Short Orders: Addison Cafe

Addison Cafe
5290 Belt Line

Damn this place is quiet inside.

Not empty, just quiet--the soundtrack cranked down to a level only barely audible. The near-silence is so stark, you quickly become self-conscious. Anything you say above a whisper is fodder for other tables.

We eventually saw opportunity in this and began mumbling false trade secrets, along the lines of "I can't believe they're canceling Windows 7--did you dump your stock in time?" Then we progres...no, that's not right. Then we regressed to more playground-ish antics: "so what's really wrong with puppy mills," "I've seen Glenn Beck's teabags and they're tiny" and "Have you read L. Ron Hubbard?"

Think we ruined several guests' dinners that night--which, in retrospect, was probably the wrong thing to do, considering the restaurant's impressive longevity.

Addison Cafe has been around for 20-some years. The place has seen leg warmers, slackers and SUVs. Service is polished in an old-school sense, the room staid and the presentation of French classics unfailing, if also unspectacular.

The menu escargot, confit and steak au poivre. Their Duck l'orange arranges tender meat with the traditional bigarade sauce--although it turns out more sweet than bitter. There is, however, a comforting gamey undertone. The house pate is pure and simple, featuring a gritty, home-style texture and pleasant, uncomplicated character. But an entree portion of sole was noticeably overcooked on one visit.

Still, it's hard to fault a place like this, even if you don't feel comfortable talking. Addison Cafe feels self-assured, but in a strange way--as if time and crowds passed them by long ago, only they don't really care.

Addison Cafe continues to cook French classics without fuss or modern flair. And the strategy works well.

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