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Food

Nut-Free Cupcakes at Cho'cola Bake Shop

Posted by Sisi / February 4, 2008

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What smacks more of childhood and golden days gone by than a yummy cupcake? Part of Montreal's cupcake revival, charming Cho'cola Bake Shop in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce certainly doesn't lack for choice. Nope, the rows and rows of cakes, pastries, chocolates, truffles, lollipops, and of course cupcakes will testify to that. The shop even has its own line of water to relieve parched mouths after a good sugar rush. The shop prides itself on being entirely nut-free, a huge boon for people who don't otherwise get to enjoy baked goods very often.

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The place is quaintly decorated, with pink pastel take-out boxes and bright lighting. A few tables line the right side of the bake shop complete with cushy retro chairs. I went there with fellow Midnight Poutine writer Gabby. We briefly considered getting 6 cupcakes for $6 but decided against it for fear of massive sugar-induced headaches. Individual prices were pretty steep; regular cupcakes cost $2.95 plus tax while filled cupcakes went for $3.50. We ended up getting 3 to sample: Cookies n' Cream, the delightfully-named Raspberry Freeze, and a cute Vanilla Smack. (I'm guessing "smack" as in "kiss," not the Amy Winehouse variety.)

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I'm sorry to report it, but the cupcakes were pretty disappointing. They're certainly very pretty, but the icing on the Cookies n' Cream is extremely sweet and there was enough of it to make myself icing Mutton Chops. (Which in retrospect would've been a better use of the stuff.) As for the cupcake part, it was pretty dry and tasted perilously close to cake mix. The only real link to Cookies n' Cream was the single Oreo planted on top; the icing didn't taste like cream at all, only sugary hell.

Gabby fared a bit better with her choices. The Vanilla Smack had much less icing and it actually tasted like vanilla. The cake part itself had the same shortcomings as the Cookies n' Cream. The Raspberry Freeze, on the other hand, was quite enjoyable. The fruit filling gave the cupcake more moisture and character, leaving a nice tangy aftertaste.

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In all fairness, we only sampled 3 cupcakes. There's a lot more to discover in the shop, and Cho'cola seems like an excellent place to get a head start with all those chocolate hearts for Valentine's Day. It's expensive, but for those with food allergies the price may be worth every penny. But for all the bakery fanatics without allergies, it might be more worthwhile to check out other cupcake havens like Cocoa Locale, Itsi Bitsi, or Petits Gâteaux.

Cho'cola
5601 Monkland Ave.
(514) 485-2652

Discussion

18 Comments

emily / February 5, 2008 at 03:23 pm
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That Cookies n' Cream cupcake looks impossible to eat (nice link btw). But an Oreo dipped in cream sounds like a pretty good idea;).
Sisi / February 6, 2008 at 06:03 pm
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Mmm mmm mmm, tell me about it. And it wouldn't cost me $1 per bite either.
dashingsenator / March 16, 2008 at 09:50 pm
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Sisi, your review hit the mark. I've been to Cho'cola at least three times (glutton for punishment or just hoping for a better experience?). The latter is probably closer to the truth.

It is simply over-rated, over-hyped, over-priced, and unfortunately also underwhelming.

It's too bad...concept had promise, but the baked products do not live up to the that very same promise. At least not for $1 a bite.
Alex / November 17, 2008 at 08:45 pm
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I agree with you - I went twice, I was fairly happy with my cupcake the 1st time but not at all the 2nd. You're basically paying for cuteness and sugar - for that price I'll make my own cupcakes.
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