Devouring Houston: Exploring Houston One Bite at a time

Houston has so many incredible food establishments...from sumptuously designed restaurants to fun storefronts selling gourmet cookies. From Mexican Food Carts to the Best BBQ in the World. And...I want to expore it one bite at a time.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rustika Cafe & Bakery

Rustika has been on my "To Try" List for weeks now.  I pass by the bakery all of the time while driving down 59.  Have you seen it, too?  They were also nominated for Best Bakery as part of the Houston Culinary Awards.  So, today was the day I gave the place a whirl.

Atmosphere: Should I say Quaint?  Homey?  The decor was fair to middling.  I'm a big clean freak...and it was passable.  Anyway.... let's focus on the food.....

I went for lunch with a great friend.  We actually ordered the same thing (so much for trying each other's dishes!).  We opted for the Rustika Combo #3 - Cup of soup or house salad and half a sandwich ($7.95).  We opted for the Tortilla Soup....made with beef broth.  When was the last time you had Tortilla Soup with Beef Broth?  I always see Chicken Tortilla Soup.  I think that is what I prefer.  While the flavor of the soup was savory and well seasoned, the texture of the ground beef left me discontented.  I didn't really eat or enjoy it.  The beef was ground too fine, maybe?  I don't know....  Big portion though!

"Cup" of Tortilla Soup

Moving on... to the sandwich.  Yum.  The sandwich was lightly grilled, but yet the thick slice of wheat bread was still very soft.  I could really dig my teeth into it!  Delicious.  The turkey was thinly sliced.  Swiss cheese was supposed to be included, but they must have forgotten ours.  That was  fine-  with the tomatoes and baby greens, the turkey sandwich was a fresh and tasty bite full. 

Half Turkey Sandwich

Enough of the non-sweet items...where Rustika really rocks is in the bakery department.  We tried the Cinnamon Sugar Cookie.  Huge.  A subtle sweetness.  It would be excellent with a cup of coffee.  Tender and thick, but not dry.  Although not hard like a biscotti, the low sweet factor reminded us of biscotti. 

Cinnamon Sugar Cookie

The Cinnamon Roll was moist, dense, soft.  Good cinnamon flavor.  No nuts or raisins.  So, if you are cinnamon roll purist, this one's for you.  The cinnamon roll was iced with cream cheese frosting.  While it was still tasty, I prefer the traditional sugar icing. This breakfast pastry would be great addition for a Holiday Breakfast -- like Christmas Morning!

Cinnamon Roll

Just for you, I saved the best for last.....The Black and White Alfajor.  Not familiar with this particular cookie?  I wasn't either.  But, Hello Yumminess!  I am familiar now!  An Alfajor is an Arabic confection usually found in Mexico and South America.   Dulce de Leche (Caramel) sandwiched between two cookies (or cakes).  Mine was rolled in chopped pecans and iced with half chocolate, half white icing.  Alfajors can also be sprinkled with powdered sugar or coconut.  Many variations are out there.  But, the one I devoured today was just Delish!  Another one, please.

Black & White Alfajor

Rustika Cafe & Bakery
3237 Southwest Freeway
Houston, Texas 77027

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