Today's battle of the brews is coming at you from our very own backyard. Pssssshhhttt to those big box chain coffee houses and high five to our very own Stone Creek Coffee!
I had to wait until the weather warmed up (although today there's a crisp chill in the air yet again, boo!) to referee the showdown between the and shops.
This reasoning is because one of my top ten favorite things on planet Earth (and maybe outer space, I haven't been there yet) is Stone Creek's iced coffee. I don't know if there's a fancy venti tall grande latta whatta name to it. I just waltz in and ask for a "large iced coffee" and just like that my taste buds are singing Hallelujah.
I first tried Stone Creek's coffee stylings when I met Steve Hawthorne, the coffee buying VP, from some serendipitous twitter interactions. Steve and I always had fun trading 140 characters and had even more fun exploring the wonders of State Fair last Summer. He and Stone Creek have also always been very generous when it comes to charitable events in the community. I like that.
I'm realizing, as I sip the last of my second large iced coffee (I love my job) that trying to compare two Stone Creeks is like judging a dance off between two tu-tu'ed Hippos. You just can't go wrong.
But there must be a winner so without further jibber and/or jabber...
Introducing first, brewing in the far corner, and hailing from 4106 N. Oakland Ave., in Shorewood, Wisconsin...Stone Creek Coffee!
And in the opposing corner, frothing like nobody's business all the way from the 601 E. Silver Spring Drive in the lovely Whitefish Bay...Stone Creek Coffee!
For the thousands in attendance and the millions watching around the Shoreline, let's get ready to bounce of the wallllllssssss!
Round 1: Drink order - large iced coffee
Shorewood Stone Creek: Easy, peasy, puddin' and pie. It was like the barista poured these for a living. Wait...oh...yeah. She does. Considering my order wasn't brain surgery nor rocket science, this is not surprising it was such a piece of cake. And absolutely delicious. Just as I remembered it from last summer. Bonus points as the girl pouring the golden yum asked me for my punch card.
Whitefish Bay Stone Creek: Deja vu on the easy peasy part. I had my punch card at the ready here and I got a double punch because of the construction. How nice! My iced coffee here was just as yummy and just as I remembered it...from 15 minutes prior at Shorewood. The taste was spot on. Consistency is good.
Winner: A tie!
Round 2: Parking
Shorewood Stone Creek: You have tons of options here as there is not only ample street parking but a little lot next door. Each time I've stopped at this location I've found parking within a hop, skip and a wee lil' jump from the cafe. No complaints here.
Whitefish Bay Stone Creek: Boo hiss on the current parking situation. The huge parking lot at the rear of the cafe is tore up to bits. I was lucky enough to snag a metered spot on the street, but during busier times or the weekend, this would be a challenge. However, they are offering double punches on their loyalty card for the inconvenience which is pretty neat of them.
Round 3: Inside ambiance
Shorewood Stone Creek: I like cafes that have seating away from where all the action and commotion is at the register. I tend to be tapping away at my keyboard trying to write about super important worldly issues and end up absentmindedly typing "non-fat latte with a shot of vanilla." Or you know, something like that. This cafe completely delivers as all the cozy seating is around the bend from the register. There's loads of sunlight from the corner building, too. Did I mention there's a fireplace? Bonus points!
Whitefish Bay Stone Creek: Hmmm...this place is a little wonkey on the inside. It's kind of sort of but not really apart of Brueggers Bagels which is right next door. It just feels awkward. And teeny tiny. All the tables have a front row seat of every order placed as well as they're directly in front of the register. Not to be a complete negative Nelly, I can say that it is sunny and has a nice view of East Silver Spring Drive.
Round 4: Outside ambiance
Shorewood Stone Creek: A neat line of tables on the sidewalk of Capitol Drive make up the outdoor seating here. Your view is of Pick 'n Save's parking lot and a vacant storefront. Not too exciting or inspiring. If you like dogs (I do) there seems to be a perpetual pooch tied up outside while it's owner snags a cup o' joe to go. The pups remind you that you're in a residential area, and that I like.
Whitefish Bay Stone Creek: A stretch of tables and chairs set out on the wide sidewalk facing East Silver Spring Drive at this location makes for great people watching. The view of Sendik's and other well kept businesses isn't hard on the eyes, nor is the river of fancy schmancy cars driving by either. Despite being on a busy intersection one can easily relax and enjoy their brew here.
Winner: Whitefish Bay!
So, in a time of 38 minutes, one hopped up Sara, a whole bunch of singing taste buds, and a thumbs up to Summer, we have ourselves a large icy weight title winner!
Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of the third Shoreline Smackdown is….Shorewood Stone Creek Coffee!