I'll have a Coke Raspberry with a splash of Fanta Strawberry, please

When I was a young girl my grandparents owned a diner. While that’s not their fondest memory, my brother and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Not only did they have stand-up Centipede and Space Invaders, they also had a soda fountain. That meant we could make “suicides” any time we wanted. That kid who loved to mix and match the different flavors of soda now thinks the new Coca Cola freestyle machine is the coolest thing ever.

I was invited with some other writers to check out the new machine at Cosi. This sucker has 106 different flavors in it. Can you imagine the concoctions you can create? There are even 62 sugar-free options, and since I can’t handle sugar that was a definite bonus. You can also imagine, though, that lines can get to be pretty long, so I would suggest restaurants also have a plain ol’ six tap machine for those purists who just want a Diet Coke or a Sprite.

We were also invited to sample Cosi’s holiday menu items. The turkey stuffing sandwich is exactly what it sounds like: turkey dinner on bread. It’s filled with stuffing, cranberry sauce, and turkey. It’s kind of like that first bite you take when you’ve filled your plate so full that you get a little bit of everything. My favorite was the “Ham & Yam”: ham, maple butter sweet potatoes, and tamarind balsamic glaze. It had that sweet and salty combination that makes baked ham taste so good. The third sandwich we tried was a grown-up version of grilled cheese, with brie, swiss, cheddar and provolone topped with a fig marsala preserve that gave it just a bit of sweetness.

You can find the fancy new Coke freestyle at Cosi locations in Chicago’s Loop as well as at Pei Wei in Logan Square and at Wingstop in the South Loop. You can find other locations on their Facebook page






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