nestled in-between the busy city streets of hildebrand and broadway, lies the charming neighborhood coffeehouse, commonwealth coffeehouse & bakery. with its variety of textures ranging from marble tables with french bistro chairs to decorative wooden ceiling beams helping support modern, industrial light fixtures, this coffeehouse showcases the taste of any customer that comes in. if my personality became a building, commonwealth would be mine.
but don’t think this is just another one of san antonio’s trendy, hipster coffeehouses. commonwealth is bursting with french flavor and ambience (ooh la la!) which directly comes from co-founder, jose ramon campos’s experience in france. to solidify the french menu, the coffeehouse employs two french chefs, one being a third generation french baker. you can taste the food was made with passion and culinary knowledge given by generations past which gives the customer a unique one-of-a-kind experience in san antonio.
i was lucky to receive an invitation by commonwealth to experience their new lunch specials. i never had the opportunity to try their lunch since i usually only have a chance to run in and grab a cup of tea but i was so glad i finally did. commonwealth has something you don’t see everyday in city coffeehouses – it’s own garden and chickens. marcel, commonwealth’s manager, states the food is almost always prepared with vegetables from its own garden (weather permitting) and their eggs are the product of their four happy chickens in the back eating/garden/lounge area. it’s the perfect cozy spot to get away from the city hustle and feel like you’ve been transported into a charming french countryside. you can rest easy knowing your ingredients are farm fresh and ethically raised.
so lets meet the three dishes of the hour, shall we? first up, we have farfalle a la popeye. second, we have spaghetti a la bolognese and lastly, we had a meaty and tangy sandwich we called the sloppy jean. like jean claude, oui oui. the menu items were a simple and flavorful cuisine. it was good food. like good food. it didn’t leave me feeling heavy and i felt satisfied… ridiculously satisfied like my grandmother made comfort food but up’ed her game satisfied.
farfalle a la popeye – slowly cooked farfalle (bowtie pasta) mixed with white organic mushrooms, spinach and commonwealth’s signature goat cheese.
you guys. let me just start by telling you i don’t really care for mushrooms. at all. BUT this dish was so delicious and the mushrooms weren’t overpowering that i wound up eating my whole portion which is something I NEVER DO (when mushrooms are involved, lets be real… i usually do any other time). the pasta had enough creamy flavoring to melt in your mouth. the cream to pasta ratio was perfection. the goat cheese brought all the flavors together while my taste buds did a happy dance in the celebration of dairy. long live cheese! okay, i feel like my tastebuds danced. yours don’t do that? hm. if they have never done that, then i demand you order this dish soon because we all need to experience the happy taste bud dance.
all in all, it was an amazing dish. i didn’t feel heavy after eating this meal like i usually do with pasta. it was light, simple but packed with flavor. two enthusiastic thumbs up!
spaghetti a la bolognese – spaghetti mixed with a 93% grade meatball and organic marinara with basil.
oh.my.god. the beef. lets talk about this meatball. you can taste how lean and savory it is. immediately, it broke apart in my mouth and i knew it was some quality stuff. it was delicious! 93% lean beef, booyah! the seasoning within the beef was perfection. it honestly was like a home-cooked meal but so much better than what i would cook at home. it was comfort food at its finest. the noodles were boiled to perfection. not too al-dente and not overly cooked, just perfect. trust me, i’m a stickler for noodle texture and this stuff was amazing. the marinara to pasta ratio was on point. sometimes, too much marinara is served and then you can’t enjoy the natural flavors of the noodles or ground beef but this spaghetti did not have that issue. the flavors all dance with each other, it’s perfect. there’s no other way i can describe this. i felt like i just visited my grandmother and she served me up a big ol’ dish of my favorite food. i didn’t feel heavy or overly full in any way but i was satisfied again. 2 – 0 commonwealth. another two thumbs up!
the unnamed sandwich. we called it the sloppy jean – beef roast sandwich with orange and yellow bell peppers mixed with mustard and melted cheese on a ciabatta bun.
last but certainly not least was my favorite out of the three. at the time of this lunch, the sandwich was unnamed but my friends and i decided to call it the sloppy jean. you know, our french take on the sloppy joe. the beef roast in this sandwich was deliciously tender. the mustard lining on the ciabatta bread added the perfect tang to the sandwich while the yellow and orange bell peppers combined with the onions added a flavorful crunch. the ingredient that tied it altogether? the cheese of course. perfectly melted on top of this orgasmic sandwich made the whole thing turn into heavennnn….
seriously, it was my favorite of the three and it was pretty damn hard to choose! 3 – 0 commonwealth. i bow to you.
commonwealth coffeehouse and bakery is located at 118 davis court. cross streets are hildebrand and davis. located behind the wash tub.
check out their delicious menu and grab yourself a piece of their french experience!