Monday morning, Roasted headed to Buzzbrews Kitchen to get our buzz on. And, now that we got that stale caffeine-addled joke out of the way, we really did get pretty jazzed up after repeatedly helping ourselves to the diner's "Drink 'til you Buzz" self-serve coffee bar.
Which at only $2.50 is a real steal, especially because the purchase entitles customers to soak up the free Wi-Fi.
We skipped the original location on North Central Expressway in favor of the way-less-Denny's-like second spot on Lemmon Avenue. With a slogan like "Get A Buzz Today" in red neon above the door, honestly, Roasted's not sure why we haven't been taking them up on the offer more regularly.
Both locations offer an extensive menu that is a little overwhelming for Roasted's re-caffeinated brain, but our waiter was more than happy to offer suggestions. And Buzzbrews has its own separate coffee menu with more than enough options (from drip coffee and espresso to fancy lattes and cappuccinos) and flavors (from basics like Classic Vanilla to the more unusual Granny's Chipotle Pineapple) to satisfy even the pickiest of coffee drinkers.
But, the thing we learned that surprised Roasted was that the two locations brew up different coffees, but, that's a difference that's only gonna be an issue until Buzzbrews opens up its third location in...wait for it...Deep Ellum.
According to Zach Davis, who has managed the Lemmon location for the past year and a half, the two Buzzbrews serve up coffee from different roasters. The original location brews up beans from The Daily Java, while the Lemmon location serves up coffee from Dallas-based Globex America (who smartly distribute under the much more appetizing name of Cavallini Coffee).
Davis said Monday that when the next Buzzbrews location opens in Deep Ellum, they're planning on consolidating to one roaster/distributor. Seems the third location has been on the drawing board for a while, but nothing's been set in stone.
Davis said the spot would be open "as soon as humanly possible."
Each morning the shop offers five flavors to choose. Monday, Buzz's Brew AKA the House Blend was the most well-balanced of the offerings. The Black Magic blend was a little too bitter for us first thing in the morning.
Booths line two of the main walls with tables and chairs in the center making up the rest of the seating and there's a lounge area with low, but comfy seating as well. While the joint offers free Wi-Fi the only outlets are in the lounge area and along one section of the booths.
The place was mildly busy, one couple in medical scrubs was in a booth making small talk, while a guy in the next booth over tapped away on his iPad. We overheard another dressed-down gentleman telling a waiter he was enjoying his day off of work by reading a James Patterson book.
"Our weekend brunches are our bread and butter," Davis said. And, not surprisingly, the 24-hour locations do very well on the weekends after last call at the bars. "Fridays and Saturdays at 2:30 in the morning it's just chaos in here."
Though Davis said soon they hope to have a barista there manning the bar on Friday and Saturday nights, currently they only have a designated barista there on Saturday and Sunday for the brunch crowd, but the rest of the staff has been "cross trained" to work the espresso machine -- something we witnessed as a new guy was learning the basics like how to steam milk and the difference between a cappuccino ("mostly foam") and a latte ("a dollop of foam").
The servers were friendly even before Roasted divulged our City of Ate identity when asking some parting questions. Then, the staff started offering up samples and suggestions galore.
Davis suggested we try Buzzbrews' take on the toddy -- made with the shop's dark roasted Black Magic Blend. (It was good, but, again, it was no Naughty Toddy.) Another employee suggested Roasted try one of the shop's cupcakes made locally by a company called Nappy Cakes.
"They're bad-ass cupcakes," he said. "You should try one." After Roasted declined the offer the employee sweetened the suggestion saying, "I will buy you one if you'll try it."
Roasted shrugged, and in the line of duty ate half of the cupcake. Between the sugar rush from the cupcake and the caffeine jolt from the coffee, Roasted was buzzing until well into the afternoon.