Ok. So, being two blocks from one of my five jobs, I visit this Starbucks quite frequently. But this particular visit was purely for personal gain and healthy snacks from the adjacent Jewel prior to a day’s car trek to St. Louis. I made it one of my standards… Iced coffee with a pump of peppermint and soy milk (try it! it’s delicious!). I was delighted to find one of my former students behind the counter, who not only gave great service but informed me he was running four races this season (2 of which are half marathons). Way to go, Alex! And way to pick an honorable place of employment that gives nice benefits, free coffee, and a snazzy apron. Even though it was packed when I walked in, the line moved fast and overall the South Loop store gets a thumbs up from me.
Tag: roadside rests
There’s more than corn in Elkhart, IN
Having previously stopped in Elkhart, IN on the way to Cleveland, I wasn’t exactly needing a reason to go there again. But with excitement rising for my pending trip to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally this August, and the promise of lower sales tax in the great state of Indiana, it was only natural to make a stop-off at the Hoosier Harley store.
Elkhart, my friends, does not disappoint (insert rolled eyes here). Aside from being ignored entirely by every employee in the Harley shop, the marquee sign includes a lovely Bible quote along with the store hours. Next to the shop is Lucky’s donuts. that also serves Thai food. The biker dudes, bible verses, coconut curry / donut smell wafting from Lucky’s, all combined with a full half mile of fast food restaurants and a Wal-Mart made for what I consider to be the ultimate Midwestern small town experience. And now that I’ve described it for you, you don’t need to go there.
Starbucks Around the World: Near Clyde, OH
An ominous sky hung over the Ohio turnpike on the return trip from Cleveland to Chicago. I was fairly hyper-caffenated already, but this being one of my last opportunities for a Starbucks before the Ohio state line made the stop imperative. I should add that I’d much rather pee in Ohio than in Indiana; the famed swing state is notorious, in my experience, for roadside rest cleanliness. No disappointment here, and since I was already 3 cups of coffee down from breakfast with friends I opted for the over-priced, but super delicious Iced Soy Chai. There were three lovely Midwestern Grannies running the floor – which made me rather giggle inside – and when I asked one of them what town I was in her reply was a confident “Well, you’re near Clyde, Ohio.” Well done, desolate rest stop at not-on-the-map-but-near-Clyde. Well done.
Starbucks Around the World: Elkhart, IN
Elkhart, IN proved to be an ideal rest stop en route to my first stay in Cleveland. In an effort to escape the NATO summit, it took two full hours in an un-air-conditioned sedan to get past the Chicago Skyway that overlooks scenic Hammond, IN. As such, Elkhart was as far as I could make it before needing a toilet and a refreshing specialty coffee beverage. Aside from asking if I wanted whipped cream on my grande coffee frappuccino (silly, the plain coffee ones don’t ever get whip), legendary service with a smile with a side of fries and stuffed crust pizza to boot from the neighboring Burger King and Pizza Hut (I kid, I kid).
Starbucks Around the World: Beloit, WI
Starbucks Around the World: Lebanon, IN
The idea of Starbucks (at least when I was an employee there) was always to come, stay, let it be your “third place” to hang out and relax. This is completely contrary to what much of America now understands Starbucks to be: just another drive-through fast food joint with really expensive, tasty coffee. Such is the case with stores like this one in Lebanon, IN, and so many others like it that have giant Siren’s thrusting above the interstate next to the golden arches and the BP signs.
This is not necessarily a criticism, simply a response to what “America” seems to want… which is to have their cake and eat it to. At 7:30pm, I found this Starbucks to be somewhat sub-par… they were completely out of sandwiches and salads, and the barista put whip on a no-whip hot chocolate that (by my palate) was obviously made with reheated milk.
“Long day?” I asked.
“You don’t even know…. I’ve made like 100 hot chocolates today.”
What I didn’t tell this Barista was that in my day I’d make 100 hot chocolates an hour…
In any case, the staff was pleasant, they fixed my drink – unbegrudgingly and apologetically – when I noticed it was made incorrectly, and the bathrooms were nice and clean. Plus, if a Siren in the sky gets a truck driver off of bad gas station coffee every once in awhile, then I guess the bending of the business model a bit is totally worth it.
Starbucks Around the World: Sevierville, TN
With the combination of intense traffic as we neared Smoky Mountain National Park and not seeing a roadside rest since 100 miles ago, Sevierville was our final pitstop on this Thanksgiving escapade to the forest. Besides desperately needing to pee, I like to drink Via on the hiking trails and was fresh out. Great service and clean; an all-around beautiful Starbucks experience.
You must be logged in to post a comment.