We almost drove past Patika as it’s incredibly easy to miss. But others haven’t missed it, and today the parking lot and inside were both packed (they also have an outside terrace but its 40degrees Celsius outside…empty). The front part seems to be not just where the coffee is ordered and made, but where people who come with friends and family stay and chat. This is a pretty small space but it is gorgeous. Very minimalistic, clean lines, interesting accents and lots of fantastic light makes it the kind of place I’d love to spend the day…maybe even live in. The larger area off to the side, a bright hallway with modern touches and art work on the walls, was filled with individuals staring at their computers. This area was dead silent even though I didn’t get the impression any of them were being very productive. There looks like there is a lot more “if I sit at this café with my computer for long enough I’ll feel as if I did a lot of work even though I’m not actually getting anything done”. Unfortunately this meant that pretty much the whole café was off bounds for us since when we sat down everyone looked up and started listening to our conversation.
And our conversation inevitably was about my hot chocolate. Rich brought me here because they have incredible coffee (which he proudly confirms they do) but also because he did a bit of research and found that they make their hot chocolate mix from scratch (how sweet is he!) Coffee shops don’t usually have much if any respect for chocolate so this sounded like a good, mutually beneficial plan. But unfortunately, the chocolate mix they make is actually a chocolate syrup, made for moca, and when chocolate syrup is used to make hot chocolate it almost always too sweet, in my opinion at least. Their barista had some serious talent though with his milk/cocoa powder art and the top of my hot chocolate was a bit of a masterpiece.
At the back sits an old piano, that is regularly played by local artists who come to perform to packed crowds. Yesterday they had swing, tonight it is funk and groove. Other than great local talent, they are also known for their baking, offering freshly baked sweet and savory pastries which change every day. Banana Cardamom Caramel Muffins, Root Beer Float Cookies and Lemon Thyme Scones were on the menu today.
Patika is right next to Cycle Progression, which is how Rich found it in the first place. If you do any mountain bike racing in the Houston/Austin/Dallas area (which we do), you will recognize this name well. Even if you don’t it is worth taking a quick peak inside the shop, for the bikes if that interests you, and if not for the bikes then purely because they have three very cute dogs camped out right in front of the entrance that are all very friendly and polite. Next door to that is a beautiful home store that sells an array of unique pieces of furniture, vases, decorative pieces, coffee table books and conversation starter pieces.
Verdict: I have a negative spot for two things; cafes that are filled with individuals sitting in front of their computers and sweet syrupy hot chocolates. As cool and gorgeous as Patika was, it has those two things going against it, which was unfortunate for me, but only for me. But I loved the decor and feel of the place and everyone else here was loving it including my coffee loving Rich. Patika, 2159 S Lamar, Austin, Texas