Food Review: Tea Capital in SOMA

I have heard great things about a new tea shop with some amazing bahn mi sandwiches in SOMA, next to The Bagel Shop and across from The Root. So, once a had a couple free hours, I headed that way for an 11:00 lunch on a Tuesday. It was the best dining experience I have had in a LONG time. It was incredible. Here are the details.

As they opened at 11:00, I was the only customer and ordered at the counter and took a seat at a table, which are plentiful. The space is open and airy, but very modern and cute with lots of different seating offerings: booths, couch, comfy chairs, and regular tables.

The menu is on a tv screen at the ordering counter and doesn’t offer many food options, which is usually a good sign that what they do serve will be perfection.

Food includes a chicken or pork banh mi, popcorn chicken, and some desserts such as mango yogurt cake, mango sticky rice, baklava, tea cake, and a strawberry tres leches cake. There are plenty of different tea/drink options, however. There’s coffee (ex: fresh and cold brews, vietnamese, shaken espresso), hot specialty drinks (ex: hot nutella cheesecake, biscoff milk tea, signature chai), fresh iced drinks (ex: agua fresca, fruit tea, lemonade, Italian soda), and a ton of different boba tea drinks (ex: Dirty creme brulee, tiramisu, matcha red bean, taro, strawberry shortcake, etc).

I started with the house signature chai for $7. I ordered it hot even though it also comes iced. I was blown away from everything about this! It came out in a huge tea pot, with a very large mug and some sweet and savory crackers. The crackers were each uniquely flavored and were such a great addition to the BEST chai tea I have ever had. It is a made-from-scratch tea with ginger, cardamom and other spices and you choose between masala and lemongrass. I got the lemongrass and it was so flavorful, not too sweet, and just absolutely delicious. I finished one large mug and got a large to go cup for the rest to take home. I can NOT believe that all this, at least two large drinks and snacks, only runs $7. Take that, Starbucks, 7Brew, etc!

For lunch, I ordered the pork banh mi. I don’t even know how to describe how blissfully happy I was eating this sandwich. It really is a perfect banh mi. The delicious crusty, yet soft bread was packed full of perfectly cooked, flavorful pork, plenty of pickled veggies, cucumber, mayo, and cilantro. Though it already came in a to-go container, I had errands to run and it wouldn’t last in my car, so I had to eat it all. I swear I haven’t been that full since last Thanksgiving. And this large sandwich only ran me $10, which could easily be split. I cannot wait to try the chicken version, which I have heard raving reviews about!

With all of the amazing things I tried here, and they were all home runs, the best part was talking to one of the owners. Her and her sister own the shop and she made everything herself from scratch. (I must mention that this place is not fast; perfection takes time. So, don’t come here if you only have a 30 min lunch, you’ll spend at least an hour here. So, take your time and enjoy!) She was absolutely so friendly and sweet and made sure I had everything I wanted and that everything was up to my standards. Ha! Honey, you blew this meal out of the water! Everything about this trip to Tea Capital was perfect for me. I want to eat here at least weekly from now on. So, if you haven’t tried this place, run! And let me know if there’s a particular drink or other food item you suggest I try next time, because I can’t imagine not getting the exact same order every. single. time.

Food Review: El Sur in SOMA

I’ve been wanting to try El Sur for a while now, and I finally got to around lunch time on Sunday. Here’s the breakdown:


El Sur has a great clean and open space. You walk in and order at the counter, then they bring your food to the table or seat at the bar you choose. Water and cups are available for free at the bar, as well as some sauces you can put in cups to bring to your table. My favorite thing, however, was the fresh flowers cutely vased at each table.

Menu and Food

Their menu is found here on their website. Full of many different Honduran and other Latin American foods that you can’t find in many places around central Arkansas, it was hard to pick! I really wanted to try the fried yucca (I know I love that), pupusas, and the pollo chuco.

However, it was brunch time and I felt like I should try something I can only get once a week there. So, we ordered the Torrejas, Honduran French toasts simmered in syprup from dulce de caña, topped with orange zest and choice of two eggs.

The chorizo and eggs we chose were perfect- flavorful, but not too greasy. You can’t go wrong here. The French toast was plentiful and smelled amazing with citrus. If you like your french toast soggy, you’re going to love this. Unfortunately, I do not. So, this wasn’t my favorite dish and I had big regrets not ordering the Pollo Chuco.

On the specials board, the Salpicon sounded amazing and a lighter dish would help level out our meal of French toast. So, the decision was made.

In all honesty, I was a little disappointed when the dish was placed at my table. It looked pretty bland. However, I poured the sauce it came with over it all, as well as a mild and hot sauce from the front counter and everything was pretty good! There’s a great citrus flavor in the beef, though the texture is more like canned tuna, so it threw me off a little. While I enjoyed this, I was still deeply regretting not getting one of the items on the menu I know will be good, like the pupusas.

Overall, I think I need to give this place a second chance with its most popular dishes rather than trying ones that are only available that day. So, if you’ve had any dish there that I MUST try because it is so good, please comment and let me know!