No offense, but when it comes to coffee, I prefer to stay away from the mega blockbusters of coffee shops (yes, I’m talking about you, Starbucks).  On a recent visit to Capitol Hill, I met with my friend Priya at Arabica Lounge for a cup of coffee and something sweet. 

The place was buzzing with the smell of freshly ground coffee beans, and cherry blossoms stuck in glass jars adorned beyond-gorgeous wood tables.  I wanted to pull out my laptop, or grab a book and settle in for an hour or two.  Short on time, I waited on Priya to arrive, ordered a “cup” of coffee and a chocolate cookie.  A word of advice ~ if you are serving a naturally gluten free item, like this delicious flourless chocolate cookie, perhaps you should call it a Flourless Chocolate Cookie instead of Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie.  Thoughts?

The experience at Arabica Lounge left me amused and caffeinated.  Let’s discuss the amusing parts first.  My coffee was served in a glass jar, rather than a cup.  I suppose that gives it a more rustic, down-to-earth feeling, but I would have preferred a cup with a handle and a thinner rim to sip the coffee.

Instead of a register to take the payment, the Lounge used an automated, touch-screen computer for credit cards.  Everything was touch-screen and automated.  I had to ask for the receipt to be printed.  Adding a tip was almost forced, since your server waited for you to add it in before printing the receipt.

I loved the community table at the center of the cafe.  While sitting at the table with Priya, the gentleman across from us, seemingly of European decent, struck up a conversation with us and suggested a few cocktail lounges/bars to visit in the area.  Priya – we still need to go!

The array of baked goods in the display case was quite appetizing.  I decided to go for a Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie, which I think should be renamed to a Flourless Chocolate Cookie.  The cookie was thin, dense, and chocolaty rich.  It reminded me of the cookies sold at the Apple Pie Bakery at the Culinary Institute of America.  The top was lightly crackled.  I could’ve had eaten another one, but shared the one I had with Priya, instead.

Next time you are in the area, skip the overpopulated, big-name corporate coffee shops, and stop at Arabica Lounge instead.
Location:

1550 E Olive Way
(between Denny Way and Summit Ave)
Seattle, WA 98102
Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
(206) 347-6093

Hours: Mon-Fri 7 am – 10 pm; Sat-Sun 9 am – 9 pm

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