BEST MOUTHS: Warm up at Stefani Café | Life

It didn’t take long for Jack Frost to appear! Baby, it’s cold outside! What can I say – this is Illinois. There’s a great place you can go to temporarily escape the ‘winter silliness’, and that’s the Stefani Café.

Stefani Café is a great retreat not only for me but for many locals. Owners Stefan and Ari Frunze celebrate five years in business.

They kept the bohemian chic charm, including their signature sofa. The main area is cozy, where guests can quietly sip coffee or tea, read, study or catch up with old friends. The patio is open during the warmer months, where people can enjoy a nice salad and iced tea.

The back room for overflows or private functions remained a refreshing retreat. A comfortable sofa is there for guests to curl up with a good book or visit a friend over a cup of tea.

Pour-over coffees are the best. I prefer their Ethiopian beer. It’s a sweet blend with just a hint of fruit. This is a coffee you want to taste black; no need for cream and sugar. Guests can enjoy fresh coffee and teas; they have it all – espressos, lattes, cold brews, single or pour-over coffee.

The latte selection is unique – LavUnder Pressure: their signature house syrup infused with local lavender; Let It Bee: honey and cinnamon; I want to dance with ginger: vanilla and ginger; Rocket Raspberry Man: chocolate and raspberry. There are also maple, mocha, caramel and vanilla flavors.

Loose black and green teas are served hot and cold. Try one of their smoothies, like the Green Smoothie with organic kale, spinach, pineapple, mango, banana; or the Coco Banane Almond smoothie, made with natural coconut powder, banana and organic almond milk.

The food is fabulous and unique. I really enjoy the breakfast menu, especially the toasties.

I enjoyed the parmesan, asparagus, prosciutto and egg toast. Another favorite is dill cream cheese and avocado. Try Strawberry, Honey Almond or Peanut Butter and Banana with Chia Seeds for the sweet tooth. Elvis would have liked that, but he would probably nix the seeds.

Mary Thomson from Kankakee and I met there for lunch and enjoyed a bowl of their homemade soup and grilled cheese panini. Both were fabulous, but the cranberry walnut turkey panini with Swiss cheese will always be my favorite.

I can’t write enough positive words about Stefani. Stefan and Ari are a fantastic couple who have made this cafe a hot spot in downtown Kankakee. The coffee is superb, the food excellent and the staff excellent. Really, it’s the whole package there.

The next time you need to relax or warm up, head to Stefani Café. I promise it’s the ultimate way to unwind. You can see me on the couch reading a book and sipping coffee.

Stefari Café is located at 150 North Schuyler Avenue, Kankakee. Call 815-573-5330 for more information.

#BlueForBailey fundraiser – sponsored by Hoppy Pig

Our community mourns the devastating loss of Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic of the Bradley Police Department. sergeant. Rittmanic’s partner, Officer Tyler Bailey, was seriously injured and remains in hospital. We will continue to send our prayers and support to both families.

What can we do to help? Several fundraising events have been organized and more are planned for families.

You can help by helping raise funds for Constable Tyler Bailey and his family. The event will take place at the Northfield Square shopping center in the former Carson department store, from 2-6 p.m. on Sunday, January 23.

There will be raffle baskets, auction items and more, with proceeds going to the Bailey family.

The event is sponsored by The Hoppy Pig in Bradley. For more information, search @BlueForBailey on Facebook.

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” —Coretta Scott King

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