Texas: home to the largest playground for gridiron fanatics, aka Jerry’s World. Not too far from this $1 billion dollar dynasty resides a little hideout: Crooked Tree CoffeeHouse, perfect for decompressing from Dallas diehards (or so I thought).
After stepping inside said shelter on 2414 Routh Street, my head cocked at the 70s hodgepodge aesthetic. Dressing the eclectic café: thrifty old wooden tables and chairs, mismatched rugs and lamps along with colorful paper mached art.
Upon first glance, you’d expect a mothball aroma, but not so. Rather, the room permeated with what smelled like incense along with ground coffee beans brought forth by DFW’s very own Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters. I put my taste buds to the test and approached the register to place an order for a small coffee with steamed milk, practically whispering so as not to disturb the studious atmosphere.
Initially, it didn’t seem like the most welcoming environment. Despite speakers whirling with Radiohead, Andrew Bird and the beautiful, but too-depressing-to-listen to Elliot Smith, it was the kind of place where, thanks to creaky wood floors, every footstep echoed.
This created a ripple of subtle uncomfortableness as the crowd of local coffee goers, nursing a bev in tow, darted their eyes my way. Juxtaposed between these opponents, chiseled men sporting tight grey cotton v-necks. They, too, unglued from their books and computers to throw curious glares.
It was strikingly obvious I was on their home turf, and my alien arrival forced me to stare at the café’s vegan pastries, so as not to field their peculiar glances. All-natural oatcakes never looked so good—and I don’t even eat oats.
When my order was ready, I proceeded to a table tucked in the corner of the room and awaited for my friend N.E. to join. My first sip brought noodle-boiling hotness to my tongue. Despite the singed sensation decorating half of my taste buds, I was still able to discern some of the roast, which I sum up as light and sweet. The order was made with “The Tripel,” a blend of Yirgacheffe, Sidamo, Harar—and I only know so because the friendly barista gave me the lowdown. The flavor notes tout orange, blackberry and pineapple, though not sure how much of that I actually tasted for said reason.
I enjoyed the coffee more so once it cooled down, about 10 minutes, during which, my cool company made a touchdown arrival at my table.