Where: Cookie Lounge (On 22 1/2 street in the Quarters building)
What I Had: Cookies: Toasted Peanut Butter w/ Reeses and Reeses Pieces. Creamy Brown Sugar w/ candied Serrano Peppers, sundried pineapple, and white chocolate chunks. Dottie's Oatmeal w/ golden raisins, wild blueberries, and almonds. Stacey's Super Sweet w/ English butter toffee and white chocolate chunks.
What I Thought: I had very, very high expectations for the Cookie Lounge. Mainly because it was a place that served hot, fresh, customized to your preference cookies. The problem is, that I had constructed in my mind the proverbial cookie LOUNGE, emphasis on the lounge part. The food itself was great, the problem was in the vibe of the whole establishment. I had pictured large, soft couches with cool comfy, chairs tossed with bar height tables and some awesome wall decor. In my mind that is what a lounge should be. Something comfortable, vibrant, and sophisticated. It sadly wasn't. Cookie Lounge had the big couches but lacked any refinement or sophistication. It is surrounded by students so I can understand the desire to be simple. Yet it just wasn't what I expected. Sitting in the lounge felt a little like sitting in a waiting room, but with good cookies. It was bright, stark, and lacked any art on the walls. The only other complaint I have beyond atmosphere is the confusing ordering system. In a way it is similar to Which Wich, but not anywhere near as streamlined and simply layed out. It comes off as confusing when you want more than one cookie. However, the service was excellent. The "cookie artist" was friendly and helpful and the cashier answered all our questions. On to the food.
The first cookie I had was the Peanut Butter. Let me preface my comment by saying that peanut butter is my all time favorite cookie. So, I have to say that Cookie Lounge makes a solid PB cookie. I would give it a B+. Not the best I have had but it was warm, creamy, and well...a cookie, so they couldn't really go wrong. Next I sample my wife's choice in the Oatmeal. We learned something from this cookie. If you order a small don't go over 2 with the mix ins. Although it tasted good, we felt like we got a lot less cookie and a lot of fruit/nuts. Also a B+ cookie. On to the original Stacey's Super Sweet. This is supposed to be Cookie Lounges sweetest cookie. It was delicious and brimming with sugar. It also did a good job going a-la-mode with some vanilla ice cream. In the end you still walked away from this cookie feeling it was good, but still somewhat average. Up to this point I was happy with the cookies but had realized I needed to lower my expectations. Until the surprise cookie was tasted. I went a little wild in my second choice. I wanted something different. So of course I went with the most obscure mix-in that they had: Candied Serrano Peppers.
This little bit of heat balanced so well with the creamy sweetness of the batter, the tartness of the pineapple, and the bittersweet flavor of the chocolate. If nothing else Cookie Lounge is on the map for making on unique cookie with Serrano peppers. I am glad I took a little step out from the standard cookie ingredients. I think if Cookie Lounge can continue to create and tweak cookies with unique ingredients then they will be able to meet my expectations. Until then I will just enjoy the cookie I am going to call "Sweet Heat".
Pros: Fresh made to order customizable cookies, clever concept and idea, great service, and centrally located.
Cons: Poor ordering schematics, needs refinement, diners will be surrounded by college students, many cookies just average.