Kristy Alpert files this report.
Overview: Original owner Emily Susman has gone to pursue the “family life” with her husband in Austin, Texas, but new owner, Norma Westurn, has decided to keep Susman’s original menu and recipes alive at EClaire Texas Café in downtown Dallas. (She’s made a few additions.) The café is light and airy, but on the sunny, cool day I visited, the green grass of the park in front of the restaurant and next to the courthouse was begging to be picnicked on. Even the lack of EClaire’s outdoor/sidewalk seating wasn’t enough to keep me inside on such a gorgeous day.
Menu: The café is known for offering up a varied menu, ranging from Texas breakfasts to Cincinnati-style coneys with cinnamon-laden gravy and cheddar cheese ($1.25) to fresh off-the-griddle sandwiches ($6.50), and will soon include a few Brazilian appetizers and desserts that pay homage to the new owner’s family heritage (brigadeiros!). Their salads are made fresh to order, and come in two sizes (small $3.99; large $6.99). They make their specialty sauces in-house (tomatillo and ranchero), and bake their own cookies from scratch daily (try the chocolate chip or the white chocolate and cranberry, $1.50).
What we ate: I’m in the camp that believes food tastes better when eaten outside, so I’ll be the first to admit my review of EClaire’s Cuban sandwich could possibly be a bit biased. The sun was shining and there was a State Fair parade going through downtown when I took my first bite of this warm sandwich ($8.99, with chips). The pork was thinly sliced beneath a blanket of melted cheese, fresh pickles and a nice delicate sauce between two slices of Empire Bakery’s ciabatta bread. My friend, who had spent the better part of the summer dining at EClaire’s between lunch breaks of a pretty big trial, ordered the chicken hot griddle sandwich ($6.50) that came with seasoned shredded chicken, lettuce and tomatoes on a wheat bun with EClaire’s homemade ranchero sauce. Let’s put it this way, she’s been ordering this same lunch for months and has yet to grow tired of this mildly spicy, powerfully flavorful sandwich.
Extras: They also have tacos made on a four inch tortilla with homemade queso fresco and pulled pork for $2.50 and regular deli sandwiches made with Boar’s Head turkey or ham for $6.50. The new owners are hoping to roll out a few new specials and possibly even incorporate some new menu items from diner’s suggestions. Alright Dishers, let’s help these ladies out! What would you like to see on the menu at EClaire’s?