Whenever my husband and I are craving something sweet especially if it's late at night, the first place that comes to mind is Caffe Demetre. We have been a regular patron at their Courtney Park location for several years now and continue to be even though they opened up another location a couple of years ago near Square One which is much closer to our place.
A couple of months ago I came to know that Demetre had launched a new menu on their 25th anniversary. I was eager to check it out but since I had been in Houston for the last couple of months I didn't get the chance to do so until last weekend.
The long lineups especially at the Courtney Park location vouch for the popularity of the place. Demetre is primarily known for it's artisanal ice cream which is churned daily, in-house in small batches. However, there's more to it than just ice cream. Now with the new menu they have introduced an even wider variety of exquisite desserts which include crepes, waffles, cakes, pies as well as beverages.
This time we opted for Toffee Snob (Warm Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake with Honey Madagascar Vanilla Ice Cream and Caramel Anglaise) and Tongue Depressor (Cocoa Chanel Ice Cream, Brownies, Belgian Dark Chocolate Sauce with Belgian White Chocolate Buttons).
As always the portions were huge and the plating was elegant. I often skip dinner or have something very light if I am planning to go to Demetre for dessert.I loved the Toffee Snob even though by the end of it I felt that it was a bit too sweet for my taste. My chocoholic daughter loved the Tongue Depressor but it was impossible for her to finish it off alone and her little sister was happy to help her out.
The ambiance is nice and cheery, casual enough to satisfy a craving without bothering to dress up and formal enough for special occasions. The service is good too though it might be a bit slow when the place is packed but that's understandable.
I had contacted Mr. Gary Theodore, Founder and President of Caffe Demetre to know whether the items on the new menu were halal or not and he confirmed the following:
- "None of our menu items contain gelatin or animal based mono and di glycerides or any other animal by-products other than dairy and eggs.
- · The following cake items are Halal Certified (from the manufacturer): Plain Cheesecake; Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake; Salty Caramel Fudge Brownie Cheesecake.
- · Alcohol (Ingredient): In the new menu, we intentionally sought to eliminate alcohol (in all forms) from all of our ice cream flavours except one. Our new Honey Madagascar Vanilla Iced Cream (and our Dessert Crepe Mixes) contain a pure Madagascar vanilla extract which contains a small amount of alcohol.* As you may or may not be aware of, all high quality vanilla extracts require a small amount of alcohol to properly process the vanilla flavour in its purest and most concentrated form- this unfortunately cannot be avoided. In our research and development we did experiment with alcohol-free vanilla powder, however we found that it greatly compromised the flavour of the finished product and therefore could not use it. All of the other new ice cream flavours in the new menu (other than Honey Madagascar Vanilla) contain no alcohol. Our Dessert Waffle Mixes contains no alcohol as well. You should also note that for both the Honey Madagascar Vanilla Iced Cream and Dessert Crepe Mixes, Pure Vanilla Extract is used in the smallest quantity and only accounts for 1% of the total ingredients of both those products.
- · Alcohol (Liqueurs): Currently, 3 of our 12 locations also offer patrons the following 3 Liqueurs: Grand Marnier, Bailey’s Irish Cream and Kahlua. These limited liqueur offerings are not however, offered on our main dessert and coffee menu and are not usually promoted unless patrons specifically ask for them. Those locations offering Liqueurs are the Uptown, Whitby and Kingsway Caffe Demetre cafes. The rest of our locations (nine to be exact) are alcohol (liquor) free."