There's no denying that the beverages at Siphon Coffee, be it the cappuccino, Americano, cortado or siphon for one, are excellently executed. But, you can also say the same for the West Alabama coffee shop's pastries, breads and scones.
After seeing a friend on Facebook comment about the empanadas she had at Siphon Coffee this past weekend, I made it my priority to try the Argentinian pastries for breakfast. Now I know why she was so excited about Siphon's empanadas.
The morning treats located within a small glass display case look so delightful that you might be tempted to choose one of each...just to see how each tastes. I guess that's the nibbler in me coming out.
Two men ahead in line ordered slices of banana bread, while someone else opted for a bacon cheddar cheese scone. Each of these looked enticing, but I had to stick to my plan and order what I came for -- the empanadas.
Siphon Coffee offers three types: Chicken, beef and potato. The ones featured in the display case are just for show. The real deal is made fresh in the back kitchen.
If you want to enhance your experience at Siphon, go ahead and order the siphon for one and watch your coffee be made right before your eyes. It takes about ten minutes, and that's about the same amount of time you'll wait for your empanadas.
As I waited for my breakfast, I sipped on my rich, creamy Americano and smelled the beautiful aromas of homemade banana bread as the customers ahead of me in line retrieved their plates of warm, thick, sweet bread served with a dollop of whipped cream cheese for spreading. And yes, you read that right -- cream cheese. Because why not? That scent of banana and sugar quickly changed to butter letting everyone in the coffee shop know that the empanadas were done.
Served with a side of chimichurri sauce for dipping, these two empanadas featured a flaky, buttery and delicate crust encasing a thick amount of shredded chicken and ground beef in each. In fact, the beef empanada was stuffed with so much meat that it began to burst open in the middle revealing all of the extra goodies cooked in the filling.
The thick edges sealing in the meat are crispy, buttery and instantly begin to melt in your mouth. But, the best part is the soft, tender pastry dough covering the beef and chicken.
As you take a bite into the beautiful mini pie, the abundant filling of ground beef or shredded chicken combined with raisins, garlic, peppers and a whole mix of Argentinian spices, comes spilling out, forcing you to scoop it all up with a spoon or fork. Each bite is sweet, spicy and leaves a buttery kiss on your lips from the rustic pastry dough.
Siphon Coffee's menu was crafted by chef Amanda McGraw (formerly of Tiny Boxwood's and Brasserie 19) who served as the consulting chef during the opening stage. Her culinary expertise shines in these two creations, and that only makes me want to try more food offerings, like the banana bread.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.