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Gachet Coffee Lounge - Victory Park (DFW)

n
nachomamma Feb 28, 2008 09:51 AM

I am compelled to write this review because the espresso is just that good. The lattes at Gachet are so good that you may never go anywhere else to get your caffeine fix again. They have a La Marzocco espresso machine, and the results rival any espresso I drank in Italy. It's even better than Jimmy's! The decor of this place is modern but comfortable and inviting. They even have a little book store attached to the coffee shop.

And if you go, grab a cinnamon roll, too. Theirs are extra-cinnamony which adds a bit of bitterness that offsets the cream cheese icing perfectly. TDF! I mean, really...so delicious.

  1. g
    gavlist Feb 28, 2008 10:08 AM

    thanks nachomamma - I've been looking for a decent espresso in Dallas. You didn't happen to get the name of your barista, did you, as this can make all the difference in the world? Alternatively, approximately what time/day of the week did you go?

    1 Reply
    1. re: gavlist
      n
      nachomamma Feb 28, 2008 11:59 AM

      Hey gavlist - Gachet is run by two sisters. They both make a pretty mean latte, and I've never seen anyone else working there. I'm in there every morning 7 days a week.

    2. p
      pizzaQTpie Feb 28, 2008 10:29 AM

      I am excited to hear this! We never go over to Victory even though we live 'in the loop'. But I am willing to head over there for a good espresso! The only other places I would get coffee (other than when we are out at a restaurant) is Pacuigo (since they have a real machine at most locations) or Drip on Lover's (although not my favorite but when in need of a 'fix' it does an OK job).

      1. e
        Epicurious Esquire Feb 28, 2008 10:49 AM

        I was SUPREMELY disappointed when Gachet vacated its Lower Greenville digs for Victory. Great for the sisters, terrible for me. My office is on Lower Greenville and I went to Gachet every day. I just can't drive to Victory for coffee and the only coffee close to me is . . . Starbucks.

        Don't get me wrong, I love my peoples at my local Starbucks. But I like locally planted, grown and harvested. Gachet was just that.

        I'm very happy to hear that the sisters are still cranking out some top-notch caffeinated drinks!

        3 Replies
        1. re: Epicurious Esquire
          e
          Epicurious Esquire Mar 31, 2008 11:13 AM

          Another reply to my own post. Maybe the relocation wasn't so good for the sisters. My brother and I went to Victory on Friday afternoon and it was a ghost town. Unbelievable.

          I went to Gauchet for the first time - beautiful.

          1. re: Epicurious Esquire
            i
            interference Apr 9, 2008 08:41 AM

            I have to agree about the relocation. The only upside for me is that the new digs are non-smoking. But I think it was very risky for them to abandon their loyal East Dallas customers for Victory Park.

            I think I've only made it there 3 times since the relocation... because really, who wants to venture into the sterile, too-trendy Victory Park and valet their car just to get a coffee? (And no, you don't have to valet.... there is a gated self-parking lot at Victory that starts charging after 2 hours.)

            And what will happen to Gachet when a giant Starbucks inevitably moves in? Can you guess which place the average Victory Park customer will pastronize?

            1. re: interference
              k
              kindofabigdeal Apr 9, 2008 02:53 PM

              I had never been there until it moved, but I had heard about it. One day i decided to check it out, and learned that lo and behold they'd moved to Victory Park. I was certain I was getting the wrong address because I could not figure out what kind of place like that would move from Lower Greenville to Victory Park.

        2. i
          interference Feb 28, 2008 03:05 PM

          nachomamma... Just to clarify, is it Gachet's straight shot of espresso that you recommend? Or have you only had the latte? I can make a pretty good latte at home but I've been wanting to compare a well-pulled straight shot to my home setup.

          If any espresso geeks out there are listening... I'm pulling Intelligentsia's Black Cat blend on a Gaggia and grinding on a Mazzer Mini. Hope to replace the Gaggia very soon, though.

          12 Replies
          1. re: interference
            g
            gavlist Feb 28, 2008 04:07 PM

            Interference - great question. I'm in the same place. Just upgraded from a Saeco (Starbuck's) to the Rancilio Silvia/Rocky. It's tough to perfect espresso without an accessible standard for comparison. I've also been using Black Cat for espresso, although it's a bit acidic/bright for my liking for milky drinks.

            Anyway, I have yet to find (in Dallas) a coffee shop that can even produce espresso as good as my Saeco made. Hopefully, Gachet's will be the one!

            1. re: gavlist
              k
              kindofabigdeal Feb 28, 2008 11:59 PM

              I only stopped by once, so I can't speak authoritatively, but i found it to be average. The OP compared it favorably to Jimmy's, but they use pods, so I'm not sure how much that says. Of course, the OP has samled some Italian fare, which I can't claim, so that certainly says something. And for reference... Black Cat in Chicago is amazing, but I'm sure glancing out and seeing the lakeside while drinking helps to overall impression.

              1. re: gavlist
                i
                interference Feb 29, 2008 06:24 AM

                I have used the same Saeco-made Starbucks Barista. Shots always blonded pretty early but it was very easy to use.

                How are you liking your new setup? I just sold my Rocky. Mine struggled to grind consistently at very fine settings (wrapping a bit of plumber's teflon tape around the burr carrier threads helped immensely with this). Also since it was doserless it tended to clump the grounds, so I had to stir them up a bit.

                Is the Silvia hard to get a consistent shot from? It's a beautiful machine but but I keep hearing how "finicky" it is with all the variables -- particularly temperature.

                1. re: interference
                  g
                  gavlist Feb 29, 2008 08:10 AM

                  true about the Barista - early blonding and difficult to pull a fantastic shot, but easy to get an ok espresso. I maintain that nothing available in Dallas shops or restaurants compares (at least, not that I've found).

                  The Silvia is tricky. I can now make pretty consistent shots (once I dial in for the beans I'm using - got some great brazilian beans for cappucino from White Rock Coffee a couple of weeks ago), but they're not up to par for expresso drinking. My PID is in the mail, so I'm hoping that will improve things (or at least, take some of the pressure off so I can focus on other aspects of technique.

                  What are you thinking of upgrading to? Is there a local vendor, or will you mail order?

                  1. re: gavlist
                    b
                    bt1984 Feb 29, 2008 09:43 AM

                    If you go to Gachet, there is free parking in Lot B almost right across the street.

                    1. re: gavlist
                      i
                      interference Mar 1, 2008 05:09 AM

                      It seems you can't do better than the Silvia without going bigger. I keep searching for a perfect small-footprint single boiler machine that is more forgiving than the Silvia... but apparently this does not exist. Space concerns aside, I will probably go with a Quickmill from ChrisCoffee. The Alexia is a great single boiler, but once you add a PID it is the same price as the Anita, a well-regarded HX machine. Which means I've settled on a machine that is larger and more expensive than I would like. Meanwhile, the lack of decent espresso in Dallas leaves me a bit in the dark and wondering if I'm on a wild goose chase.

                      As far as local vendors... I think we are out of luck. Sure hate to subject my new baby to UPS's abuse. It's sad that Williams-Sonoma carries so many espresso machines and not one proper prosumer machine (except the pricey Elektra.)

                      1. re: interference
                        g
                        gavlist Mar 1, 2008 01:31 PM

                        that's a nice machine - and the price is about the same as a Silvia, plus a PID controller (which I knew was inevitable), so it's probably not all that far out of your price range. Space was an issue for me, though - even the Silvia is a bit larger than I'd prefer. Let me know how it goes. It would also be good to hear if you find good local coffee beans that are great for espresso (and/or milky drinks).

                2. re: interference
                  g
                  gavlist Mar 1, 2008 01:15 PM

                  I went to Gachet today with a couple of friends, and I think we all agree that the espresso was ok... but not amazing. This is saying something - finding an acceptable espresso isn't easy. But I wouldn't go out of my way for it, to be honest.

                  I'm not sure where the deficiency is, though - they grind fresh, use a scale to measure tamping pressure, and have good equipment. Maybe the beans just aren't to my liking? Not sure. I ordered a double, which came with pretty nice looking crema - a uniform caramel color (no discernable striping or mottling, though). The flavor profile was a little too acidic at first, and after this passed there wasn't the body or viscosity that I like to feel with an espresso. After, a pleasant coffee flavor remained although it was slightly (but not too badly) bitter. Again - not bad, but not delicious.

                  Espresso aside, the shop is really nice, and the barista was friendly and fun to talk to. It's a good place to go, but I wouldn't expect anything out of this world (at least not in the way of a straight shot of espresso).

                  1. re: gavlist
                    i
                    interference Mar 31, 2008 10:30 AM

                    gavlist -

                    If you can make it down to Austin, I had a couple of great espresso experiences there just recently.

                    - JP's Java pulls shots of Zoka Paladino on a La Marzocco. Some baristas use the Super Jolly grinder, but mine took the easy way out and used the Swift. Still a delicious shot. And they have a Clover, if you've been wanting to try that.

                    - Caffe Medici, I *really* enjoyed because the baristas were so passionate about coffee. They serve a really nice espresso blend from a Texas roaster called Cuvee. Cuvee is up there with the good Seattle roasters, in my opinion.

                    By the way, I tried Gachet recently, too. Their process is pretty textbook, but I think the dark-roasted beans contributed to the bitterness in the shot. At least it came in a nice demitasse.

                    1. re: interference
                      g
                      gavlist Mar 31, 2008 01:35 PM

                      interference,

                      thanks for the tips! I was just in Austin 2 weeks ago... yet another good reason to return.

                      Did you buy your new equipment? Last weekend, I PID'd my Silvia and found remarkable performance enhancement. Today, I just got a fresh batch of Black Cat and Kiddo. Hoping for the best!

                      1. re: gavlist
                        i
                        interference Apr 7, 2008 09:49 AM

                        You must have been down for SXSW. (As was I). I took home a bag of the Espresso Medici blend and really enjoyed it.

                        One thing I learned from visiting those coffee shops in Austin: The shots I've been pulling are pretty close, even though I'm temperature surfing my little Gaggia. I believe the Mazzer grinder is to thank for that. The grind is fluffy and consistent enough that if I slightly overfill the basket and level it with a knife, I end up with a ~15g dose every time.

                        Enjoy the PID! With temperature under control, you can focus on perfecting the grind, dose, distribution, and tamp. (Easy, right?!)

                        1. re: interference
                          g
                          gavlist Apr 7, 2008 11:14 AM

                          heh - sure, easy. Grind/dose/distrib/tamp still leaves a pretty large parameter space, and I have a ways to go before I'm happy with what I'm pulling. I wish Dallas had something comparable to Medici so that I could periodically re-calibrate my expectations.

                3. p
                  pizzaQTpie Mar 3, 2008 06:21 AM

                  Went this weekend and we got a cappucino and macchiato (which you can not get many places). We enjoyed the coffee and hanging out on their patio. I guess we should have gotten a straight shot of espresso to compare. But i think it is totally worth going to Victory to get some coffee here since there are not many choices at all in Dallas.

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