The Blue Mug Cafe & Bistro, Sulphur Springs’ newest downtown eatery, is the place to get caffeinated or just chill enjoying its gourmet coffees, exotic teas and delicious fresh fruit smoothies. “It’ll be a little something different,” said owner Gus Trevino of his restaurant located at 204 Church Street that he describes as “eclectic.”
The wheels are turning, according to Trevino, to bring the area a unique dining experience that will eventually include outdoor patio seating and steaming hot bowls of self-serve delicacies for family-style dining on Sunday afternoons.
But for now, the cafe and bistro has opened its doors to serve a menu of panini sandwiches, salads, as well as coffees and teas galore.
“I probably have about 24 to 30 different gourmet coffees,” said Trevino, naming a few such as CafeCarmella, Mocha, Breve and Cafe con leche.
As for exotic teas, that number rises a bit more, to 40 or 50 from around the world.
“It’s just wonderful exploring all the teas,” Trevino emphasized. “The teas are phenomenal. You’d be surprised at the tea people who will just start coming out of the woodwork.”
According to Trevino, trends have shown that people from the United States mostly drink coffee, while the rest of the world shows partiality towards tea.
“Tea drinkers get really hard core about their tea,” he said with a laugh, adding that tea popularity is on the rise in our part of the world.
Among the flavors on hand at the Blue Mug are Lemon Solstice, a black tea with a lemony flavor of citrus, vanilla, and licorice over a Yunnan black tea base. This tea has almond brittle, lemongrass, licorice roots, as well as strawberry and blackberry pieces. Ti Kwan Yin tea is a favorite Chinese oolong, aromatic with a slightly fruity flavor of fresh plums. Or, patrons might like to choose Chai Tea Latte, The Blue Mug’s own special blend, both “rich and creamy.”
Speaking of rich and creamy, fresh fruit smoothies are also a Blue Mug treat.
“We’ll have banana, strawberry, blueberry — whatever is in season,” Trevino explained. “Right now we have an abbreviated menu, but we’ll have a full menu with granola, low-fat yogurt and fresh fruit.
“This will be a little bit healthier than some places,” he added mentioning bistro steak salads, Romaine and pear salad and Asian chicken salad, as well.
According to Trevino, all Blue Mug dressings are made in house.
“They’re vinaigrettes with a little bit of flavoring — lemon, orange, strawberry and red wine. They are a lot healthier cause they don’t have all the cream in them,” he said.
Buffalo burgers, rather than beef burgers, are another healthy alternative on the menu.
“We’re going to bring fresh, healthy food to the community,” said Trevino. “And buffalo is one of the healthiest meats you can eat.”
On the not-so-healthy side of the menu will be decadent desserts specially made by Trevino.
“We’ll be open on Friday and Saturday nights for dinner specials, including some of my favorite desserts,” he explained. “I make a New York-style cheesecake with mango sauce and a chocolate bourbon pecan pie using white and chocolate morsels. I just love that.”
There will also be live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights, everything from gospel to acoustic guitar and string quartets, according to Treveno.
“I don’t want to be labeled as anything specific like country or jazz. We’ll also have comedians and maybe even karaoke,” he said.
The Blue Mug Cafe & Bistro will also be open for breakfast.
“We’ve got a great grab-and-go breakfast for people on their way to work; burritos, croissant sandwiches. We actually have a little bakery here where we’ll do croissants, scones and cinnamon rolls baking right here,” Trevino said with enthusiasm. “It just fills the store with tremendous smells. There is nothing like fresh bread and scones baking to make a person hungry.”
Trevino also said he makes his own chorizo (Mexican sausage) using ground pork and beef with his own special blend of spices.
Breakfast at the Mug also includes menu items such as omelettes, poached eggs, bagels, heart-healthy oatmeal and migas (tortilla strips with onion, serrano peppers, black olives, cilantro and eggs served with refried beans and corn tortillas).
The Blue Mug Cafe & Bistro is open Tuesday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday and Saturday night from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday brunch to be announced. Call 903-328-9676 for more information or to inquire about catering and special events.
“I want this to be a place people say ‘Let’s go downtown to see what’s happening,’” Trevino said. “It will be different and it will be fun. We’ll have something going on all the time.”
Oh, and as for the name?
“We don’t have any blue mugs — I just like the name,” he said, laughing.
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