817 Elm Street, Winnetka, IL 60093
“In a world…” of infinite cafés and coffee shops, one name rises up to break the chain:
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“Peet’s Coffee has a brewed dark roast Coffee of the Day that is nice and strong. It’s very good with just cream!”
Lisa, my mom and I traveled to picturesque downtown Winnetka with our friend Scott—long time reader, first time contributor! We were looking forward to enjoying robust coffee and quick breakfast, al fresco in the warmth and sunshine of a golden morning. Although we had carefully planned our excursion weeks ago, with the second part of our journey to Bahá’í House of Worship in Wilmette (featured in the next blog post), familiar traces took shape as we sat together outside Peet’s Coffee. There was a feeling of déjà vu. We started to recall places and events lived vicariously. This mind altering mutual experience didn’t involve a sweat lodge or spirit animals. All of us began to point out the feeling that we had been here before.
Lisa and I had been to Peet’s Coffee in Winnetka a few times. This was the first time for my mom and Scott. As we looked around, we noticed familiar sights. Directly across the street from us appeared to be the filming location for Katie Bueller’s office in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” A quick check online confirmed that this was the spot. With that, Scott—a living encyclopedia of movies—mentioned that the main filming location in “Home Alone” should be near. We looked up the location of the “McCallister” home. It was just a short walk from us! Scott was stoked. We were caffeinated. I was sugared up. Put your palms on your cheeks and scream.
Before we let the movies steal the scene, let’s get back to the story. Scott drinks a pot of coffee every day. He takes it black with just a little cream. Lisa likes her coffee remixed for freshness. My mom prefers to enjoy the flavors of the seasons. I go with the flow. Scott, a tall drink of water, ordered a large dark roast Coffee of the Day, brewed fresh and hot. He added just a touch of cream to soften the edge. I was curious to hear how strong it packed a punch. Scott said, “Peet’s Coffee has a brewed dark roast Coffee of the Day that is nice and strong. It’s very good with just cream!” That pot at home is going to be jealous.
Lisa took the lid off her cup for a quick photo before she took her first taste of the Caffe Mocha. The foam looked dreamy. How was it though, really?Lisa said, with a foam mustache (I swear), “The Caffe Mocha tastes rich and deep; but, it’s not too sweet. I find this very satisfying. This pairs really well with breakfast!” Perfect segue to the food; but, not just yet.
Every year my mom embraces autumn but wants to slap winter. By the looks of her holding her cup so tenderly, I could see that she was holding her Pumpkin Latte in dear regard, coffee untasted, until now. My mom took an airy sip and switched on, “I can taste the espresso beneath the pumpkin flavor in the Pumpkin Latte. I like the smoothness!” Old Man Winter must have blanched, even for him.
It was a mild morning and forecast as a warm day, so I gently transitioned from summer to fall with an Iced Maple Latte. The standup advert on the corner called out to me. Did it taste as good as it looked? With a long pull came the answer, “The Iced Maple Latte is so smooth between the boldness of the coffee and the light sweetness of the maple. It’s very refreshing and rejuvenating!” We were ready to eat.
“The Caffe Mocha tastes rich and deep; but, it’s not too sweet. I find this very satisfying. This pairs really well with breakfast!”
Troubadour Bakery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin provides Peet’s Coffee in Winnetka with their fresh baked bread and goodies. We can attest to the freshness and goodness, to wit, Scott with his Plain Bagel with Cream Cheese, “The Plain Bagel with Cream Cheese is toasted perfectly. Hey, this is simple but simple is good!” Lisa with her Roasted Tomato and Kale Quiche, “The Roasted Tomato and Kale Quiche is nice and warm—very fluffy. This is surprisingly filling despite its petite size!” My mom with her Veggie Breakfast Burrito, “The Veggie Breakfast Burrito has roasted sweet potatoes, kale, spices, and more. There’s a nice blend of flavors and textures. The portion is a pretty good size too. I would get this again!” And me with my Cherry and Cream Cheese Danish, “The Cherry and Cream Cheese Danish is full of cherry sweetness with that tart bite, but it has the mellow cream base that smoothens out the pastry. I just wish I had another for my other hand!” These danishes were made for walkin’.
All topped off, we were ready to go. We were on our way to see the main filming location in “Home Alone.” Please keep in mind that the “McCallister” home is a private residence on a public street. It’s always a good idea to keep a respectful distance and not linger too long or be ridiculous. This is what I told myself, but it serves as a nice reminder for anyone who wants to be there.
As we walked, Scott stopped us on the bridge over the railroad tracks. He recognized the view of the tracks but not the bridge itself. Perhaps this wasn’t the same bridge location or bridge itself, but it was definitely the view. We stopped and took it all in. We felt like we were somewhere. Such a picturesque neighborhood filled the spaces memorably.
After we crossed the tracks and rounded the corner, we began to step through the neighborhood that served as the main filming location of “Home Alone.” Scott immediately pointed out the house across the street that was flooded in the movie by the “Wet Bandits.” The home next door to the main filming location turned out to be “Old Man Marley’s” house in the movie. The film crew made extensive use of this tight area in such a beautiful neighborhood that is still picturesque and timeless today.
With a little digging online, we discovered more filming locations not far from Peet’s Coffee in Winnetka. A little serendipity powered by Peet’s Coffee and Troubadour Bakery made for the perfect day, but we were half done. Bahá’í House of Worship in Wilmette was next on the itinerary, and will be the next blog post!
“The Veggie Breakfast Burrito has roasted sweet potatoes, kale, spices, and more. There’s a nice blend of flavors and textures. The portion is a pretty good size too. I would get this again!”
There was a bonus to the bonus. Lisa and I bought a bag of fresh, dark roast, whole bean, Major Dickason’s Blend coffee from Peet’s Coffee. This might have been the Coffee of the Day that Scott enjoyed so much. I fresh ground the beans nice and coarse for the French press. I wanted to extract the essential oils without causing any silt to develop. Just under boiling temperature, the water was ready. I poured and stirred the water over the fresh grounds. Everything rose lovely. The aroma was enlivening. I poured Lisa and myself a taste, pure and simple. Lisa took a careful sip and was surprised by the bold but gentle character, “The Major Dickason’s Blend from Peet’s Coffee has a deep, rich taste. It’s strong but not burned or acidic. I like the smooth quality with a flavor that lingers!” I wanted to taste the Major Dickason’s Blend as black, then tan. As black, I said, “Peet’s Coffee: Major Dickason’s Blend, when appreciated black, proudly boasts a dark, reddish brown warmth with a woody allure. The taste is bold, deep and rich with a hint of smoke!” As tan, I noticed, “The Major Dickason’s Blend from Peet’s Coffee, infused with unsweetened almond milk and amaretto, is perfectly balanced and smooth. The whole bean dark roast welcomes a diverse approach for a personal touch!” The best memories are those you can take home and share with family and friends. Today was the perfect day thanks to Peet’s Coffee in Winnetka, Troubadour Bakery in Milwaukee, and the beautiful and scenic neighborhoods of Winnetka. Oh, I almost forgot the “Home Alone” gazebo in the nearby downtown park. Oh, the places you’ll go!
I smile when I think of all that we did and all that we did not. There’s always next time. The start will be the same with Peet’s Coffee in Winnetka, but where will we finish? What will we see? Maybe we’ll see you there too!
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