by Dorothy Puch Lillig
Spring Branch District’s Dolce & Cafe is woman-owned, woman-managed and so it is not at all surprising that it is also woman-inspired.
“Most of our flavors come from our French grandmother who was an extraordinary family cook that everyone admired,” said owner Sanya, who opened the cafe this past May. “Now that we have opened a restaurant, we have made an effort to alter our homemade recipes to fit the modern Houstonian devourer.”
“We wish to provide a cozy, feel-at-home atmosphere where our guests come and relax with a great cup of coffee or a tasty sandwich and soup,” Sanya said.
Dolce & Cafe’s specialties are gourmet sandwiches and crepes and, of course, great coffee. Also on offer: a full breakfast menu, pastries, croissants, salads, assorted bonbons and iced tea, among other selections.
While grandmother was the admired family cook with all the recipes, Sanya’s grandfather was the one who prepared crepes for the whole family, at least once a week, she said.
“He’d probably make about 30 to 40 crepes, the thinnest crepes ever, serve the table with my grandmother’s homemade fruit preserves and marmalade; it could be strawberry, raspberry, rhubarb and vanilla, orange, cherries, apricots. He’d gather all five of us grandkids and fill the crepes as we desired,” Sanya reminisced.
It’s that warmth of family cooking and happiness around the table that Sanya hopes to replicate daily at Dolce & Cafe.
On a recent visit, cafe manager Maja greeted us with a warm smile and the daily specials, plus recommendations on which crepe, panini and dessert to choose. From savory chile con carne, grilled chicken or prosciutto panini or crepes to sweet crepes with Nutella, figs or even matcha tea, the selections seemed endless. But Maja was there to help guide us.
“She is all and more we could have wished for,” Sanya said of Maja, who moved to Houston from Macedonia a few years ago. “She has an MBA degree and great business insight and together we hope to help Dolce & Cafe grow.”
Sanya said she chose the current location for the cafe because the Spring Branch District offers the convenience of city life with easy access to several main freeways, proximity to major shopping malls, good schools, great parks and more.
The goal, according to Sanya, is to make Dolce & Cafe a “hub” for the neighborhood where groups can hold meetings, high schoolers can grab an after-school treat and friends can gather to just catch up.
“Spring Branch to us is one of the most promising neighborhoods in Houston and we want to be part of it in every aspect. Not only did we open our restaurant in Spring Branch, but we moved our family here, too,” she said.
Dolce & Cafe
7670 Katy Freeway, Houston TX 77024
Located at I-10 and Silber at the Marq-E Entertainment Center