The Lighthouse Coffee Bar blurs the boundaries between an art gallery and a coffee shop. The dynamic interior—characterized by exposed rafters and weathered brick walls—visually echoes Andy Warhol’s factory, and a weekly schedule of art, poetry, and music performances attract a slew of local artists; but the ambiance is rivaled by the diverse menu of paninsi, salads, and whimsical drink creations. Baristas brew coffee drinks using beans from the local Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters and international fair-trade growers. Signature specialty drinks, such as The Sinatra—swirling with white-chocolate sauce, amaretto syrup, espresso, whipped cream, and an unshakeable self-confidence—share menu space with a variety of real-fruit smoothies and iced offerings.
Out on the wooden tabletops that speckle the café, guests tuck into plates of specialty sandwiches and baked goods while feeding their laptops with WiFi. The cafe hosts live music every Friday and Saturday night, along with occasional open-mic nights where audio techs come in and dissect mics to demonstrate their inner workings.:m]]
White Rhino Coffee is about more than just coffee—although really good coffee is of the utmost importance here. Open early and closing late, the cafe serves as a place where strangers can become friends over caffeine-fueled conversations and laughter. Along with classic french press, espresso, and drip coffees, the staff recommends tasty drinks like nonfat iced dirty peppermint chai. "Edibles" such as house-baked cookies, muffins, fresh fruit, and scrumptious sandwiches keep bellies full and quiet during events like open mic night and group naps.
When viewing the eatery's exterior, Éclair Bistro appears to be a small, conservative dwelling. But inside, the quaint dining room bustles with bright French-inspired cuisine crafted by chefs Aaron and Lynn—a mother and son team who curate the dynamic menu of old New Orleans dishes made in house from fresh, seasonal ingredients. Among them, classics such as imported escargot simmer in a rich herbed butter, and pan-roasted duck breast mingles with poached pears and roasted potatoes in a tart raspberry gastrique.
Even though he owned a pizza restaurant and was the CFO of an accounting firm, Alexander C. Lim couldn't help but feel bothered by an epicurean vacuum in his Texas community—what he called a "lack of fast, quality Japanese cuisine." So he completely switched gears, quitting his job to found Avocado California Roll & Sushi.
Clearly, his neighbors agreed that Avocado's tasty sushi rolls and pan-fried noodles were missing from their lives as the restaurant now has locations throughout Texas and one in Louisiana. Alexander hopes that one day, Avocado will be considered the McDonalds of Japanese restaurants.
Dick Woodward found his family in the restaurant industry—literally. In the 1970s, he began managing restaurants throughout Texas and Georgia and eventually landed at The Hoffbrau, where he met his wife, Teril. By 1985, they were operating their own small chain of cafés in downtown Dallas, but their desire to return to Dick’s hometown of Cedar Hill led to a new plan. Soon they relocated there and opened Dick’s Uptown Cafe in 2009, filling plates with their return-trip-beckoning pancakes, philly cheesesteaks, and the whole mess, a breakfast hodgepodge of hash browns, onions, and a choice of breakfast meat capped with two cheesy eggs.
Dick and Teril recently expanded their menu to include dinner, lining up entrees as varied as pork tenderloin steeped in olive oil and build-your-own burgers. Patrons and owls curious about what mornings are all about are still always welcome to order from the all-day breakfast menu.