Dish & Drink KC: Pastry overload at Tous Les Jours and botanical beverages at Café Corazón
Treat yourself at Tous Les Jours
When I’m having a busy, difficult week, I refuse to just push through it. This results from years of therapy and an active dislike of hustle culture. I need my little treats. A change of scenery isn’t enough; I have to romanticize my work environment. As a result, I’m constantly on the lookout for cafés, and Tous Les Jours is one of my new favorites.
The French-Asian bakery is located in a strip mall with plenty of parking. Although it can get noisy, it has clean bathrooms, and there’s an overwhelming variety of fresh, self-serve pastries. While Tous Les Jours is a franchise, the unique concept pulls its weight and makes it worth patronizing.
The savory pastries are kept on heated racks, and there are several vegetarian options. These go fast—popular items include the Kimchi Croquette, the Curry Croquette, and the Tomato Olive Danish. Out of the four pastries I devoured, the Curry Croquette disappeared the fastest due to its perfectly crisp outside and warm, well-seasoned center.
The Red Bean Donut surprised me. I’ve had red bean buns before, but only with warm filling, so the cold temperature caught me off guard. The sugar on top adds an enjoyable extra sweetness, but more traditional fans might find it too saccharine.
The Strawberry Croissant is made with fresh cream and fruit, which makes a huge difference. The croissant is then dusted with powdered sugar. It’s a lighter pastry you can feel good about eating because it covers several important food groups. It’s also highly photogenic.
One of the staff brought out a fresh tray of Chocolate Avalanches (essentially a more chocolatey pain au chocolat) as I was paying at the counter, so I had to add one to my meal. It was glorious. The bread’s ridges add texture and a slight crunch while the inside is smooth, melted goodness.
If you’re looking for somewhere to take an exam or an important phone call, Tous Les Jours is not it. There’s going to be background noise. But it hits the sweet spot if you don’t need total silence when reading, writing, or practicing any of your various hobbies.
Tous Les Jours has locations across the U.S., including 10348 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS 66212.
Spring seasonals at Café Corazón
If I’m going to spend money at a coffee shop, it needs to have an incredible ambiance or drinks that I can’t make at home. Luckily for me, Café Corazón has both.
This family-owned business is body-and-soul nourishing. I’ve never walked out of here in a bad mood. Its menu items are both traditional and innovative. The team is great at keeping it current with a strong presence in social media and community events. The parking lot is small, but it’s worthwhile to wrangle yourself a spot there or on an adjacent street.
The seasonal spring drink selection is popping off this year with the Matcha del Moro, Spicy Alfajor Latte, Lale Latte, and Honey Jasmine Yerba Mate Latte. All of these drinks are available hot or iced.
With the uptick in the temperature, I opted for an iced Matcha del Moro. For our early Mother’s Day, I treated my mom to the Lale Latte, which is flavored with lavender and dulce de leche.
Matcha is an acquired taste for me—I’ve tried matcha or matcha-flavored items several times, and it’s never taken. However, this time around was different. It tastes earthy, almost like sweet grass, and the pistachio and dried rose petals complement it nicely. It’s also pleasantly aromatic.
The Lale Latte is much more acidic, but the lavender’s hint perks its sweetness. The latte is rich, a little bitter, and appeals more to true coffee lovers.
Empanadas, tamales, and pastries are also available. The selection of alfajores includes rotating flavors like lavender limoncello, coconut, and tiramisu.
Remember: like many local coffee shops, Café Corazón sells gift cards!
Café Corazón is located at 1721 Westport Rd., Kansas City, MO 64111, and 110 Southwest Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108.