Tag Archives: breakfast

Village Baking Co: Aromas that rekindle childhood

Some of my earliest, fondest memories are of passing over U.S. Highway 75 on Mockingbird Lane in Dallas. The reason wasn’t the not-yet-existent Mockingbird Station or the La Madeleine that’s still there. It’s something much simpler.

The smell of baking bread is something that goes through your nose and fills your body with comfort – and it’s something you don’t want to let go.

Village Baking Co. is on University Boulevard in between Central Expressway and Greenville Avenue, releasing the sweet smells of baking daily. (Credit: Facebook)

Village Baking Co. is on University Boulevard in between Central Expressway and Greenville Avenue, releasing the sweet smells of baking daily. (Credit: Facebook)

Of course, the Mrs. Baird’s bakery that was once on that southwest corner is long gone. But what still gives me that warm feeling on an afternoon drive is a local bakery that opened up on my route home not too long ago.

Village Baking Co. is, unfortunately, no real local secret. It isn’t terribly packed, but it surely is getting attention with the growing number of farmers markets its products are getting into. Step in the University Boulevard shop on a Saturday morning and you’re greeted with a smile from someone behind an island topped with baked goods, but you’ll be waiting a bit to order your sweet breakfast.

Village Baking Co. scones

The size, taste and soft density of the scones at Village Baking Co. make for a hearty breakfast (or afternoon snack). Photo by Taylor Adams

For that meal, the scone is a safe bet. Any flavor available that day is lively enough to keep you full for the morning. The cranberry scone has a subtle flavor that comes out in every bite of the bread that has a crunchy exterior and soft, dense inside. It’s delightful, warm, and sweetly satisfying.

Another expected option on this wooden table of baked assortments are croissants: plain, au chocolat, and ham and cheese. In my visits there, the ham and gruyere croissant was the most popular order by most people around me. I always go for the pain au chocolate. This one is fine, but doesn’t strike me as terribly fresh, even as it takes me to a sidewalk cafe in France or to any other scenario that evokes French delicacies.

Village Baking Co. croissants

The array of croissants will give you plenty of options. The chocolate is fine, but the plain will give you a bit more satisfaction. Photo by Taylor Adams

There’s a crisp exterior; the inside is soft and delicate, but it’s a bit dry, as is the tiny bar of chocolate that runs throughout it. I’ll go for a ham and cheese next time, but the plain croissant does come out in a manner that seems fresh – just as you would expect from the aroma that fills this space. It’s smooth on the inside, subtly sweet, and one just won’t be enough.

But it’s not all sweetness in this tiny bakery. Its breads are worth the carbohydrates, too. The white sandwich rolls couldn’t be softer: they’re simple, but the freshest you’re going to get around here.

I’ll surely try a baguette on my next visit. Sitting in a wicker basket nestled in the east-facing window, they look like perfection, and they sound like they must be fresh. On a recent visit, a customer asked for one of the tall baguettes – the woman behind the large island reached up for one – “Oh! Still hot!”

Really? I need to get myself one of those.

Village Baking Co.Village Baking Co.
Location: 5531 E. University Blvd. in Dallas, 75206
Contact: 214-265-1170, villagebakingco.comFacebook, Twitter and Instagram
Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily
Service: friendly and fast
Ambiance: naturally-lit and spacious inside, picnic tables full of breakfast-eaters outside
Payment information: major credit cards accepted

Want to catch them at a farmers market? It shouldn’t be too hard. This Saturday, you can find them at those for Coppell, McKinney, White Rock, Collin County, Saint Michaels, Rockwall, Frisco, Little Elm and Keller.

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Filed under American, Breakfast, Dessert

Another weak attempt at Another Broken Egg

Many restaurants have a wait on Saturday mornings for breakfast. When I was able to park my car directly in front of the door to Another Broken Egg and have my two-person party be immediately directed to a six-person table last Saturday, I had a feeling my meal might not be a five-star breakfast.

Biscuit beignets at Another Broken Egg.

My anxiety changed when the waiter seemed sincere in wishing us good morning, bringing us coffee and convincing us to get the “famous” biscuit beignets before we even opened our menus. The honey-marmalade combo in the cup next to the petit beignes was a little too bitter for the morning, but I’ll choose any jelly before opening up a marmalade. I asked for honey, dipped my mini-scone-looking pastry in the smooth sweetness and took a bite. I didn’t mind the flavor, actually, I just felt like I was at Uncle Julio’s. The fact that I was eating biscuit beignets, though, made for a dense sopapilla gone bad.

Because I wasn’t giving up because of an appetizer and I still hadn’t surpassed the limit of sugar for the morning, I gave the French toast a try.

French toast with bacon and eggs at Another Broken Egg.

I’m a big French toast fan, and I really don’t set the bar terribly high for grilled, soak bread. I’m wowed by few places, and Another Broken Egg proved to serve an “acceptable” breakfast. The presentation was an odd one, with the pieces placed in a spiral, the grilled batter flowing off the edge of the bread. The plate was full of pieces with good flavor, but a flavor resting in a grilled bread that never quite met that awesome crispness that keeps in heat and holds up syrup.

As you may have guessed, this wasn’t my first breakfast here. Months ago, I had gone to this restaurant, waited on the benches with numerous other people to get a coveted table and tried this chain restaurant that had just opened on Upper Greenville. I decided to give the brand new restaurant a chance, ignoring the aloof waitress, the flavorless, heatless eggs and the spider that joined us for breakfast that day. Seems my recent meal there wasn’t so bad.

This restaurant wasn’t a total failure, by any means. With the plethora breakfast options in town, though, it’s probably going on my “don’t-go-to” list of restaurants.

Another Broken Egg
Location: 5500 Greenville Ave., Ste. 1300, Dallas, 214-782-9927
Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Price: $
Service: Friendly.
Ambiance: The brightly colored wood paneling and wooden stools at the bar (yes, bar) makee you feel like your in an East Coast establishment.
Attire: Casual
Payment Information: Major credit cards accepted
Alcohol: Beer, wine, various versions of a bloody Mary, mimosa and coffe with liqueur drinks

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Barbec’s: The only place to go for biscuits and gravy

The ham platter with a side of biscuits and gravy and Barbec's/Taylor Adams

It’s no surprise that my attempt at a good diet is commonly disrupted by the first meal of the day. The good (meaning delicious, not healthy) meals include high carb counts, too much sugar and an extraordinary amount of fat (hopefully from a type of breakfast sausage).

Blueberry pancakes are always great. Chorizo can make a breakfast taco the best $3 ever spent. But biscuits and gravy give a feeling that goes beyond comfort food, into that “down-home” cooking that implies a mother dressed in a waist apron, happily delivering a home-cooked, cholesterol-packed meal to the breakfast table.

Only Barbec’s has been able to grant me this breakfast appropriately. There aren’t women replicating a scene from 1957, but the quality of both the biscuit and gravy surpasses any other attempt I’ve had in a restaurant. Numerous other places have biscuits and gravy on their menus, but even other great breakfast joints deliver plates full of dense biscuits and flavorless gravy.

On a Saturday morning, the line to be seated at Barbec’s arranges across from the kitchen, where one to two trays filled with fresh beer biscuits are always sitting. The consistency of this biscuit is delicate, but its buttery taste and texture makes it an indulgence. There’s no question the cooks here take the tray out of the oven just before these biscuits would finally be done.

Jelly and honey sits beside a bottle of ketchup on each table, and a couple of times, I’ve seen people use them. But the gravy (while it does need some pepper each time) is one that makes a small piece of bread into a decadent meal.

The thick gravy looks homemade before you even spoon it over your biscuit. (This is drastically different from many places that serve a stark-white fluid of some kind that they call gravy). The flavor pairs perfectly with the biscuit, though it could easily go on top of anything on your plate.

Beer biscuits and gravy are offered with a number of meals on Barbec’s menu, one that is overwhelmed with breakfast items. Omeletes and platters provide various combinations of meats, peppers and cheese with eggs. The western omelete or platter is a classic, and the ham platter is a simple approach to incorporate all the necessary breakfast food items of eggs, cheese, ham and hash browns (with a side of biscuits and gravy, of course).

Every so often, a perfect, gold Belgian Waffle is carried passed my table, and I tell myself I need to have it, but I can never skip over the chance to get the biscuits and gravy.  I guess one day I could go for lunch and try something new. After all, I can get biscuits and gravy with the chicken fried steak.

Barbec’s
Location: 8948 Garland Road, Dallas, 75218, 214-321-5597
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Price: $
Service: Friendly, acceptable attentiveness
Ambience: Feels like a local diner
Attire: Casual
Payment information: Cash and local checks only
Alochol: None served
Seating: Indoor and patio

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The home of a classic breakfast

When searching the breakfast menu of a restaurant, I frequently skip over the omelettes and go straight for pancakes, crepes or biscuits and gravy. But every so often, when my eyes don’t make that jump, my choice will be cheese, ham, green onion and bell pepper carefully encompassed in egg: a Denver omelette, or what some of you may know as the Western omelette.

I’ve perused various sources to find the origin of this classic, but found ambiguous answers, including one from Denver’s Westword that was informative, but one that was still without a final answer. However, on my trip to Denver, my boyfriend and I were able to find a place that claims to be the home of the Denver Omelette.

The Denver omelette at the Delectable Egg/Photo: Taylor Adams

The Delectable Egg is a local chain in Denver (and Westminster), providing customers with a menu listing various appetizing meals, but I wasn’t coming up to the mile-high city to order waffles. Offered with breakfast potatoes and a choice of toast, an english muffin or pancakes, this Denver omelette comes out  with sliced ham and bell pepper on top of the egg combo.

 

The toast was toast. The breakfast potatoes needed work–added salt helped, but some crispiness to the outside of these small chunks would have made them acceptable. What was important, however, was up to my expectations. The omelette was nothing different and spectacular–it wasn’t baked or complimented with foreign ingredients. However, it was simply the way a Denver omelette should taste, which is something many restaurants can’t seem to figure out. The ratio of meat, cheese and veggies was perfect: with each bite the cheese would melt and the bell pepper would crunch; and there was the right about of ham to provide the meatiness required in a full breakfast.

This alleged home of this classic is a good destination for this breakfast favorite: it’s simple and it’s perfect.

The Delectable Egg
Location: (Multiple) 1642 Market St., Denver, 80202, 303-572-8146
Hours: Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturday through Sunday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Price: $ (items are below $10)
Service: Friendly, attentive
Ambiance: Small, downtown breakfast joint
Attire: Casual
Credit Cards: All major cards accepted
Alcohol: None served
Seating: Indoor seating

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