Food News

Happy Lemon Provides Happy Tea and Happier Waffles

Black tea with salted cheese. Just let us explain...
Black tea with salted cheese. Just let us explain... Hank Vaughn
Happy Lemon, a Taiwan-based boba tea company, has made its way to North Texas, landing in Richardson, with two more locations in Hurst and Fort Worth and another slated for Plano. They’re famous for bubble teas, citrusy teas and slushies, as well as bubble waffles and salted cheese drinks. Not really clear as to what a bubble waffle was, and a bit intrigued as to the nature of drinkable salted cheese, we decided to scope it out all in the name of research. Turns out our stomachs and taste buds were delighted and thrilled to be able to engage in this data gathering.

The menu was extensive and complicated for someone with no experience in cheese drinks, ice and sugar ratios or boba, but the guy at the counter taking our order was very patient with us. He explained everything, asked for clarification to make sure we knew what we were ordering and presented a short seminar on the ice and sugar rations one could request when ordering a beverage. He was a saint, a customer service savant, a tea whisperer ... a godsend.
click to enlarge Grapefruit lemon slushy and  black tea with salted cheese. - HANK VAUGHN
Grapefruit lemon slushy and black tea with salted cheese.
Hank Vaughn

Our first selection was black tea with salted cheese at $5.50. In the end, we settled on a 75% ice and 50% sugar ratio, having no frame of reference for how this would manifest itself in the final product, but trusting our tastebuds to our new friend at the counter. The verdict? This was some of the best stuff sipped in a long time. The salted cheese sat atop the tea much like whipped cream would, or a foam, and had a similar texture. We alternated between just sucking it down with the straw at the bottom of the glass and moving the straw within the delightful cheese foam to get an extremely satisfying mixture of the tea and cheese. It was surprising in a good way. Other salted cheese options include green tea, chocolate smoothie, roast tea, matcha latter, dragon fruit and mango.

A grapefruit lemon slushy was next at $6. It was sweet and tart at the same time, with chunks of actual grapefruit as well as lychee jelly. It was cold and frosty and refreshing and flavorful. Other slushy options include lemon, jasmine, Yakult, mango and dragon fruit, all mixed with lemon.

They also offer other beverages including milk teas, fruit teas, smoothies, Yakult  and classic brewed teas. They have a large list of toppings that can be added to any of the teas such as boba, grass jelly, red bean, taro balls, puff cream or passion fruit seeds as well.
click to enlarge Bubble waffles with some puff cream dipping sauce - HANK VAUGHN
Bubble waffles with some puff cream dipping sauce
Hank Vaughn

Finally, it was time for the bubble waffle. We selected two original (plain, not flavored batter) waffles, one with and one without boba, and opted for a puff cream dipping sauce. Oh man. This was so good we immediately regretted not ordering more (other flavors/fillings include matcha, chocolate, red bean, or Oreo).

The waffles were perfectly cooked and warm, not too sweet, with a delicate texture. The air pocket bubbles presented a lovely mouth feel as well as the perfect location to house the boba. The puff cream dipping sauce was a just-sweet-enough little container of a sort of cross between cream cheese and whipping cream and was a great complement to the waffles.
click to enlarge The interior of the bubble waffle, with boba - HANK VAUGHN
The interior of the bubble waffle, with boba
Hank Vaughn
While this spot might come with a bit of a learning curve, we're glad we took the time to learn about it. We look forward to the new location in Plano, which is expected to "open soon," according to their site, because we foresee many trips to Happy Lemon in our happy future.

169 N. Plano Road, Richardson 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Monday - Thursday & Sunday; 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
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Hank Vaughn is a freelance writer who enjoys sharing and overthinking his food and drink experiences, both good and bad, from his culinary journeys with his wife across North Texas and beyond.
Contact: Hank Vaughn