To the uninitiated, Comet Coffee (5708 Oakland Avenue; 314-932-7770) looks like any other third-wave coffee spot, complete with a large pour-over setup, an elaborate espresso bar and a staff capable of espousing the virtues of single origin coffee at greater length than it takes to make a batch of cold brew. The small pastry case that sits to the right of the coffee bar, however, tells the other part of Comet's story: the top-tier baked goods that place co-owner Stephanie Fischer in the upper echelon of St. Louis' pastry scene.
For this xylophone-player-turned-chef, pastry has been a part of her life ever since she was a little girl correcting her mom's baking mishaps. Her scones, cakes and croissants showcase her talent, but Fischer's piece de resistance is her chocolate chip cookie. This specimen of perfection is the platonic ideal of the ubiquitous sweet: A crispy exterior that tastes like toasty brown butter yields to a soft interior filled with discs of still-molten dark chocolate. A few flakes of sea salt over the top bring out the cookie's savory notes. It doesn't get any better than this.