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One of the cool things about having a blog is that people start to let me pick the restaurants we go to. Before, sure I would casually mention something when a group was deciding where to eat…when we ended up at a chain Italian joint, amidst tons of better options, yes, I was disappointed and inwardly sulky. This happens no more. Friends and family are defaulting to me, even consulting with me before they go for a night out on their own. I do feel more pressure now when they ask me to take them somewhere delicious, but it’s been working out nicely so far.

Two of my favorite co-workers/friends and I found ourselves in Richardson for a conference. After a little research, I decided that we must make reservations at Chocolate Angel Cafe and Tea Room.

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-Me, Karen, and Ellen – I’m lucky to be in the company of such wise, amazing women day after day. I hope some of their wisdom and professional judgement will rub off on me at least a little.

On the outside, Chocolate Angel is nothing special. Just another business in a strip mall (with some interesting boutiques at 635 W. Campbell) but on the inside, the decor puts you in the mood to have a leisurely lunch with the ladies.

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Chocolate Angel Cafe and Tea Room is currently the #2 rated Richardson restaurant on TripAdvisor, but despite this, there were few reviews I could find on this place. So I read them all and came up with an ordering plan.

Karen and I split two entrees, the Ultimate Grilled Cheese and the Some Like It Hot. Both were served with their house salad and chips. Their house dressing was quite good and the chips were super crunchy.

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There was no mistaking the star of this meal…by FAR it was the Some Like It Hot grilled pimento cheese with toasted pecans, chopped candied jalapeños and applewood bacon on sourdough served with a side of Strawberry Jam! At first I was hesitant to order this sandwich for fear it would be too spicy hot. I was going to order my safe choice of grilled cheese; I thought that perhaps the four cheeses would be enough, so I opted for skipping the bacon add on. I was just trying to cut down on my bacon intake since it seems to have spiked lately. I made a wrong choice. Thankfully, Karen was feeling more daring and is an avid homemade pimento cheese fan. This grilled pimento sandwich will be the reason I return and I can tell I will find myself reflecting on my tastebud memory of this creation from time to time until then. This sandwich is in a league of its own. It will be the reason that men will brave this primarily women’s hang out.

We also tried their salad sampler and opted for the Homemade Chicken Salad, Nana’s Strawberry Pretzel Salad, and Pink Arctic Freeze with a White Chocolate-Cranberry Scone.

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The chicken salad tasted like a cross between egg salad and chicken salad, which I liked very much. Cranberries and almonds were sprinkled on top and I liked the crunch and sweetness they added. This dish took second place next to the grilled pimento cheese sandwich.

As for the pretzel salad, I’m not a big fan of Jello and I don’t like it paired with anything, so of course I wouldn’t really like this one. Jello just makes me think of “fake” food and it’s not appetizing to me. The Pink Arctic freeze (although I’m pretty sure there was a mix of Jello in there) was like a lightly sweet, super hard, frozen yogurt with Coolwhip, pineapples and pecans. Karen and Ellen mentioned that they had this dessert before and it seemed to be reminiscent of parent’s or grandparent’s cooking. It was new to me. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but now I’m thinking that perhaps this dish has not crossed my path because my Nana is from the old Czechloslovakia. Our desserts look different, think strudel and kolache cheese rolls. So maybe this is the reason I didn’t feel nostalgic at Chocolate Angel, but it was rather a new experience.

The White Chocolate-Cranberry Scone had a great, soft texture and was sweet enough that dessert was not necessary.

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Dessert was not necessary for the present time, but we stepped over to the To-Go side and picked out something sweet for later. I chose a darling Easter bunny cookie for the big kid in my life. When I got home that day, Danny did not hesitate polishing off the cookie. I’m just lucky I captured a picture first.

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What to Order:

1. Some Like It Hot – grilled pimento cheese…original and unique

2. Homemade Chicken Salad

What to Avoid:

1. Flavored iced tea – It was unsweetened. I never can get the sweetness right on my own and it was kind of strong to drink without sweetener.

2. Nana’s Strawberry Pretzel Salad – Maybe something’s wrong with me, and I just don’t get it. Others seem to rave about it.

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