WORDS AND IMAGES BY WILL MILNE
West Oak Coffee Bar invited us to try out some of their new menu. Being the gluttonous, hungry folk we are, we could never turn down such an offer. They said a bunch of stuff to us while we were there, but we mostly just heard "pie" a couple of times and nodded our heads a lot. We went back a few days later to talk to new kitchen co-manager, Benjamin Davidson, about the menu and what's coming up for West Oak Coffee Bar.
West Oak Coffee Bar has been open for about six months now. In that time, they have had a fairly large impact in the dining scene on the square while still working to find out what niche, exactly, was theirs to fill on the Denton square. They've had a few major changes recently, too. Notably, they've changed head chefs. Original chef, Phillip Bleecker, left a few months ago. Among the two chefs taking his place, was Davidson, a Denton transplant by-way-of New York who previously worked at the Hyatt. Davidson seems eager to try out new things with the menu and didn't complain once about having to wear a vest and bow tie.
As far as other changes go, West Oak has pretty drastically changed their menu. Heck, they're pretty close to changing it again and a couple of the items we sampled have already been swapped out for something else. At first we were a little pissed about it. We had originally taken the phrase, "We are changing the menu," to mean, "We're taking away your sausage roll with an egg on it because we feel like it." But they didn't take it away they just made it "southwestern" with salsa and stuff. In fact, we may even say the new one is even better. Now, if we could get them to start serving breakfast past 10:30am, we'll be golden.
In the realm of other menu changes, we were sad to hear that the jalepeno/watermelon gazpacho is already gone. It seemed like it would be a good relief to the summer heat and showed that West Oak was interested in taking their menu to some interesting, new places.
Of the items we tried, the green avocado muffin has been the item we have gone back to the most, strangely enough. The texture of the small muffin laced with "Mexican butter" made for a creamy pastry that didn't need any additional dairy spread on top. Also, a hulked-out, gamma-radiated green muffin? What's more fun than that?
In the world of sandwiches, we'd like to take a moment to thank West Oak for calling their grilled sandwich with muenster cheese, bacon, avocado, and onions a "melt" instead of a "grilled cheese." Bravo, y'all. The sandwich was gooey and sloppy in the best of ways. The veggie burgers with guacamole were a great meat alternative, too.
A few of the pies have been replaced with newbies, as well. We really dug the chocolate pecan pie and hear that an all chocolate pie (and maybe key lime pie) are in the works for later this year.
All in all, we were very happy to see the new menu changes at West Oak and are excited for additional changes in the future. Make sure to swing by WOCB on your way to Thursday's Twilight Tunes for a quick and easy picnic.
West Oak Coffee Bar is located at 114 W. Oak St. You can check out their website here.