Fort Worth Frugal Family Examiner had a tasty opportunity this morning: to join a few other folks in sampling the new fall menu rolling out at Café Brazil on October 4th. I'm a big fan of fall - though to be honest, it's a toss-up between non-100 degree weather and the food - so the promise of pumpkin-flavored eats alone was enough to get me in the door. After that, well, you will just have to read on.
First, a little backstory. Café Brazil is a DFW-based restaurant chain that started out as your average mom-and-pop diner in Dallas. Since its first cup o' joe back in 1991, the business has expanded to eleven metroplex locations. Its most recent location shares a popular block in Fort Worth - just a short walk from the TCU campus - with hotspots like Fuzzy's Taco Shop and Dutch's Burgers. Still, after being open less than twelve months, the cafe already has a regular crowd.
As we entered the restaurant, the first thing I noticed was that it looked like a mom-and-pop cafe. One might expect a place that has evolved into a chain with 20 years' success under their belt might change their look. However, I immediately felt comfortable in the unassuming but quirky dining room. The brick walls were painted a bright green and displayed the work of various local artists. I could imagine the crowd of college students who gathered here around midnight, yet I would just as easily bring my young children here.
While waiting for the entrees to be served, I sipped a hot mug of Holiday Blend coffee, which combines cinnamon, caramel, french vanilla, and hazelnut. The flavors were festive and I could see why one patron said she stocks up on the blend by the pound when it is available so she can savor it year-round. Other seasonal beverages rolling out include the S'mores Latte and the Caramel Apple Cider.
The first item we tasted was the Cinnamon Pumpkin Pancakes. Immediately hooked, I wondered how I hadn't discovered this place until now. The pancakes - sans syrup - were fluffy and fresh with a not-too-sweet pumpkin flavor. Soon we moved to the next item, the Bananas Foster French Toast. This one was much sweeter and richer. The balance between the hot foster sauce and the cold whipped cream on top worked nicely with the soft bananas and crunchy walnuts. Though too sweet for a regular breakfast indulgence, I found the combination very satisfying. Our final entree was the Eggnog French Toast. This aesthetically pleasing plate was the crowd favorite of the morning. A combination of french toast soaked in eggnog and baked apples and cranberries, this combined the best of the season.
More than a little full, I watched as the servers brought us one last treat: a dessert that could change anyone's favorite season to fall. The Pumpkin Cheesecake with Brownie Crust is everything you could imagine it to be. It combines the smoothness of pumpkin pie with the chocolateyness of a brownie to make one rich dessert that is not meant for the full-of-stomach. Fortunately, Café Brazil has to-go boxes.
If you are looking for the flavor of fall, Café Brazil is your place. The prices are very reasonable and one can easily leave satisfied after spending only ten dollars. They have an extensive menu from breakfast through supper and plenty of special promotions, including a teacher discount and frequent "kids eat free" days. For more information, become a fan of Café Brazil on Facebook or follow Café Brazil DFW on Twitter.