I've been to Caffe Streets in Chicago twice now and both times, the quality of the espresso has been incredible. The best I've ever had and I wonder how they do it? They are able to get incredible power and clarity while retaining the sweetness and avoiding flaws. It's not like they are using equipment that isn't fairly mainstream. I know their Synesso is capable of pressure profiling, which my Strada EP is also capable and we are both using Robur-E's so why can't I get close?
Coffee people, in general, are a friendly bunch. If they know you're not opening up a competing shop down the street, they'll probably share "their secret".
Ask the barista what he/she is pulling — how many grams in, how much preinfusion, total brew time and total grams out. Also, the coffee itself is a huge component. What are the components of the blend? What's the roast level? How many days off roast is it? Oh, and water filtration — what's your filtration setup? (These aren't questions I'm asking, but that you should be asking yourself.)