Save room for heaping plates of homestyle favorites and decadent treats
Lora Larsen knows a thing or two about dessert. Before opening Eat Dessert First Café in November last year, she worked as a professional baker. Striking out on her own, her homey restaurant in Hitchcock is an extension of her sweet disposition, naturally.
Bouquets of fresh-cut flowers sit atop floral table runners decorating an eclectic collection of chairs and tables within the dining room. A large chalkboard wall is devoted to listing the day’s sweet and savory specials.
Lights are strung overhead to add a warm glow for dinner service. And a prominently placed glass case displays an impressive variety of desserts. Freshly baked frosted cupcakes, flaky pies, towering cakes, fudgy brownies, decadent cookies, breakfast pastries and candied popcorn are on parade, reminding diners who didn’t start their meal with a sweet treat to at least leave room for dessert.
The restaurant’s cozy and comfortable vibe is reflected in a menu of homestyle dishes patrons will recognize from meals enjoyed around their own family table. In addition to the daily soups, such as the creamy sweet onion topped with buttery croutons, the menu offers patrons a daily quiche, a half a dozen fresh salads and twice as many sandwiches to choose from.
The Italian sandwich arrives oozing a blend of melted mozzarella, Asiago and Parmesan cheeses over a bed of sautéed vegetables topped with a robust marinara. Nestled between two slices of focaccia, the sandwich on its own is a satisfying meal, but diners can add meatballs for a small fee. The restaurant’s take on the Reuben is quickly making it one of its most popular dishes. Homemade chopped corned beef and sauerkraut are piled high between sliced rye bread. Swiss cheese and special dressing complete the toasted stack. Each sandwich arrives with chips, onion rings or French fries. These sides are also available à la carte.
Larsen recently has expanded the lunch and dinner menus to include more of her signature entrees. Now, customers can enjoy heaping plates of crispy chicken-fried steak smothered in cream gravy or 16-ounce rib-eye steaks paired with seasonal vegetables every day, rather than waiting for them to appear on the day’s menu.
The rotating specials keep the menu current and allow Larsen to introduce new dishes. Grilled sirloin steak topped with a lively chimichurri sauce, accompanied by mashed sweet potatoes and garlic bread, might be followed the next day by a plate featuring pan sautéed tilapia garnished with fresh mango and cilantro and served over rice pilaf and black beans. Customers can keep up with the daily offerings by checking posts on the café’s Facebook page.
Early birds and sleepyheads alike can enjoy a traditional breakfast served at 6:30 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Southern favorite fried chicken and waffles arrive on a stick with warm maple syrup butter and ripe strawberries. Big-as-your-plate pancakes, granola and yogurt parfaits, as well as freshly baked seasonal muffins, are available, as are homemade brisket and egg corn tacos and crispy French toast. Eat Dessert First Café recognizes the importance of this daily meal.
Today’s hectic pace can make it difficult to gather around the family table. Spending time together while enjoying a pleasing homestyle meal at Eat Dessert First Café is the next best thing.
Eat Dessert First Café
8735 B state Highway 6 in 4 Way Plaza, Hitchcock