Dining Chicago

Sweet of the Week: Happy Chino Milkshake at Mercadito Counter

If there's one ingredient I'm passionate about, it's (aptly) passion fruit. There's just something about the tangy-sweet, rainbow-bright fruit that's irresistible to me. If I see it on a menu, I'm likely to order it. Not many ingredients can boast such influence over my life. The only unfortunate thing is that, since I don't live in Hawaii, passion fruit dishes and drinks are woefully rare compared to many other things. And when they are available, it's typically in the same formulaic types of preparations. All this being said, you can imagine my jaw-hitting-the-floor moment of glee when I discovered Mercadito Counter had passion fruit milkshakes whimsically dubbed Happy Chinos. One thick sip and you'll be happy as well. 

Mercadito Counter
(Happy Chino milkshake at Mercadito Counter)

Made with vanilla, passion fruit, mango, and a tropical spice blend called pico piquin, this Happy Chino milkshake is far from your typical American milkshake. It looks pretty standard, much like a vanilla shake would, but it tastes miles better. Not too often are beachy, tropical provisions like passion fruit and mango incorporated into desserts deemed rich and indulgent, but Mercadito Counter pulls it off by deftly balancing them with vanilla ice cream and a bit of spice from the pico piquin. Thus, they've created the rare milkshake that excels at nourishing multiple taste receptors, rather than just sweet. Each sip/spoonful is a dynamic journey from creamy and buttery, to tangy and tart, to spicy and potent. It's a milkshake to be passionate about. 

- Matt Kirouac

Neighborhoods: River North

The Mercadito team (Little Market Brasserie, Mercadito, Tavernita) makes its entry into the fast-casual dining scene with a Mexican deli concept in River North. Mercadito Counter, set to open fall...

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