Monday, July 12, 2010

CC: Star Lounge Coffee

What's does "CC" mean? Location visited: Chicago, IL
Free WiFi ? : yes
5+ [
see key]

Sadly, transparency in people has become more and more a unique rarity, like a responsible oil company (oh smack!) or a cheerful velociraptor. But I caught myself an unprecedented glimpse of such a cryptozoological specimen at a local cafe in Chicago (with a kicking lunch menu), where the young barista confided in me that the cafe's coffee was lackluster and that if I was looking for good coffee, to check out a place called the Star Lounge. As I recovered from my initial shock of such a disarming recommendation, he readily sketched down their web address and with strong enthusiasm, encouraged me to check it out if I wanted to try some amazing coffee.

Well, I certainly wanted to try out some amazing coffee so I suggested the spot as a rendezvous for meeting up with a gaggle of colleagues. In the waning hours of daylight, we made it to the Star Lounge, shimmering in a slightly older storefront on W. Chicago Avenue. Up the stairs to the slightly-elevated-off-the-street viscera (inside), I stood amidst a bustle of patrons nestled amidst orange walls, wood floors, an old bar and some snazzy furniture.

As I stared at their menu, I learned that though Star Lounge roasts their own coffee, they use the name of Dark Matter for their roasting operations (I do love an appropriate astronomical pun). I ordered their Burundi via drip, a juicy yet beef broth-ey coffee with notes of Earl Grey tea and a subtle grassiness in an overall smooth cup. The espresso, pulled short with a pleasing crema and velvety mouth feel, tasted of lemon, dark cocoa, sugar cane and a bit of bitterness. Both the coffee and the espresso proved pleasing with only a tad too much bitterness in the espresso. The tea is free leaf.

In departing, I thought the honest barista's recommendation was not too far off. Star Lounge seems like a great local place looking to refine with time; with a few minor tweaks, the place could really earn a name for itself (especially if all their clientele are as fervent as the chap I first met). If you're in the vicinity, shoot over to Star Lounge.


Coffee Grinder said...

I'm headed out for another business trip next week for a week. My company usually puts me up in a very nice hotel somewhere in the downtown area of wherever I'm going. The problem is is there is almost always this pack of wolves (guys) that are constantly approaching me in the coffee shops, lounges, pool area, lobby, etc... wanting to talk (initially that is). I've had some nice conversations, but half of these of course end up with the guy asking to spend the night with me. I feel like I have to lock myself in the room, order room service, etc.. because there's nothing that can be done about it. Maybe I can just wear a big sign that says "I'm not interested."

Bill said...

Coffee Grinder,

As for an effective wolf repellent, I would love to have an effective recommendation (it would make me millions!). Sadly, many people these days revel in random sexual encounters and to that effect, it has reduced much of an initial conversation with an attractive person to a sales ploy for promiscuity.

I would recommend avoiding bars and sticking more to family-oriented venues, with a book in hand (maybe with a fake book jacket titled "Not Interested; yup, I mean you"). Or try meditating, praying (my personal favorite) or anything that will make people feel uncomfortable for interrupting you.

Good luck.

utari said...

a great post. Really good info.