Panini XPressO

Overall Rating: 6.600

Address: 7221 W College Ave.
Cross Street(s): Harlem Ave.
City, State ZIP: Palos Heights, IL 60463
Phone: 708.923.6671
Hours: M-F 7am-6pm; Sa-Su 8am-3pm
Type of Establishment: Cafe
Cafe Rating: 6.80
Barista: 7
Savvy: 7
Ambiance: 6
Presentation: 7
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: La Spaziale
Coffee Rating: 6.40
Aroma: 6
Body: 6
Brightness: 6
Crema: 7
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: L
Primary Taste: Smoky
Coffee Beans: Arabica Coffee House
Cup Manufacturer: Syracuse
Price: $1.35
Last Update: 12/18/2009
First Reviewed: 12/18/2009
Notes: Coffee Sales; Outdoor Seating

Located inside a suburban strip mall, and formerly called the Arabica Coffee House, this café has been in business since 1976. The name change reflects a new emphasis on panini and other higher margin items, though some locals claim the name change was spurred on by the ethnic sensitivities given the mostly-white, mostly-Christian Palos Heights' proximity to the more heavily Muslim Bridgeview. It's a long space with several booths. Besides the menu focus on wraps and salads, they offer smoothies and coffee drinks - and a lot of roasted coffee varietals. Using a three-group Cora-supplied La Spaziale, they pull shots with a darker brown crema of some thickness and a couple of white spots at the pour spouts. Made with a darker roast, it's surprisingly not as ashy as the Starbucks across the street and is, in fact, a better shot with tobacco notes.