On Friday, NewQuest Properties is celebrating the grand opening of Carrollton Town Center, an "Asian foodie destination" that features eateries like Kula Revolving Sushi Bar, Hanabi Ramen and MangoSix. The latest addition: 85º C Bakery Cafe, a Taiwanese chain with more than 800 locations in Taiwan, Hong Kong, China and Australia, but just over a dozen locations in the United States, all in California. This is the bakery's first Texas location, which opened in the same shopping center as the insanely popular Daiso Japan variety store that opened a year ago, and four more DFW locations are in the works, according to a press release.
The idea of a bakery and cafe combo is certainly not new, but 85º C (the name is a nod to the ideal temperature of brewed coffee) sets this place apart with a staggering variety of baked goods and pastries, the majority of which are baked onsite. If the waves of people visiting 85º C during their soft opening this week are any indication, the Carrollton store could challenge California's Irvine location as the chain’s busiest.
It's more than twice the size of an average Starbucks, so stepping inside 85º C for the first time can be overwhelming for the uninitiated. Start by grabbing a cafeteria tray and a set of plastic tongs and peruse the self-served baked good cases that dominate the left side of the store. The array of choices dwarfs most area cafes: cookies, egg cakes, moon breads, rolls and other various breads and pastries run the gamut from sweet to savory, most costing less than $2. An empty case is a rarity; staff members are frequently restocking with shouts of “Fresh bread! Fresh bread!” as they bring out warm trays of baked goods.
With your selections made, it’s time to get in line. During our soft opening visit, this line ran 15 to 20 people deep, but it moves quickly. Before customers arrive at the registers, staff bag their selections into individual cellophane sleeves. Once at the cashier, they’ll consolidate your goods into a larger bag or box and take orders for beverages. To the left of the cash registers is a large chilled display case full of various cakes, available either whole or by the slice.
For those coming only for drinks, there’s a separate line for beverage buyers that bypasses the wrapping queue. The beverage menu is almost as wide-ranging as the selection of baked goods. Fifteen different teas are offered, as well as large selection of slushes and smoothies with add-ons like boba and flavored jellies.
Espresso drinks run the range from simple coffee to an assortment of lattes, both hot or iced, while an entire section of the drink menu is dedicated to “sea salt beverages” that are served over ice. The sea salt drinks are served like a bubble tea, with a sealed plastic lid over the top of the cup as is common in Taiwan. Pros will know to turn the drink upside down to blend the flavors together before puncturing the lid with a straw.
85º C Bakery Cafe will hold their ribbon-cutting on Friday, and Carrollton Town Center will host a "party on the block" Saturday with kids' activities and a free concert at 7 p.m. with Christopher Anton & the Joneses, Jayden Frost and John Boyd.
85º C Cafe Bakery, 2540 Old Denton Road, Carrollton. Open 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.