For a little bit of pick-me-up and a little bit of dessert rolled into one very sippable shake ($5.50), you're advised to head straight over to one of Pitango Gelato's five locations around Washington DC. Two shots of bold espresso (Stumptown, of course) are blended with a helping of milk, ice, and a heaping paddle of the gelato of your choice.
As for the gelato flavor? The guys and girls behind the counter encourage tasting multiple flavors before settling on one, so don't be shy. Dark and lusty flavors rule here, such as spicy chocolate and heady bourbon vanilla. But for a shake like this? There's really only one "right" flavor as the girl helping me was concerned: Gianduja, that delightful Italian combination of chocolate and hazelnut.
She steered me right, and produced a concoction simultaneously icy and creamy, like the dream state of a Starbucks Frappuccino. Chocolate, hazelnut, and espresso are a wonderful trio, and at Pitango, these three flavors are in perfect harmony. Do give the silky lip of gianduja gelato hanging over the cup side a sip before you snap the on that lid.
About the author: Originally from Honolulu, Kathy YL Chan writes A Passion For Food, where she chronicles her eats and travels adventures between Hawai'i, New York and beyond.