With some offices still closed because of flood damage from Harvey, more people than usual may be flocking to local coffee shops — laptops in tow — in search of caffeinated productivity. Proper brain fuel is obviously important for maximum productivity no matter where you are, so let's discuss some of the more interesting snacks you can procure around Houston-area coffee shops. Here are ten highly cravable items that you should factor into your next visit.
10. Biscuits from Morningstar, 4721 North Main
You can find these square, buttery, housemade biscuits at both Blacksmith and Morningstar (since they share owners), but where Blacksmith offers two options for biscuit accoutrements (crème fraîche and marmalade or sausage, egg and cheddar), Morningstar offers a heartier additional option with honey butter fried chicken with sambal and pickles. As a bonus, Morningstar doughnuts are also sold at both locations, so if you're hankering for a sweeter snack, their tasty orbs of fried dough are also an option.
9. Everything bar from Sinfull Bakery, various locations
These chewy, oat-y, lightly sweet bars are "everything we can find in the bakery put into one bar," according to the Sinfull website. An oat and flax base, sweetened with agave and maple, is studded with pecans, almonds, raisins, cranberries, chocolate chips and cinnamon. They're like a cross between a granola bar and a soft-baked oatmeal cookie. You can find Sinfull baked goods at pretty much any coffee shop around town, including Retrospect Coffee Bar, Black Hole, Antidote, Catalina, Inversion and more.
8. Tamales from Campesino, 2602 Waugh
In a sea of danishes, muffins and other pastries, this Latin cafe in Montrose offers welcome savory bites. Tamale offerings cater to both meat eaters and eschewers with chicken or vegan-friendly pisque (bean and corn) tamales. Empanada varieties include a vegetable and vegan cheese, chorizo scramble or picadillo, among others. For a hearty snack, one tamale or empanada comes with a small heap of plantain chips with chimichurri and hot sauce, but you can easily upgrade to a combo empanada and tamale basket for a full meal. Round out your meal with a cafe de olla or an horchata latte and you'll be one happy snacker.
7. Carrot souffle from Paper Co., 1100 Elder
Community-minded Paper Co. Cafe has no shortage of delicious items on its menu (I'm particularly excited to get there for brunch one day to try the Kaya French toast, which features coconut custard-infused Texas toast and spiced almonds); Paper Co. is one of the rare coffee shops where customers can reap the benefits of what seems like a full kitchen in addition to the espresso machine. It offers a common meal daily, priced on a sliding scale so that those more fortunate can help the local homeless have a good meal. The light and fluffy carrot soufflé is one of the side options (or opt for Mexican street corn, mac 'n' cheese or maybe the pita and hummus) and it just looks like the type of side that would make studying 100,000 times better.
6. Biscotti from Blonde Biscotti, 1000 West Gray, Suite 100
Somehow, chowing down on one of the soft-baked biscotti at this quiet new Montrose coffee and biscotti shop seems slightly more virtuous than downing a regular cookie. Flavors include birthday cake, fig and walnut, vanilla, red velvet and more. They're soft enough (think semi-sturdy coffee cake) that you can eat them on the go without having to stop and dunk them in coffee, making them an ideal snack whether you're planning to get some work done in the bright and peaceful corner space or just stopping by between errands.