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Cookie Lounge

9 November 2008 1,763 views 5 Comments

sign_011 The marketing professional in me loves a great concept, and the new Cookie Lounge on 22 1/2 Street between Rio Grande and Pearl is definitely that. It’s the baby of Mark Chapman, the former pastry chef at Austin’s Driskill Hotel. He created one of my top 5 favorite cakes — a Chocolate Caramel Mousse Cake with Guayaquil Chocolate, Devil’s Food Cake, and Dark Caramel.

I checked out the new spot last night with some good friends to see what a freshly baked cookie with fun mix-ins chosen on the spot tastes like. There are over 30 add-ins and six batter flavors. The deal is that you order your cookie(s), they mix ‘em up, and in nine minutes, you enjoy your creation, fresh from the oven.
There was a group of us so we went with the Classic Sampler at $12 for a dozen. This includes 4 small cookies of each flavor: Oatmeal, Walnut and Raisins; Creamy Brown Sugar and Dark Belgian Chocolate; Toasted peanut Butter, Sea Salted Virginia Peanuts.
chapmanWhile we didn’t really mind the wait, we did notice that the place didn’t feel as “loungey” as we would have liked. The seat cushions were thin, the lighting is bright, and the music, if they had any on, didn’t make an impression. We thought that having magazines and maybe flat screen TVs to watch while you wait would be a nice touch.
When the plates of cookies came, they tasted good but didn’t blow any of us away. I especially enjoyed the Virginia peanuts and the oatmeal raisin.
What completely turned me off was that the milk was served with……..ice cubes. We couldn’t believe it — first of all, ice cubes should never be served in milk or orange juice — it dilutes the drinks and creeps me out. Secondly, we paid $3 for each glass of milk and felt cheated when we finished and were left with a glass full of cubes.
cookies_001The Cookie Lounge is open until 2:30 a.m. on Saturday nights — a great idea to cater to UT students cravings when the bars close. However, I’d urge those students to save their money (cookies range from about $1 – $5 EACH) and grab a cookie roll from the refrigerated section of their nearest grocery store. They can simply slice the cookies, throw ‘em in the oven, and for dimes instead of dollars, indulge their craving for something sweet. They can even mix in their favorite candy or nuts in the privacy of their own homes.
The Cookie Lounge is a hybrid between Amy’s Ice Cream, where they will mix almost anything in with your frozen treat, and Tiff’s Treats, famous for delivering piping hot and delicious cookies. While I think it will appeal to students and visiting parents for sheer novelty, I’d argue that Tiff’s is still the leader in the Austin cookie scene.
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  • rachf

    This is the kind of place you want to love, but unfortunately, the gimmick wears off after the first bite.

  • Anonymous

    Dear foodie extraordinaire,
    Is it exhausting being so right and so eloquent all of the time?

    I completely agree about the cookie lounge. I think (and hope for its sake) that its bread and butter will be delivery/pick up, because it’s not much fun sitting around waiting for your cookies to bake. If you call it a lounge, make it a lounge! however, any place that is spreading the joys of freshly baked goods (with the option of no nuts) gets my thumbs up.

    xoxo,
    Ilyse

  • ivette

    I could not agree with you more on the ice cubes in milk and oj. But, I do know plenty of people who enjoy those drinks with the ice, including my partner. The concept sounds cool and has a hint of european leisure to it-not sure that it is the way I’d like for MY cookie to crumble…

  • Chance

    Yes, I love finding fellow Austin food bloggers. I got a post on Chowhound from one of your friends that said you had written a review of cookie lounge. I think in my review I said pretty much the exact same things and had the same sentiments. The real problem behind the concept is that it is not really a lounge. Anyways, can’t wait to read new reviews and continue to read your older ones.

  • Sara B

    I liked the cookies…but too much work (the order form) for just one! Yes, not lounge-y enough…but for some reason, I REALLY LIKED the milk with ice!