Prairie Croissant Cafe
970 Harris Rd, Prairie Crossing, Grayslake, IL 847.223.9800

This is arguably the shop at Station Square that I am most excited and disappointed about. These are, of course, only my own personal thoughts. I know some people in the neighborhood love it unreservedly and others really dislike it. I’m kind of in the middle.

On the plus side, I LOVE having a coffee shop/cafe within walking distance (heck, practically spitting distance). That was one of the (few) things I liked about Old Louisville — the Old Louisville Coffee House. I was beyond excited when they opened up the Cafe here. I love doing the whole writer-thing and working in a cafe all day, drinking specialty drinks.

So, that in turn is my biggest disappointment…though it probably has more to do with the demographics of this neighborhood than with the Cafe itself. During the day, it’s a noisy, noisy place packed with miscellaneous play groups. I know, I know, I’ll soon be a mom myself. And I’m sure I’ll be happy to take my kiddo there to get out of the house too. But it really ruins it as a place to go work in during the day. But even when it isn’t packed with kids, it is always pretty noisy. Something about the space just makes it that way. Not that it isn’t a pretty, attractive space. It is. Just too many hard surfaces to cushion the sound.

For the most part, the drinks and food are all pretty good. I’m partial to the steamers (I’m not a big coffee drinker). The bad thing is how long the food usually takes to arrive (especially sandwiches). They still have some kinks to work out on service levels. They have been expanding their offerings lately, and it looks like things are improving. Another note on the sandwiches though — they are all mostly French style (which means ultra-crusty bread and frou-frou fussy ingredients). They’ve all been okay, just not my favorite kind of sandwiches. The pastries (from an organic bakery) are all pretty yummy though.

As an interesting note, they have the most efficient hand dryers in their bathrooms that I have ever seen. Really insane.

At any rate, the Cafe is a nice place. They still have some things to work out, but it is getting better every month.