommended almond milk; of course I went with his suggestion.

36% Valrhona Caramelia chocolate, topped with vanilla bean marshmallow,
served with banana bread.

 First sip: WOW! Yum! The caramalia chocolate and vanilla made the drink so very beautifully sweet – I believe the vanilla bean flavour crept purely from the marshmallow (which was melting into the drink), but regardless… My tastebuds were having a sweet and tasty party.

 I believe that soy milk would have made this a more rich drink, and I am very content with having lightened the sweetness and thickness of flavour by choosing almond milk – I really do love that milk so much! It complemented the caramel and vanilla flavours very well. 

The drink was not the only item presented in the lovely display of the festival combo, however! Beside the hot chocolate (in what I thought was a beautifully simple and elegant glass), was a slice of banana bread. The bread was nutty and moist and full of texture from all of the extras that were baked into it. I made good use of the spoon that was supplied by dropping chunks of bread into the drink, only to scoop them up covered in sweet chocolate, caramel, and vanilla flavours; each of which took its turn in making its presence strong throughout my drinking experience (caramel, almond, vanilla, rotate).

 Aside from the lovely experience I had with the Banana Split, the menu had a multitude of other items that looked like they would be great for a midday snack or light lunch. I tried not to stare too much at those around me, but the friends sitting to my left had lattes with intricate latte art atop them and the cutest of cakes to go with their drinks – about the size of a small fist! In my opinion, the perfect size for enjoying a dessert.

I hope this will be a spot I return to soon – I would recommend going as a duo if you wish to go with company – I did not get to explore any more of the space (if there was any beyond the glass door in the back), but what space I had was very limited and filled up quickly! Perfect for one-on-one conversation, but three would require finding enough seats in the center table which allowed for larger groups (but was full of singles and duos anyways).

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