Growing weary of the Macalester bubble, this week I set off to explore the neighboring bubble of St. Catherine University. I had heard rumors of Quixotic Coffee through the grapevine of fellow elite caffeine critiques in the 55105, and gosh darn it, it was high time I tried it for myself.
I walked in and was immediately struck by both how crowded the place was, as well as the range of people this coffee shop was serving. From the hipsters in the booth having one of the most drawn out and painful “relationship talks” I have ever witnessed in a coffee shop to the freshly glistening work-out group chatting ecstatically about their ketones, this place clearly offers a lot to many. The counter schema isn’t your usual muffin and croissant carb cabaret, but rather features a duet of parfaits and chia seed puddings twirling romantically and winking at the freshly exhausted crowd from the gym.
When it was my turn to order, I first got the “Marko Polo,” a blend of nitro cold press, cream, homemade caramel, vanilla and black salt. I took one sip and thought “oh my god, this is up there with one of the best coffee drinks I’ve ever had.”
Frothy and smooth from the nitro cold press base, this drink brought out the flavor of the caramel without falling into the fatal sickly-syrupy domain that can ruin any specialized drink. Instead, the caramel was balanced within the ideal flavor trifecta of bitter, sweet and savory. This drink was absolutely a 10 from texture to flavor and left nothing to be desired. No notes.
The “White Lighting” on the other hand, a simpler nitro cold press with cream and vanilla, lacked the balance of its brother Marko and unfortunately ventured into that dangerous syrupy-sweet terrain. It is a shame that “White Lightning” couldn’t attain the balance of their older brother, but alas most families entertain sibling rivalry, and from where I stand “White Lighting” is going to have to work a little harder if they want to compete with flavor trifecta-winning champion “Marko Polo.”
Finally, because Quixotic seemed to serve a health-conscious crowd, at least in part, my review would not be complete without surveying an item off the unique menu which drew so many people to the cafe.
I tried their soup of the day, a creamy chicken wild rice that served as a simple barge floating me off to a land of comfort away from winter winds. With vegetables cooked to the soft tenderness we so yearn for in these trying times, accompanied by wild rice and chicken singing in perfect harmony, it seemed to me that if I could simply take a bath in this soup all my troubles might melt away.
So to all those out there wondering, is it worth it? Should I really buy another coffee under the guise that it will motivate me, while deep down knowing nothing will motivate me? I say yes. At least at Quixotic you can sail your unmotivated bum away down a river of wild rice soup and nitro brews.
Quixotic Coffee is located at 769 Cleveland Ave S in St. Paul, MN 55116.