Published October 5th, 2016 at 9:15 AM
Coffee. It’s not just for cups any more. Restaurants and coffee shops are transforming the reason we get out of bed every morning into everything from dinner to the cocktails that follow dinner. We just don’t have new coffee shops (read our piece about Goat Hill Coffee & Soda, which recently opened on the Westside) in town, here are five surprising ways you can get your coffee fix.
5. Caffe Amaro from J. Rieger & Co. This coffee liqueur (31 percent alcohol by volume) is a result of a yearlong collaboration with Thou Mayest Coffee Roasters. It’s bittersweet with floral and citrus notes. It wants you to find an orange and some soda water and make yourself a spritzer.
4. Coffee and Ancho Chile Rub from Pierpont’s at Union Station (30 W Pershing Road). The next time you’re craving a steak, walk in to Union Station. Pause to admire the scale of the building and ponder how exactly they change the lightbulbs on the ceiling, and then get ready to eat a steak worthy of your wonder. Order a filet or Kansas City strip and then ask your waiter to top it with a coffee and ancho chile rub. A little bittersweet and a little fiery, this beauty is why power lunches exist.
3. Julius Meinl Coffee at Grunauer (101 W 22nd Street). We had to have one proper cup of coffee on the list, right? The Freight House restaurant features rich, vibrant coffee from Julius Meinl, a Viennese roaster that isn’t easily found in the United States (they have four outposts in Chicago). Add on an apricot schnapps if you’re looking to sit and sip.
2. Pork Wings at The Oliver (4807 Jefferson Street). The new restaurant from Bread & Butter Concepts in their former Republica space on the Plaza has coffee-rubbed pork shanks topped with Zim’s barbecue sauce. Zesty, spicy, and (if you weren’t in public) finger-licking.
1. Sprinkle Rim at One More Cup (7408 Wornall Road). “Sprinkle Rim.” Two words that changed the latte forever. The Waldo coffee shop does a birthday special each month and the one from July — a coffee cup with a sprinkle edge — became a regular menu item. Go ahead, taste the rainbow.
— Jonathan Bender writes about food trends and is the author of “Cookies & Beer” and “Stock, Broth & Bowl.” Follow him on Twitter @jonathanbender.