December Show Stopper Shake at Hotel Valley Ho’s Cafe ZUZU.

Zuzu at Hotel Valley Ho invited us for a taste of their holiday Show Stopper shake and we were thrilled to partake. Like, think about how you’d feel if one of your favorite restaurants asked you if you wanted to eat a delicious brunch and then top it off with a shake that comes with its own homemade gingerbread cottage. It’s not a hard yes to give at all.

Plus, it’s the holidays, we can indulge a little. Or in this case, a whole lot.

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We started with the avocado toast and coffee. Chef Russell LaCasce suggested we add smoked salmon and, well, he was right. Now our toast wasn’t just toast. It was a meal. It really is worth the edit. The avocado toast is amazing by itself, we love the little details like the micro greens and the Marcona almonds, but nothing beats smoked salmon as an accouterment.

For our main dishes, we chose our favorite… yes, a repeat dish. We’re sorry but also we are not sorry. Not at all.

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We can’t get enough of the duck confit on the brunch menu, so we ordered it again. This dish is always cooked perfectly no matter when we order it and it has quickly become our favorite. Duck? For breakfast? You can’t get any more luxe than that. And it is the holidays after all…

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But, we also know that we’re about to have a large white chocolate gingerbread shake, so we paired the duck with something a little lighter. The Brussels Sprouts and Kale Caesar salad featured sourdough croutons, parmesan crisps, and capers.

People don’t use capers enough around here. If you have the chance to throw a caper into a salad or a chicken dish, we can’t recommend it enough. Here, the caper gives the salad a little burst of tang, a touch of brightness to cut the richness of the dressing.kd9a6610

And now, the reason why you’re all here, the Show Stopper Shake.

Each month Zuzu does something totally too extra, too much, and justtttt right. You think you can’t eat the whole thing and you’re right! You need at least one buddy to help you out, but together you can accomplish some great feats. Like eating a donut and ice cream in one sitting.kd9a6611

Our shake came with a house. Because Zuzu doesn’t leave a single detail untouched. They think of everything. Each goodie is meticulously placed and tastes as delightful as it looks. Talk about some Christmas cheer! The gingerbread cookies are crisp, but tender, and just a little spicy without going overboard. The house, beautiful as it may be, is dismantled easily and eaten quickly.

The secret star of the show, however, is the ginger donut.

That ginger donut is our new everything. It’s moist with some texture and the tiniest bit of heat from candied ginger and it has the slightest hint of Christmas joy without being cloyingly sweet. We could have taken home a dozen.kd9a6613

The ice cream itself was a white chocolate gingerbread and it was thicc as hell. Rich and creamy, we had never had a ‘hearty’ milkshake before, but this was like a holiday dream in a glass and even as we sat devouring with pure joy for half an hour (it takes that long to eat it!), the shake held up. It didn’t even seem like it melted at all, that’s how magic the white chocolate was in the ice cream.

The shake itself is huge, as we always warn, and it takes a bit of time to put together. This over-the-top Christmas miracle of a dessert is made to order. We like to say it is “bespoke” and we recommend grabbing brunch or lunch and asking for the shake when you decide your main courses. Believe in this magic! It is worth the wait! We promise. Come for the mini gingerbread house and white chocolate ginger ice cream, stay for that ginger donut. Merry Christmas to us! And you. But damn, mostly us. This shake was amazing.

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Check out this holiday dessert throughout the month of December at Hotel Valey Ho’s Zuzu!

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