Mercury Coffee Bar (closed)
Across from Slows Bar BQ and a stone’s throw from what’s left of Michigan Central Station, the Mercury specializes in “slow coffee,” salads and sandwiches. The excellent soups include the Irish colcannon and the thick, velvety, nurturing butternut, and salads are nicely conceived, including a welcome small for $3. The slow coffee is ground and brewed by the cup for peak freshness. Sandwiches and panini on Avalon bread are delicious and creative, although they could use more inside. All the extravagant desserts are made in-house, and there are some doozies. The fact that the kitchen is in your face is part of the Mercury’s design, though it can feel industrial, and loud, despite the assertive friendliness of the staff.