Clad in multihued aqua tiles, this cafe, butcher, bakery, and market is an oasis of cool in downtown Dallas. During the lunchtime crunch, the line for orders was long, but we snagged a table and our food arrived promptly. The Barley Bowl exceeded our expectations for fast-casual fare. The risotto-like dish featured chewy barley grains cooked in bonito broth, enlivened with pickled chanterelle mushrooms, lemon, and a dusting of smoky Espelette pepper; fresh arugula brightened the bowl, and toasted pumpkin seeds lent crunch. Sandwiches made with house-roasted meats were also winners. The porchetta sandwich held juicy sliced pork seasoned with fennel and a spicy kick of chile. A Vietnamese twist on the French dip was a terrific surprise: the jus for dipping was a complex beef pho broth, and the beef had a flavorful, caramelized crust. Skip the predictable pastries and indulge in dazzling desserts, like a key lime and white chocolate tart or the simpler rosemary-kissed Malva cake. Parking is complimentary with a validated receipt.
Drinks: Beer & wine