Coffee Shop Review: Blackberry Market

House-made granola and a coffee

House-made granola and coffee

Blackberry Market, a cafe in Glen Ellyn, IL that is located about a 10 minute bike ride from school, has become my new favorite study spot this past month. I have enjoyed breakfast, lunch, and afternoon coffee whilst lounging in the same little nook and typing away on my laptop or reviewing notes. After having thoroughly sampled much of Blackberry’s menu, I feel that I can give the place a decent review.

If I had to pick a delicacy that is first and foremost in my heart, it would be their vegan chocolate chip trail mix cookies. The chewy center with cranberries, chocolate, and nuts in each bite is a perfect accompaniment to an almond milk latte in the afternoon. Break off a piece, dunk, chew, sip, chew, repeat. It is not the prettiest way to eat a cookie but definitely the tastiest way. These cookies are so wonderful that I haven’t been able to stop myself long enough to take a picture before devouring.

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For lunch, I love their spring pea soup and market salad with blackberries, goat cheese, and toasted pecans. The crusty bread that comes on the side is delicious as well.

This morning, I had their veggie breakfast sandwich, a monster piled high with Gouda cheese, caramelized onion, tomato jam, greens, and a fried egg. A mix of roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes came on the side. Everything was well seasoned and fresh. It kept me full way past lunch time.

If I am craving sweet, my favorite breakfast at Blackberry is definitely one of their cinnamon rolls. They probably make the best cinnamon roll I have ever tasted. I’m not even a cinnamon roll fan, and I would pick one of these over their croissants any day. It is perfectly soft with just the right amount of cinnamon, and enough frosting to cover every bite, but not so much that it overwhelms the pastry itself.

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Lastly, I must mention the blueberry muffin – simple yet perfectly satisfying. They brew Intelligentsia coffee and make an almond milk latte that is lighter than a regular latte but definitely not over-steamed and very flavorful. Let me tell you, that is hard to come by.

My only complaint would be that they need to figure out a better gift card method. Every time I try to pay with it, it turns into a ten minute long fiasco. Also, the regular brownies are much better tasting than the blackberry brownies that get all the hype. Get the regular brownie – you will be happy.

If you are not located near Chicago, I am sorry for boring you with this post, but I am happy to inform you that wherever you are, the weather there is better than it is here. Nonetheless, I do hope that a few individuals in the surrounding Chicago area find this review of some help. If you can, stop by Blackberry. You will not be disappointed!

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Coffee Shop Review: Lucky Llama Coffee

I am a bit of a coffee snob, and nothing makes me happier than a quaint little cafe whose baristas know how to brew a good cup of joe. Let me say, I was one lucky llama to stumble upon this place several weeks ago.

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Chicago

Emma here. My dad and I were in the Chicago area looking at schools last weekend before I had to make my final college decision, and we toured the city with my cousin the day before we left. From the shelter of the car, we toured gorgeous neighborhoods and antique buildings. We even braved a windy and freezing but still beautiful walk on the beach by the lake. We ended the day with famous Chicago deep dish pizza(“pie” in Italian. Don’t call it pizza pie, because you’re actually calling it pie pie, which just makes you sound like a non-pizza connoisseur). We went to Pizano’s Pizza and Pasta. We met the owner, Rudy, whose father invented Chicago deep dish at his restaurant, Pizzeria Uno.

The pizza wasn’t even pizza to me; it was something completely different, and completely wonderful. A thick, buttery crust that tasted like pie crust (makes sense!); the first layer melted slabs of mozzarella cheese, green peppers, and house-made sausage; all topped with chunky tomato sauce and mushrooms. Definitely a heart attack waiting to happen, but delicious.

Earlier in the day, we stopped in at Lito’s Empañadas for a light lunch. The good first: awesome beef and chorizo. The bad: Whatever you do, do not order the apple cinnamon. It tasted like candied mush inside a stale tasteless bread thing. That being said, I do highly recommend the meat empañadas. Perfect to warm you up on a cold, rainy Chicago day.

It was a great trip, and the city was made even better through the eyes of a local.