In case you didn't get the memo, Oak Cliff is the city's hot dining destination. Really.
Need proof? It's home to some of the most buzzy restaurants in town (Bolsa, Spiral Diner, the Belmont Hotel) and the Bishop Arts District--a buzz that extends to include shopping, attitude and more. Its Greenwich Village-esque anti-mall, attracts crowds of adventurous suburbanites and Uptown faux hipsters alike. It's even got an insider nickname: call it the "OC" if you want to be in the newbie club, "OCT" if you planted yourself there before all this started to happen and are really in the know.
Since we want to be cool too, we headed down to Bishop Arts this week to check out Espumoso, a new "Latin coffee house concept" from co-owners Clara and Tony Fernandez, Jr. and Tony Fernandez, III.
Espumoso means "foamy" or "frothy" in Spanish. Open since May 2nd, the small café lives up to its name by focusing on espresso drinks and smoothies, as well as Häagen Dazs ice cream, baked goods and homemade empanadas. Lot's good here: The staff friendly, service prompt and the space clean and cute. What really stood out about Espumoso, however, is the fact that the place was hoppin'. If Espumoso were located in, say, Highland Park Village instead, there would have been some serious sizing up going down.
We're pretty sure that doesn't happen in the Cliff. Who's gonna notice if you wear last year's Alexander McQueen in this part of town?
But wait...people are blowing in from previously hip climes, so there are some style standards creeping in from elsewhere. Check out the cool demeanor and eyewear sported by a couple coffee shop guests (see photo), for instance. We caught them drinking Vitamin Water on their first visit to the new shop.
To be honest, we Espumoso's coffee fell into the 'just good' category on our visit there. Appropriately foamy latte and double espresso over ice were fine, if nothing to write home about. But that's the what happens when a place becomes cool, right?
Hate to see style over substance come to OCT, but it's bound to happen eventually.