By Scott Mitchell
When first entering Coffee House Café, located at the intersection of Preston Road and Frankford Road in North Dallas, it is obvious that this is a busy restaurant. Waiters and waitresses rush from the kitchen to the dining areas indoors and on the patio as quick smiles are given to dining patrons.
Wood beams line the ceiling, with tiny spotlights shining down on the elevated booths. One wall is plastered with burlap fabric with various coffee logos and brands printed on it. On the other side of the wall rests the coffee bar, which leads to the outdoor patio with the same wood-beamed ceiling. The restaurant gushes ambience that sets the mood for patrons.
Coffee House Café has become a popular place to dine after some positive reviews from media outlets such as the Dallas Observer. While the food may not be as good as the restaurant’s buzzword quotes on the menu, the cafe still manages to deliver an enjoyable atmosphere and some delicious dishes.
Beyond the food and the atmosphere, the quality that sticks out most about Coffee House Café is the service. The waiters and waitresses are very punctual and upbeat, and make sure to leave a positive impression. From the tattooed blonde woman who constantly referred to me as “sunshine” to the waitress who recommended I try the vanilla-caramel latte, the customer service was never lacking. The service can be slow during peak hours (a 20-minute wait for a server to even come by), but it was a memorable experience.
The food was less consistent. Some dishes, such as the challah French toast sandwich, left a flavorful impression, while others fell short of notability.
In general, the breakfasts and sandwiches make great entrées. The French toast sandwich provides flavor diversity ranging from the hearty, sugar-soaked French toast to the protein-rich eggs and bacon. Top it all off with the sodium-rich pan-fried potatoes, and your taste buds will experience a day’s worth of flavor. The turkey bacon avocado panini performs a similar task, offering the strong meaty flavor of bacon alongside the more subdued, lean-tasting turkey, all mixed with the palate-cleansing avocado.
Coffee House Café falls short on the grilled meats. The burgers are bland, tasting of unseasoned beef more than anything. The blackened tilapia was of a similar vein, cooked well but lacking any flavor beyond the light fish taste. The shoelace fries were great, yet could not make up for the shortcomings of the entrées.
Thankfully, the restaurant’s namesake did not disappoint. The coffee is bold and distinct. The lattes are soothing and sweet, and on occasion, embellished with some latte foam art. Enjoying these warm beverages with cream cheese and a bagel on the patio is a calming experience so long as you don’t sit too close to the towering space heaters, which switch from warming to scalding with a slight change of position.
The natural light of the patio lends itself well to an outdoor meal or a warming latte in the cool morning air. The patio is even dog-friendly, so a diner can bring a companion to enjoy breakfast together.
Coffee House Café provides a memorable atmosphere above all else, and while the food is pleasant and tasty, the price would not make this a coffeehouse to frequent. Entrées range from $9- $16, and a large latte will put a $4 hole in your pocket. Coffee House Café is a place that should be tried at least once to experience the setting, but beyond that, offers little else to return for.