Dave

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Lunch Report: Madhatters Tea House & Cafe in King William...

I think you would be hard pressed to find one of my lunch reviews in a fancy publication read by serious diners of the snooty variety, because I usually cut to the chase and just tell you that it was yummy or it wasn't. I tend to make only passing reference to the atmosphere of a location - old gas station signs on walls, a rusty bucket with flowers and some spurs, and I'm fairly pleased with the place, but that doesn't describe so much how the place may have felt warm or welcoming. So I hope you won't mind if I tell you about a place that really was more about the dining experience and less about the vittles involved.We had been wanting to meet our good friends Sid and Al from Mission Trace for a while, and this afternoon, we arranged to meet in the King William area for a wonderful lunch at Madhatters Tea House & Cafe.My wife and I arrived a few minutes ahead, and noticed what a really comfortable place the shop seemed to be. As you enter, they have a sign that explains how the place works. How refreshing is that? Don't you just hate going to some place new and you stand around like a dork wondering if you are supposed to seat yourself or if you order first, then find a table? (Here, you can do whatever you want, but you do have to go to the counter to order and pay, or you won't get your food). We also liked how this restaurant made it explicit clear that cell phones are not welcome.I should tell you that parking can be an issue. We were lucky and found a spot right in front, our friends had to park a block away. But it is such nice weather and such a nice neighborhood, the walk will be a treat.We all went in and grabbed menus and grabbed a seat so we could decide what might be good. There are multiple dining areas or nooks as well as a patio out back and some seating out front. There may have been some music playing, but it certainly was not loud enough to be bothersome. The mixture of art on the walls and decorative touch, combined with a relaxed and comfortable setting made for a great way to spend a few hours.We ordered and three of us got the "Turkey, Avocado & Chipotle Cream Cheese Sandwich on thick cut sourdough bread with mashed avocado, spring greens, tomato & pickled onion". As a side, we all went with the potato salad. I'm sure it was probably healthy, but it just tasted too good to seem good for you. The potato salad was creamy and delicious. Sid ordered the King William Club - ham, roast beef and bacon which comes on toasted bread and uses a chipotle mayonnaise and lots of cheese. How could you go wrong? On the side he enjoyed a black bean & corn salad with some pico de gallo and feta cheese. "Wonderful" is the report and there were no leftovers!I'm an iced tea kind of guy, unsweetened, thanks, and it would make sense that a tea house would have some of that. In fact, Madhatters serves up a large variety of teas, but I have to admit, I would have been okay with just "regular". Not to worry, I took little sips until I found a cranberry orange that hit the spot. And no, I didn't just run my mouth beneath the spigots until I found a taste I liked; though that might have made an attractive picture.

After lunch, we helped ourselves to coffee - I had the house Italian Roast - perfect, and we ordered up some desserts.
Al enjoyed a huge slice of the sugar free apple pie and Eva had the pecan. Sid and I both got cookies. Look at this huge oatmeal raisin thing.Aside from the delicious food, the wonderful desserts and enjoyable time with friends, the Madhatter Tea House & Cafe has an atmosphere where you can go in and talk without having to yell above music or that guy on the Tecate Light beer commercial who is always talking on his cell phone, and there never was any rush when we stayed just a little longer than the diners around us. If that doesn't make for a Tasty Treat, I don't know what does.

5 comments:

muse said...

I haven't visited Madhatter's but my son and I enjoyed the Lighthouse in Olmos area very much-

Anonymous said...

Eva say :)
Al did get the regular apple pie and not the sugar free .I had the pecan upside down apple pie. It was delicious:)MMMMMM pie :)

Melissa said...

Madhatters is awesome! On winter days, a steaming cup of Cardamon cinnamon tea with a cinnamon scone and their strawberry butter is a real treat!

Sid said...

I drooled just looking at the contents of the dessert display case but decided on a wiser, healthier choice of an oatmeal cookie. Now I regret not ordering a big, thick slice of what Eva or Al had! Phooey on diets! Life is too short! (Then again, when I overdo it, I wind up looking like the Pillsbury Dough Boy's older brother!)

Dave said...

My Peanut butter and chocolate cookie was a healthy choice, I'm sure!

You are only a Pillsbury Dough Boy if you can make that "whoo hoo hoo" sound when somebody pokes you in the tummy. I've got the sound down.

About Your Host

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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