Friday, July 2, 2010

Battle of the Bottomless Cup: Mud House vs. Kaldi's

Posted By on Fri, Jul 2, 2010 at 1:00 PM

FightClubSandwichLogo250w.jpg
Diagnose this illness, according to these symptoms:

1.) Patient displays craving for caffeine.

2.) Patient shows a tendency of resisting consciousness in the early parts of the day.

3.) Patient has no need for your wussy lattes. 

Clearly, there is only one cure: a bottomless cup of coffee at a local java joint. 

Sounds like a perfect setup for FIGHT CLUB SANDWICH, Gut Check's food battle royale! The contenders for today's battle of the beaneries: The Mud House on Cherokee Street, and the De Mun iteration of Kaldi's. The criteria: does the coffee taste good, and will the atmosphere snap a poor, sleepy soul into wakefulness on a weekday morning?

See the results of the bottomless coffee smackdown after the jump.


THE CONTENDERS

The Mud House (2101 Cherokee St., 314-776-6599)

Black coffee, white cup at Mud House. - KASE WICKMAN
  • Kase Wickman
  • Black coffee, white cup at Mud House.
The Mud House. - KASE WICKMAN
  • Kase Wickman
  • The Mud House.
Add to that the kitschy atmosphere, free wifi and near-perfect outdoor patio seating area, and you've got a start to a good day -- or at the very least, enough caffeine to pin up your eyelids for another few hours, and enough bright colors in the décor to slap you into wakefulness, if not a positive attitude.

Is the coffee good? Yes.
Will it wake you up? Yes.

Kaldi's Coffeehouse, Clayton (700 De Mun Ave., 314-727-9955)

Yes, that does say "prance with vigor." - KASE WICKMAN
  • Kase Wickman
  • Yes, that does say "prance with vigor."
Kaldi's - KASE WICKMAN
  • Kase Wickman
  • Kaldi's
he problem with Kaldi's is that they know they've got the neighborhood coffee shop down to a science -- it's so mellow and laidback that it yields a Pleasantville-esque revelation: Wait, there's no wifi here. Hold on, there aren't even plugs! It's quiet because laptop users are actively discouraged from lingering, so adamant is Kaldi's that the serenity not be disturbed. The staff is also aware of their successes as a coffee spot: one staffer working the counter was so busy chatting with other employees about how the shop had been listed as one of GQ Magazine's ten best coffee shops in the nation in October that he could barely pause to take an order. A groggy customer may give up in the face of the enforced Zen atmosphere and staff navel-gazing.

Is the coffee good? Yes.
Will it wake you up? Maybe.

THE RESULTS

Both are loved locally, priced identically and fairly, and undoubtedly drinkable -- it was a close match between our two contenders. Ultimately, however, a victor must be crowned in the battle of the bottomless cup. While Kaldi's is a restful destination with more coffee selection for the drip-coffee aficionado, the hustle and bustle of the Mud House is best to force those late risers' re-entry to the land of the living. 

WINNER

Don't mind if we do. (Mud House) - KASE WICKMAN
  • Kase Wickman
  • Don't mind if we do. (Mud House)

The Mud House, by a bean.

What's your favorite early-morning coffee spot? Let us know in the comments, whether it's Kaldi's, the Mud House, another area coffeehouse or even your very own kitchen, getting in some face time with your Mr. Coffee machine.

Better yet, share your favorite whitening toothpaste. Caffeine addiction comes at an enamel-staining price, friends.

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