Monday, September 24, 2012

The Best Coffee Shops in Dallas

Ocular Keratitis.  Google it.  Yeah.  

It's also a condition brought on by excessive caffeine consumption which can dry an individual's eyes and cause blurry vision.  The condition forced Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton to miss five games before returning to the lineup on Monday.  As Hamilton said before the series opener against the A's "it’s me we’re talking about here. Guys, it’s me. It’s Josh. It’s going to be something weird.”

True words. 

I'm just wondering why my eyes aren't desert dry?  I would leave my husband for caffeine if I could.  Like any coffee lover, I look forward to that first cup in the morning more than anything. ANYTHING.
A good cup of coffee is such a sensory experience.  The scent is a discovery in itself.  The appearance foreshadows the taste of what's to come.  And then there is the taste.  Get the coffee, creamer or milk blend perfectly right and it's pure heaven.  Miss it by an ounce or two and.....blech!

My current morning blend is strong cup of Starbucks Espresso or French Roast with a tablespoon of hazelnut-flavored coconut milk creamer (delicious, I promise) and a liberal dash of cinnamon.  The color is dark caramel while the taste is heavy, classic espresso with a dash of rich hazelnut with a cinnamon kick.  LOVE!

There's something to be said, though, for a great coffee shop that serves your daily fave.  It can be a familiar experience that offers a nice routine respite in what's becoming a more chaotic world by the day.

Here is a short list of Dallas spots that serve great coffee (and offer free wi-fi!):
  • Drip  - A Park Cities fave that roasts small batches of beans onsite.  Excellent stuff and good iced tea, too.  Popular with PC moms after their Mother's Day Out drop-offs or tennis matches.
  • Pearl Cup - They believe in the "quality not quantity philosophy" in their brew and sizes.  I like that. 
All that being said, I usually end up hitting one of three Starbucks simply for proximity's sake:
  • Knox/Henderson Starbucks aka "Strollerbucks" - I stop here on my morning walks with Baby J many days.  The line of strollers spilling onto Knox Street is usually longer than the people actually waiting in line for coffee.
  • Highland Park Village Starbucks - I usually go here incredibly grungy, before or after the gym and feel terribly inadequate because the majority of the other coffee klatchers are clad in Chanel, Hermes and Louboutins.  Despite my sartorial inadequacy, the staff is incredibly nice and a few are huge Mavs fans.  It can get ridiculously busy, though.
  • West Village Starbucks - I love coming here in the morning.  You'll see a fair amount of patrons doing their coffee-run portion of the walk of shame.
This is just my short list.  I've also heard amazing things about Oak Cliff's Oddfellows and Fort Worth's Avoca.  I have some great spots in New York I love to visit but I'll save those for another day.

The best cup I've ever had?  A shot of espresso on hot, summer day at a train station in Pompeii, Italy.  Magical.

So as I raise my favorite mug to Josh Hamilton tomorrow morning, I'm curious what your morning drink is as well as your coffee stop of choice?