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Photo by Troy Fields

Morningstar

Photo by Troy Fields
Morningstar is David Buehrer’s reimagining of the neighborhood cafe. It starts with coffee and doughnuts, but that tells only part of the story. The coffee is consistently excellent, as should be expected of the man behind Greenway Coffee and Blacksmith. The doughnuts stumbled at first, but have hit their stride with intriguing flavor combinations and concepts. Don’t miss the salted lime and chile pineapple fritter, with its funky fruity flavor and burst of salty chile heat. Morningstar also incorporates a wide-ranging tea program, with a heavy focus on matcha. The ceremonial green tea shows up across the menu, from a selection of options that frame the tea through the lens of espresso beverages and an utterly beguiling spin on Vietnamese iced coffee in the matcha sua da, to a matcha frosted raised and glazed doughnut. Elsewhere, rice bowls and inventive “cereal” options showcase the international flavors that provide much of Houston’s dining spark. Don’t miss the kaleidoscopic flavors and textures of the Valrhona Chia pudding, an unexpectedly delightful vegan offering. Likewise the Moneycat potatoes. Crispy fried with tender and earthy sweet interiors, the potatoes come glazed with funky gochujang, drizzled with zippy Kewpie mayo and showered with aromatic herbs. More than any of the menu items, though, Morningstar is a place whose focus is on accommodation. It has what you want, and wants you to treat it as you will. Have a drink, have a bite, have a meal. In the grand tradition of neighborhood cafes, Morningstar mostly wants to make you feel at home, and it succeeds mightily.

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