Thursday, February 22, 2007

I Heart Buli

3908 Cedar Spring Road
Dallas, TX 75219

You know those achingly earnest coffee shops full of teenagers in heavy eyeliner scribbling poetry in cloth-bound journals? Buli's not like that.

And, you know the ones that run like machines, full of hyper coffeebots in matching aprons who remind you a bit of the Stepford wives (except instead of smelling like White Shoulders, they smell like dark roast Sumatran behind the ears)? Buli's not like that, either.

This popular pick-me-up spot hides in plain sight along side gaychic clothing stores, gift boutiques, bars and danceclubs. Conveniently, if your coffee leaves you with vigor to spare, there is even a leather-and-chains shop around the corner. (If you go, tell the deceptively angelic Jason I said “hi”).

When you're at Buli, the world is friendly and stylish and maybe a little freaky on the weekend and you're sure of your own precious place within it. Buli's like that.

I hit Buli once a week for my standing date with Tall, Dark and Handsome. He's not my boyfriend; he's actually looking for one himself. Sigh. At least the paninis never disappoint. They always tempt us, buttery-crisp on the outside with those golden brown grill marks that tell you they're made the right way. On our last visit, mine was layered with moist white-meat chicken, two thick slices of cheese, fresh spinach, tomato and raspberry spread. I concede the cheese was so mild that it's specific type was lost among the other flavors, and the tomato was under ripe (in February, however, I fault no one for lack of access to ripe tomatoes). These flawed details, however, did not obscure the big, delicious picture. I ate the whole thing, saving room for just a few crisp potato chips and a small forkful of warm, fragrant cinnamon apples, both included with my sandwich.

Did I mention that these little gems are served in vintage tin character lunch boxes? I got a certain rubber-chested super hero last time. “Holy Cheap Lunches, Batman – all this for under $8!”

On past visits, we've greedily devoured the blue cheeseburger, chili and pastries. I've also drooled over a neighboring salad on occasion, but I'm a panini addict through-and-through. Check the special board to see what's been added to the menu on any given day. Then settle in for some free internet access, a newspaper from the rack or perch on the postage stamp patio and sip your Buli Coolie while watching the world pass by. You'll see at least half a dozen sassy toy dogs, three pairs of stilettos that you absolutely must have and probably a mohawk. Amuse yourself by guessing who might be picking up a little something for the weekend at the shop around the corner.

No comments: