315 S. Mesquite Street
Arlington, TX 76010
August 24, 2012
Potager Café is one of the more unique restaurant offerings on the Arlington landscape, or any other community for that matter.. Their approach is best summarized on their website which I’d encourage you to visit and read thoroughly; “We would like to bring people back to the way we should be eating — with joy and pleasure, experiencing wholesome food, fresh from a local farm.” They use organically grown products, locally sourced wherever possible. They create a daily menu that is tightly focused on a few items they can source and prepare that day. It sometimes even changes while you’re eating depending on what runs out and needs to be replaced. By way of example here is the entire menu for a recent evening which they post daily on their website:
- Chickpea Soup
- Some Kind of Quiche
- Blackened Catfish
- Pork Chops with Mustard Glaze
- Beans & Rice
- Okra & Tomatoes
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Green Salad
- French Bread
- Grapefruit Cake
You can pick and choose, mix and match whatever you wish from the menu to custom create your meal. If you only want soup and salad, so be it. If you want a cup of soup before your entrée, go for it. If you want a bowl of salad only, have at it. Their philosophy is to give you a smaller portion of anything you request and if you want more you can ask for more either right then or later after you’ve finished your first round. The concept is quite refreshing in today’s world of order a steak and get two pounds of cow in the process that encourages overeating.
I started my meal with the Lentil Soup. This pureed soup had a little bit of a peppery zip and a firmer rather than watery texture. It was good and recommended. I followed that up with the Mixed Green Salad. This basic mixed green salad is hand tossed prior to plating; basically the way it should always be done. It was simple but well executed. It is also recommended as a simple intermezzo to your meal. I wrapped up my main meal with the daily quiche; Blue Cheese and Sweet Potato Quiche. This was a flavorful quiche that focused more on the sweet potato with just a mild blue cheese accent for those who are adverse to strong blue cheeses. It is well done and recommend. My dining partner and I closed out our meal with a shared piece of their Apple Upside Down Cake. This sweet and moist cake was quite tasty and recommended. The chef stopped by to mention the apples came from his uncle’s farm in Colorado. How sweet is that? The apples sure were. Oh, by the way, when you walk past all of those vegetables surrounding the restaurant that the kitchen staff is watering there is a reason for that.
You’ll notice I did not mention any pricing with the meal, sides and dessert which I would normally do. There is a reason for that. There are no prices. That’s right, there are no prices associated with the food served at Potager Café. It is up to you the diner to determine how much you value the meal. Needless to say this is a quite unique way to charge for a meal. If you’re looking for a little guidance go to the wall to the right of the main counter and you’ll find three generic menus that give you a rough guide as to how much you should pay for each item you selected from the daily changing blackboard. Obviously you’re welcome to pay a little more if you value the meal more or less if you didn’t. Don’t’ be a jerk and think you can eat all you want for $5.00; they loss money that way. If it is any guide as to the quality I paid more than recommended; much more. Be generous to a fault; karma will pay you back. Once you’ve determined how much you want to pay just drop your cash into the watering tin in front of the register. Oh yeah, don’t forget to drop some cash in the tip jar for the musician while you’re at it. He’s worth every bit and a nice guy to boot.
Potager Café is BYOB so feel free to bring your favorite bottle of wine to serve with your meal. If you forget to bring a bottle they own and operate a small wine store and sundry shop roughly a block down the street where you can buy a bottle. If you’re picky about your stemware be sure and bring your own because their stemware is basically non-existent. You might end up drinking out of a water glass.
Potager Café is open for lunch Tuesday through Friday from 11AM until 3PM. They are open for dinner Thursday through Saturday from 5:30PM until 9PM. They are open for brunch on Saturday from 11AM until 3PM. Attire is casual. Parking is free in the surrounding lot. CASH ONLY. No credit cards accepted.
Potager Café: Funky, Fun and Fresh. Recommended.