French Pastries, Geisha Coffee and Souffle Pancakes at the Newly Opened Brian's Coffee | Dallas Observer

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Brian's Coffee Opens with Japanese Souffle Pancakes, Tornado Rice and Big Butts

French-trained pastry chef Yi Ting has developed a divine menu of sweets at Brian's coffee.
French-trained pastry chef Yi Ting has developed a divine menu of sweets at Brian's coffee. Lauren Drewes Daniels
Brian’s Coffee Roasters is now open in Carrollton. Owner Brian Chong is behind other local restaurants including Moodaepo, the big energy Korean barbeque spot. With this new place, he is jumping into the brunch game with a high-end coffee menu and European pastries.
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Who needs boring old benches when you can sit in one of these?
Lauren Drewes Daniels
Chong has transformed the 6,500-square-foot space that once housed Quaker Steak and Lube into a Korean restaurant that, in addition to the coffee shop, will eventually serve sushi, Korean street food, pasta and fried chicken with a side of karaoke. The interior and exterior have been completely updated, replacing the previous tenant's bright green and checkers with a modern, sleek design.

Not all of the restaurant is completed yet, but Brian's Coffee Roasters is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a full coffee bar, French pastries and sandwiches and pasta for lunch. There's both table service and a counter to pick up and go.

Chong brings panache to all his endeavors, and Brian’s Coffee is no exception. For starters, he recruited baker Yi Ting Yan to develop the pastry offerings. Yan attended culinary school in Taiwan, where she was part of a championship baking team. She has spent the past five years baking in France, including at a one-Micheline-star restaurant. But for the past month, she's been in Texas at Brian’s Coffee developing a collection of French pastries. Chong has also recruited another baker just for the croissants, Wei Wu.
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Yi Ting Yan , who has been baking pastries in France for the past five years, helped Brian's Coffee develop its pastry offerings.
Lauren Drewes Daniels
Yan's work is on full display in a case with pictures-perfect pastries, including burnt Basque cheesecake, creme brulee, croquant puffs, coco custard puffs and rich, dark chocolate desserts.
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House-made croissants include plain, chocolate and almond.
Lauren Drewes Daniels
The coffee menu includes a handful espresso-based coffees — cortado, Americano, cappuccino — as well as lattes (including a Spanish and matcha version). The coffee beans at Brian's Coffee are sourced from Guatemala and are roasted in-house.

Chong has ordered the elusive Geisha beans known for their distinctive flavor (and high price); they're grown in a specific region in Panama. Once the beans have arrived, Chong said he'll let us know; if you want a cup be prepared to pay $15 to $20.

Brian's Coffee is not just a cafe with pastries and coffee, however. There are also few specialty Korean items on the menu, including the omelet rice (omurice) dish made with fried rice and a tornado egg topped with a house demi-glace ($12), kind of like the dish we wrote about at Kyuramen recently. There's also a shrimp katsu version for $16.

Brian's also serves the not-easy-to-find — or to make — Korean souffle pancakes ($15).
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Shrimp katsu sandwich made with shrimp patties.
Lauren Drewes Daniels
The croissant sandwiches are made with house-baked pastries. The shrimp katsu ($12) comes with two thick shrimp katsu patties and a shrimp sauce. This tower is best attacked with a knife and fork.

There are five pasta dishes on the menu; a kimchi carbonara has hints of fermented kimchi with smoked bacon and a house cream sauce ($15). A shrimp rose dish is served with a housemade Pomodoro cream sauce, shrimp and mini croissant ($16).

Don't leave without indulging in the pastries, however. That'd be mildly offensive. One of everything in the case should be sufficient.

Brian’s Coffee Roasters, 4109 State Highway 121, Carrollton. Wednesday – Monday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.; closed Tuesday.
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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.

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