Well Dallas, nothing like another gray, rain-soaked Monday to get the week started off with a thud. The alarm buzz rang more mercilessly that normal, but it did the trick: Roasted was up early with plenty of time to run some errands before hitting up a coffee shop on the way to the office and then filing a timely morning blog post.
But after a series of ill-fated events collided with poor planning and slick-street traffic, all those thoughts about the bird getting the worm were quickly chucked out of the ol' brew basket like a soggy filter of spent coffee grounds. The errands and post would have to wait. Monday was bringing her worst.
It was clear that today would call for more than a cup of coffee and a scone. Roasted needed a real breakfast, like the kind only a greasy spoon or a diner can plate up. You know, the sorta place where your server's constantly topping off your mug of mud and they won't sneer at you for ordering a slice of blueberry pie before 9 a.m.
And, remembering that Original Market Diner sells bags of their own blend of coffee near the cash register, Roasted decided to drive by the old drive-in turned diner for a cup of joe.
At 9 a.m. the diner was still hopping, the booths along the front window were taken as were many of the tables in the center of the café. So, Roasted took a seat on one of the open barstools that faced into the kitchen--an excellent vantage point to watch the coffee brewing station.
Though it's operated under different names and different owners since opening in 1954, it doesn't seem as though the Original Market Diner has become any less original along the way. "Who you calling grandma?" one waitress shoots back at another.
Located on 4434 Harry Hines Boulevard, near Children's Medical Center, the diner sees a good deal of traffic from Parkland's medical complex, as well as a steady flow of uniformed police officers and loads of people with City of Dallas badges. Weekdays bring in a steady stream of people who "work in Dallas," says the wait staff, while the weekends attract more folks from the neighborhood.
Most diners aren't known their coffee. Probably because so many of them brew up the pre-ground, pre-packaged commercial grade stuff. But, when it comes to flavor, what's just as important as "fresh-brewed" is that it's brewed from fresh-ground beans.
"The owners are very picky about their coffee," one waitress tells Roasted. And, after watching the waitresses grind and portion each batch of Original Market Diner's Blend before brewing, it wasn't too surprising that every cup Roasted sipped tasted clean, nutty and fresh. The diner also serves lattes, cappuccinos and espresso, with or without whipped cream, but Roasted didn't go there.
After looking over the menu and thinking about a two-egg plate with toast and extra-crispy hash browns, it was the rack of pies starring back at Roasted that changed everything. Well, that and the sign above the register: "Pie Fixes Everything."
The slice of blueberry pie had the perfect balance of gooey to flakey and paired well with light acidity of the coffee. The best part though was the check.
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At $5.41, the bottom-less mug of coffee and a slice of pie ended up costing less than a cappuccino and a cheese Danish would've at a grab-n-go coffee shop. Great, like Roasted needed another excuse to eat dessert for breakfast.