Nearly everyone in Dallas is now familiar with the high-caliber culinary scene in Oak Cliff; it operates as a veritable hothouse for surprisingly chic dining. Along with El Si Hay — a tiny, ramshackle building on Davis Street that serves up tacos for less than $1.50 each — there’s a host of upscale dining options that a decade ago would have been deemed the stuff of fantasy. I refer to the booming conglomeration of trendy restaurants in the Bishop Arts area, including Lucia and Boulevardier, both of which inspire lavish superlatives.
Dallas’ southern ‘hood seems to have two strata of dining options. The upscale version could humorously be dubbed “Haute Cliff.” To accompany the aforementioned chichi indulgences, a hip coffee-and-juice operation cropped up at the intersection of Greenbriar and Beckley in June: Local Press + Brew, located in a tastefully refurbished space adjacent to the more widely known Urban Acres, the go-to place for organic meat, milk products and veggies.
Tiffany Vance, owner of Local Press + Brew, and her partner, Ben Johnson, are an enthusiastic duo whose faces beam at the mention of locavore endeavors. “I’m a big supporter of farmers supplying Urban Acres with produce,” says Johnson. “Actually, I used to work for them.” They are up to speed on all things relating to local farmers, as well as artisan bakeries and coffee roasters. One of many visits to the premises included a peek at five-foot stalks of green and purple-hued sugar cane — which, according to Johnson, don’t cause any of the ill effects incurred by the consumption of raw sugar. “It’s essentially like a dose of spirulina,” he says. (For those who aren’t current on their swank “supplements,” spirulina is considered a superfood with a host of health benefits.)
Cold-pressed juice maintains a far richer vitamin lode than traditional juice concoctions, so Tiffany and her team press healthful parsley, pears, carrots, beets, apples, lemons and more, serving it up with off-road ingredients such as activated charcoal and alkaline water. Tumeric and ginger also find their way into many of the juices and, if you show up at an opportune time, you might be greeted with a shot glass of ginger or some other tonic for boosting your system with brightly colored liquid nutriceuticals. Freshly made almond milk as well as bee pollen are also on hand. (In short, it takes a real-time visit to take it all in.) They also serve caffeinated beverages made with coffee beans from Noble Coyote Roasters of East Dallas. Lattes, pour-overs, espresso, cappuccino and the ever-popular cortado are all supremely brewed and served with flair.
The whole enterprise has a decidedly hip vibe that’s sometimes augmented by soft jazz and regular customers who are as interesting as they are voluble. Vegan and gluten-free baked goods are served — however, a recent visit included the divine option of almond croissants from Rush patisserie, another Haute Cliff find owned and operated by Samantha Rush (a Cordon Bleu chef who trained in Paris). But I digress.
All manner of fabulous “haute” things are now found in the ‘hood — and, goodness knows, it’s time. The price tag on homes in Kessler Park consistently crawls toward and even exceeds the million-dollar point, yet, for decades, its denizens had no nearby places to dine. Problem solved.
Local Press + Brew, 1605 N. Beckley Ave., 214.484.1929