Branded Bites: Dream Cafe (Uptown Dallas, TX)
I've never been the biggest proponent of brunch, but I won't ever give up an opportunity to eat good food with my friends. Restaurants that serve brunch can be found almost everywhere now, and one place that has the most popular mid-day meal joints is Uptown Dallas. The place we chose to fill our stomachs up was Dream Cafe (2800 Routh St Unit 170 Dallas, TX 75201).
Dream Cafe is a small place in a busy neighborhood. About fifty patrons were squeezed into a 1500 square foot building, but nobody was uncomfortable. Everyone in the restaurant was smiling and laughing and having a wonderful time. This was my first time here, and I had a good feeling about the place.
We (party of six) were seated quickly, and were given the brunch menus by our server who greeted us and then left. As we talked among ourselves about what to get, we noticed that nobody had come to get our drink orders or asked if we needed any suggestions on what to get. After a unacceptably long time, we ordered our drinks and asked what was good. Our server didn't seem to know the menu and gave what might be the most cliche and empty answer by a restaurant employee: "Honestly, everything here is amazing!". A little disheartened at his response, we asked for a little bit more time to think about what we'll order.
A few minutes later, we ordered. I got the Farmer's Omelette, and my friends got Cloud Cakes (3), French Toast, and The New Yorker.
Omelette with country pork sausage, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and bell peppers. Requested egg whites.
It was a good omelette, but it wasn't great. I could tell that the ingredients were high quality, and the texture of the egg was fluffy enough to indicate that it was well prepared, but it was a bit overpriced. I'm certain I could have made the same thing at home. Nothing especially remarkable about this dish.
Fluffy ricotta pancakes topped with fresh strawberries, crème fraiche and powdered sugar.
Three of my friends ordered this, and the consensus was that it wasn't anything special. One said the dish starts out tasty but becomes overly sweet after a few bites. The other two said it was bland and mushy and not worth ordering again. It's a bit ridiculous to call a meal something fancy and cool like "Cloud Cakes" and then serve something that we could easily be made better with Shake-and-Pour batter.
Granola-Crusted French Toast:
French toast with fresh strawberries and crème fraiche and dusted with powdered sugar.
With a name like "Granola-Crusted", one would assume that there are bits of granola around the crust of the pastry, but instead the whole thing was covered with granola chunks. The meal was "too much"...conflicting flavors left a confused and overwhelmed palate.
The New Yorker:
Norwegian smoked salmon (lox) with a toasted bagel, herb cream cheese, scrambled eggs, sliced tomatoes, capers and red onion.
A nice rendition on the traditional Lox, the salmon was smoked nicely, and the presentation was very particular. The cream cheese was really good. Overall a good meal.
As we ate our food, we agreed that the food was very ordinary for a restaurant that is at maximum capacity. To say we were underwhelmed is a huge understatement. The service in the restaurant was not anything to laud. I understand they were busy, but our waiter only checked in once while we were eating, and when we asked other servers for something like butter, they would look at us as if we were crazy to want butter on pancakes.
We left Dream Cafe feeling unsatisfied and disrespected. We left Dream Cafe knowing that we would never be back.