Looking for that quaint neighborhood experience? The kind with the comforting and homey feeling that embraces you when you walk through the door after a long day’s work?
Anagra Coffee & Tea is that home away from home.
They are a boutique shop that serves up some very nice cups of coffee with a smile and some delicious treats (two of which are gluten-free, but loaded with sugar). Remember just because something is gluten-free doesn’t automatically mean it’s healthy…or Paleo.
Since this is a small place with limited seating, winter visits are most likely grab-and-go, but if the weather is nice, indulge in a cup of direct trade, locally roasted Tugboat coffee.
My first stage of relaxation began with Tugboat’s Brazilian single-origin made as a pourover in a Chemex. At first I struggled to describe it. Then it hit me like Beyonce’s hips. I was drunk in love with the simplicity and fullness of this coffee. It had round and balanced midtones of caramel and smokiness. The finish was long-lasting, and danced to the back of my tongue.
Since I had a hint of caramel, I decided on catering to my sweet tooth. I ordered a Coconut Rioche (coconut shavings and gluten-free flour rolled and baked, then dipped in milk chocolate) I know, I know. This is not a good example of a Paleo treat, but in my defense the cheat was worth it. There aren’t too many things that are buttery, sweet, bitter, nutty and a little caramelized so this was a perfect accompaniment to my coffee.
Now that I was in cheat mode, why not enjoy a cookie while I’m at it? A nice, chewy walnut one to be specific. I made a mistake on this one. It was a lot of sugar and this one was a big cookie. More than I could chew (or wanted to anyway). It did include whole walnuts which gave the nutty and pleasant flavor although it had a slightly rough chew and stuck to my teeth. The shell was amazingly light and flakey, but was devoid of flavor.
My next taste was also a single-origin coffee and it hailed from the Jamaican Blue Mountains. These are known for their unique flavor profiles and can be quite surreal. This one was from United Espresso Services in Elk Grove Village and made as an Italiano. Simply put, it was no bueno. It had no distinguishing flavors, was over-roasted and had a soapy finish. It reminded me of Starbucks coffee.
Overall, I would recommend you stick with Tugboat coffee. Order what’s in season and be sure to have it as a pourover.
Paleo Friendly Restaurant: Anagra Coffee & Tea (Chicago)
Restaurant: Anagra Coffee & Tea
Location: 6701 N Olmsted Ave, Chicago, IL 60631
Restaurant Rating: 4 out of 5
Paleo Rating: 3 out of 5
Paleo Restaurant Rating Scale
Restaurant Rating: How good is it? On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best I’ve ever had), how good is the restaurant, no matter if it’s paleo or not.
Paleo Rating: On a scale of 1-5 (5 being paleo perfection), how paleo is it? A 5 will have grass fed and pasture raised meats, local, organic produce and no peanut oil in sight.