Review: Espresso House

You can’t really go wrong with Espresso House in Norway: it’s like a nicer, more tasteful version of Starbucks, with better food, nicer decor, better drinks, and an all around better atmosphere.

So, different in just about every way.

It’s not that I HATE Starbucks, it’s just that there are so many better places to go. I’ve heard the age-old argument for Starbucks: “Well, I like going to Starbucks because I know what I’m going to get.”

Huh, that’s weird. At Espresso House I ordered a croissant and they gave me a tank full of live mackeral. Weird. Should’ve gone to Starbucks.

I mean, I get what people are saying. Rather than risk getting shitty coffee at some cafe they don’t know, they get average coffee at Starbucks. Which seems to me about the most cowardly way it’s possible to go through life. A bird in the hand, right?

But what if that bird is dead?

My favorite thing at Espresso House are the croissants. They’re pillowy, fluffy, they pull apart into wide, delicate (yet somehow tough) strands, and they cost about as much as a down payment on a house. Espresso House isn’t cheap but Norway isn’t cheap. Espresso House makes up for this – slightly – by having breakfast and lunch specials. A croissant and any hot drink for 59 kroner, for example. Not as cheap as the US, but you could do a lot worse (and you probably do).

The food at Espresso House is also high notch. You know how at Starbucks everything feels like it was just made on a 3D printer in the back, like it’s not really food? At Espresso House it feels a little more like it just came out of the back garden. For example, I just got a bowl with black rice, feta, hummus, and cashews. Coupled with a golden latte as part of the lunch special, it came in at just under 10 bucks. How much would that have cost in Seattle? Probably about the same, actually.

My only critiques of Espresso House are things it can’t really help, i.e. the price and the fact that the feeling inside is always kind of the same. But the latter is also kind of a plus; I know it’s always going to be pretty awesome. That said, I’ll of course keep making forays into other cafes. Like Godt Brød, for instance, also a chain, also awesome, and also expensive as hell.

But hey: Norway.

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