4350 N. Leavitt St.
Sometimes, late on a Monday night, you get an itch – deep within the core of your being -that can only be scratched by sweets. For me, tonight was one of those nights.
Normally I head online to order from the old college student standby Insomnia Cookies, but I wanted something a little different tonight – a chance to leave my desk and Lincoln Park. My boyfriend Brendan and I headed up to Cookie Spin, a catering-company-turned-storefront that opened up in Andersonville in November after a few months’ delays. DNAInfo Chicago did a piece on their storefront opening a few months ago, and it’s been on my radar ever since.
I chatted briefly with Annie Arnold, a cashier who’s been working for Cookie Spin for around seven months, about the transition from catering venue to in-house store.
“I think we’re able to do a lot more,” Arnold said. “When we’re catering, people can only have two or three different types of cookies and it’s just a lot of those few types. (For the storefront location) we were able to partner with Chocolate Shop and other organizations.”
Other new amenities include in-house coffee and milkshakes, along with an expanded flavor arsenal. To get just a quick taste of what Cookie Spin had to offer, Brendan and I decided to split something.
The DNAInfo piece described Cookie Spin’s eponymous desserts as being “more like muffins” than cookies. Indeed, they’re called cookie “pies” – muffin-shaped cookie masses roughly three inches in diameter at the top. I was predictably overwhelmed by the variety of options, which included everything from classic chocolate chip to s’mores to caramel apple.
On Arnold’s advice, we went with a cookie pie sundae: cookie pie topped with ice cream, whipped cream and sauce. I decided to stick with simplicity and go for a “cookie bowl” pie – chocolate chip cookie with an M&M brownie center – topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate sauce.
“You’ve got a perfect chocolate chip cookie – I mean, I think it’s a perfect chocolate chip cookie – but then with brownie in the middle,” Arnold said. Sounded like the best of both words.
The sundae itself was hyper-photogenic, with its huge cookie base and towering toppings. The taste, however, left something to be desired. Both the chocolate chip cookie and the brownie sections were bland in an almost health-food tasting way, all dry and middling and mealy. I like rich, buttery notes in my chocolate chip cookies, and this one simply didn’t hit the mark. The moister brownie center was a slight improvement, but not enough to compensate for the cookie’s failings.
What really put the nail in the mediocrity coffin was the cookie temperature – the sign promised a warm cookie to go along with your sundae. I’m very picky about how my warm desserts contrast with their ice cream toppings. The cookie pie, with its sheer mass and density, could have never possible lived up to my gooey cookie ideals. The outside was lukewarm at best and the inside distinctly room temperature. No complaint about the ice cream or whipped cream – both very standard – but overall, a disappointment.
Arnold, who was the only person working while we were there, ran around like mad trying to accommodate two families who showed up with an abundance of hyped-up kids in tow. She later explained that weekday evenings are usually dead, so they don’t staff the place much during those hours. Props to her for keeping a cool head, and I totally get their rationale, but service was slow.
About a 10-12 minute walk off the Montrose Brown Line station. Pretty painless, especially considering most of the hike is a straight shoot west down Montrose Avenue.
Expect to pay around $9-$10 (including tax) for a cookie pie sundae, though mine cost a dollar extra because of the cookie bowl pie. Brendan and I split the sundae quite comfortably. Not quite a bargain for the overall quality of the cookie – definitely not in my comfiest price range – but you could do worse. Mini-pie sundaes, which might be more suitable for the solo customer, are available for around $6.
Cutesy, with little handmade decorations on bubble-gum pink walls and aluminum clapboard siding. The stools near the window were great for peering outside and people-watching, though they might be uncomfortable for shorter folks.
WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR
Widening the eyes of a bunch of little kids – the families that were ordering ahead of me could barely contain their kids’ excitement. Plus, they offer birthday parties!
WOULD I RETURN
Probably not. Muffin cookies just aren’t my thing.