I’ve heard a lot about Company Cafe in the past but I try to avoid going on Greenville Ave unless I’m hammered so a visit to this organic gem didn’t seem to be in the cards for me. That is until they opened their second location right off the lovely Katy Trail in Uptown.
Although Company Cafe has set up shop right next to my arch-enemy, Uptown’s very own hell hole Katy Trail Ice House, I figured I had to venture over there and try them out. My first (and second) visit to Company Cafe was about a week after their Uptown location opened. The teeny-tiny quaint dining room was shocking and immediately sent a sense of unease to my brain-“Holy fuck, this place is going to be so crowded come Spring.”
I was not-so-pleasantly surprised by the fairly small menu that greeted me upon my visit. For all the pump up talk I had heard about Company Cafe it didn’t seem right that there were only 11 items on the lunch menu and that includes salads, appetizers AND entrees. Better hope I’m not in the mood for something in particular! Driven by a friend’s blatant order suggestion that I try the loaded sweet potato fries to start, I knew that that was a given. I was a bit hesitant because the word “loaded” to any non-pork eater automatically means “topped with pig face.” Luckily enough, one of my dining buddies doesn’t eat that shit either so we got it on the side. Apparently on the side at Company Cafe means a ginormous bowl. I dig it. Deliciously sweet fries topped with just the right amount of melted cheese and jalapenos convinced me almost immediately that my friend who had suggested them was Einstein. (Don’t get too excited @cjconner1) Seeing as I wasn’t exactly on a health kick the day of my visit – my fellow foodie and I decided to share the Chicken Fried Steak. A heaping plate filled with battered top sirloin, sweet potato mash and green beans quickly arrived at our table. I couldn’t wait to dive face first into the jalapeno-honey gravy drenched chicken fried steak…and I fucking hate gravy.
Although my last-meal-if-I-was-on-death-row-list is the hardest ticket to get in town, I’ve made an exception for this chicken fried steak. It is cooked wonderfully and accompanied with sweet potato mash that is the envy of any at home-chef with how smooth and creamy it is. The sautéed green beans are standard but nice to see such a simple vegetable on a seemingly heavy dish.
Something I really appreciate about Company Cafe is how their menu, although uncomfortably small, varies depending on the meal time. Seeing as I’m not a huge breakfast person, my second visit to the restaurant clearly had to be dinner. Sticking with the fried theme from my first visit I ordered up the Chicken & Waffles. Fortunately for most of you carnivorous Texans, chunks of bacon and jalapeno are mixed into the batter itself. Seeing as I’m not one of you people – the bacon aspect made me want to shove my face in a toilet rather than onto my plate, so my waffles consisted of jalapeno only. A delightfully fluffy and rather spicy, well duh, waffle came topped with crispy chicken. Fried just like the chicken fried steak in olive oil, the crunch of the batter is just perfect. Not to mention it is gluten-free! Although the chicken itself was rather bland, the spice of the waffle and the sweetness of the maple syrup that accompanied the dish made up for that. My table also ordered the Chicken Pesto Risotto which was like a Caprese salad on cRaCk. Creamy, sticky risotto was topped with a large slice of semi-melted Dallas mozarella, sun-dried tomatoes and chicken breast. The risotto was a tad bit under-cooked but it had cheese on it, and cheese makes everything right in the world. I could have used a little more pesto mixed in, but then again I essentially use an entire jar when I cook pasta for one. This dish would be perfect with red pepper flakes mixed in and although I didn’t ask for any – I will be sure to bring my own secret stash next time! We also ordered The Company Burger. This burger was exactly what you would expect if you were a kid again and Dad was grilling burgers in the backyard. A misshapen patty topped with gooey cheese on a fresh bun tastes just like home (unless my mother is cooking). Not only is the burger delicious but it is also accompanied with, dare I say, Dallas’ BEST sweet potato fries. You can make The Company Burger double pattied, a Buffalo burger, a double Buffalo burger and/or get it on a gluten-free bun. Not only is there meat and bun options, you also get to pick from their various farm-fresh cheeses. These include blue cheese, cheddar, goat, parmesan, feta, mozarella or queso blanco. #Winning. (I hate myself for just writing that).
Although my dinner at Company Cafe was delicious I was really looking forward to inhaling their braised short ribs. Unfortunately they were out of them when I went which wasn’t brought to my attention until I actually ordered it. Service fail. On the upside, I am looking forward to dining at Company Cafe again soon and they better make the short ribs extra delicious – they owe me.