The best coffee house: Macys in Flagstaff, Arizona
Last night we returned from a winter get-away to Arizona. While it was luxurious to escape the three feet of snow blanketing our back yard, it was 43 degrees at the Grand Canyon and 45 degrees when we arrived home to Chicago. Luckily the snow was nearly gone after a week away. And fortunately, while in the desert state we were able to visit Macys European Coffee House & Bakery in Flagstaff; my vote for the very best coffee house bakery in America.
Blueberry Danish, Sticky Bun, Coffeecake
Macys may not be the most traditional European bakery; case in point, the macadamia nut sticky bun made with buttery whole wheat sweet dough and saturated, not sprinkled with macadamia nuts. The unconventional Blueberry Danish was topped with rich, sweet tofu “cream” cheese that tasted nutty and rich in the way that only a very good baker can magically make tofu taste. The Danish dough was not cloying and white-flour; instead, it too was made from whole wheat flour and was somewhat hearty – though not too thick to disqualify itself from being a delicate Danish. We also tasted a super moist Blackberry Peach Coffeecake that was heady with almond and sprinkled with the darkest and most molasses-y brown sugar-butter crumbles. Somehow, the fruit in all the baked goods was rich and flavorful, despite the winter weather outside. And that is why this place is the best: Quality ingredients and deliciously creative recipes.
Oh, and then there was the coffee. My husband thought it was the best he’s ever tasted. They don’t do Americano drip. Only espresso. And they make beautiful latte art in the top of your steamed milk foam.
While growing up on a ranch in Montana, I learned to appreciate food by watching my parents take it from the field to the plate. I helped my mother garden, preserve vegetables and milk the cow. Loving food led me to a career as a registered dietitian. And now as a mom, I enjoy teaching my children to cook and appreciate how food gets to their plate – here in a Chicago suburb. At the end of the day, it sometimes seems that all I've accomplished is to get dinner on the table. But if my kids helped, a lesson was learned and we most certainly had fun.