Last weekend I went on a trip with my best friend Pat who is getting married a week from today. It was a "just the two of us" kind of get away before he becomes one with Angela. On the way back from his cabin we stopped at Racy D'lene's Coffee Lounge in Eau Claire. I've blogged about Racy's previously, but it's worth another mention.
I used to go to Racy's when I was in high school and home from college. This was before I knew much about coffee (which is good, because their coffee wasn't that great back then!) Racy's has been a kind of formative ideal for me of what coffee shop atmosphere can be. It's cozy yet industrial, and a little dark. It has an adequate sound system, which is a detail many other good coffee shops lack.
As I mentioned before, the coffee quality at Racy's has been elevated in the last few years. It might be the only shop with a Synesso in western Wisconsin. We had a good time talking with Kyle, the barista pictured below. Baristas have many common experiences: the gripes and joys of the job. He humored us and poured some latte art.