Five years ago, the Deep Ellum neighborhood and others rallied to save Murray Street Coffee. The quirky coffee shop on the eastern side of the area needed $10,000 fast, and it ended up getting it, living happily ever after.
So far, so good, at least. Since then, we’ve seen an enormous apartment building go in nearby, another one on the way a bit farther down and places such as Bottled Blonde move in on the western side. The neighborhood’s changing, as restaurant owners such as Mike Snider of AllGood Cafe have seen.
That’s why it’s kind of nice to see Murray Street still doing its thing on a weekday morning. Once you walk in the door, it’s like time slows down. There’s a different pace here; and if you’re in a hurry and trying to get in and out, the barista behind the counter will set the speed, not you, and you will wait.
You wait. You adjust. You adapt. Then you soak in that maybe it’s OK to take a beat before getting fully caffeinated.
There’s usually three types of drip coffee ready to be served, usually some generic region giving you no other reason to pick one other than, “That’s probably good” ($2.50). And it’s usually just fine.
For breakfast, Murray Street Coffee co-owner Doug Davis highly recommends the blinker, a breakfast sandwich of egg, cheese and prosciutto on an English muffin ($6.50). We opted for the deluxe, which comes with avocado ($7.50).
It’s a fine, quick breakfast: The English muffin makes it a protein-filled breakfast that’s easily on the go. But the real one that’s worth your time, especially if you’re sitting around working in the upstairs area for a while, is the salmon bagel ($8.50). Yeah, yeah, it’s a basic breakfast item, but the salmon’s good and the everything bagel is handled with care and filled with cream cheese and the appropriate amount of dill and capers.
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Murray Street, which opened in 2005, is easy to drop by on a weekday morning, too: Parking’s easy. And we revisited recently for one reason, and it’s a point I’ll keep harping on: Going to our local places is important. No one wants to read a story about any place we all love in the next few years saying there’s a crowdsourcing effort to handle debt.
Murray is now a personal go-to since Mudsmith on Lower Greenville closed. Plus, Crooked Tree Coffee House closed last month, too.
There’s a lot of competition, and it can be easy to forget about the places that feel like they’ve always been there. Be intentional, go to the places you love for whatever reason. Even if it’s a coffee shop that's a little slower but feels all that more genuine.
Murray Street Coffee, 103 Murray St. (Deep Ellum). Open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday.