Coca-Cola Freestyle at Pei Wei

A preview of the new Pei Wei Asian diner chain (officially opening next Tuesday) had us stuffing our faces full of Korean barbecue beef, spicy tea-smoked chicken, pork pot stickers, wok-fried shrimp pad Thai and crab wontons, but we also couldn’t get over the Coca-Cola freestyle machine, a soda fountain of the future where obscure flavors like caffeine-free raspberry Coke, peach Sprite Zero, flavored Dasani waters and other Franken-flavors are available at the push of a touch screen (literally). The technology to create the “100-drink soda bar” involves precise measurements of various concentrated syrups and flavors spewed from inkjet printer cartridges so that raspberry meets classic Coke, strawberry meets Sprite, and peach meets Fanta with the perfect balance. Of course there’s Coke, Sprite plain-old water and the rest of the usual suspects, but there’s also lots of room for carbonated experimentation (read raspberry Mr. Pibb). Pei Wei, 2709 N. Elston, 773.687.0290

The home screen of Coke Freestyle

Sleek design, obscure flavors amid the originals


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