By Amy McCarthy
By Scott Reitz
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
Tea Thyme's desserts deserve some attention. They change frequently, but generally include a couple pies, one or two cookie options, brownies and perhaps a carrot cake—all baked in-house by the versatile Andrade. The carrot cake almost glows on the inside, moist and amber in color, tasting more of nuts and spice than carrot, although there's no effort to mask the vegetable.
The café also opens for breakfast and, Bowen promises, when DART's green line extension gets up and running, he will unlock the doors even earlier in the hopes of capturing commuter traffic. For now, he says, "I would love to have a signature breakfast dish—like cinnamon rolls—to bring people in."
Yet it's difficult to imagine this place as any kind of destination, except for those craving a reminder of mom's budget-stretching salmon cakes. Tea Thyme & Tisane is not that kind of restaurant. It's quaint, friendly and completely honest, promising nothing more than it delivers. There is, however, no real signature.
1104 S. Elm St.
Carrollton, TX 75006
Region: Carrollton/ Farmers Branch
Other than tea...and tisane.
Bowen explains the latter as any kind of bark or root used to flavor cold and hot drinks. One evening I tried a tall, icy concoction prepared from an African herb along with orange and chocolate. From this, he coaxes mellow bitterness, a cool and lingering citrus and, suspended in between, a subtle, almost indecipherable impression of wood...and comfort. The tea list is alluring: kiwi vanilla sencha, Assam harmutty, lemon myrtle, Irish morning rum and so on. Simply put, he brews up some incredible tea.
The café sells tea and spices in bulk. Two side rooms serve both as small dining spaces and display areas. In the main room, a floor-to-ceiling magazine rack stocks reading material—National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, hell, maybe even the Saturday Evening Post. If they had a TV, you'd expect to see Pat Summerall interviewing Too Tall Jones, followed by a special episode of Eight Is Enough.
It's a restaurant stuck in time, a taste of small-town Texas pulled straight from the '70s, when struggling families augmented burgers and meatloaf with bread scraps—and got more value for the dollar. But in a nostalgic setting next to a quilt shop in Old Town Carrollton, Tea Thyme & Tisane fits in perfectly.
Only the shameless attempts at some electronic love seem out of place.Tea Thyme & Tisane 1104 S. Elm St., Carrollton, 214-483-2888. Open 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday. $-$$