We still don't understand the purpose of the tapioca balls in the bottom of the bubble tea: They just get stuck in the freakishly wide straw. And yet we're still attracted to this weird concoction, a kind of milk slushie. At Tempest Tea, they improve on the regular bubble tea by offering a variety of quality teas as the base. If you are new to bubble tea, they are glad to make suggestions too; for us they prepared a delicious, cool mix of apricot white tea, vanilla flavoring and soymilk. If bubble tea is not to your taste, you can relax on their plush benches with a hot or iced tea chosen from their selection of more than 75 varieties.
It's hard to frequent any culinary establishment with the word "fat" in the name, but this fabulous slurp-fest is made possible and palatable only by the fat straws used to suck up the big, chewy tapioca balls at the bottom of the delicious and nutritious teas, slushees and smoothies the place has to offer. The tapioca balls—bubbles in Fat Straw parlance—are pearls of chewy carbs and aren't so much flavorful as they are textural, providing the slurper with a unique sip, chew, swallow, eat experience. The Dallas location we visited near the Galleria is a slight, sleek ultra-modern venue, and the menu boasts a vast array of post-modern beverages such as a green tea milkshake, passion fruit jasmine tea and mango slushees. This is definitely not your father's Starbucks. Nor does it pretend to be.