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30 April, 2010

Beyu Caffé

Comments : 1 Posted in : Dining in Durham - NC, Restaurants on by : The Gourmez

Beyu Caffé
335 West Main Street
Downtown Durham
Breakfast, Lunch: $4–$10
Dinner: $8–$18
Desserts: $2–$5
Cocktails: $5.75–$9
Coffee: $1.60–$4.50

This review comes from three separate trips to Beyu Caffé (pronounced Be You); one for dessert and coffee, one for dessert and cocktails, and one for breakfast and coffee. There have been mixed reviews on Beyu’s lunch and dinner menu so far, but on coffee and dessert, most people I’ve heard from have raved. I would also say that I was quite satisfied with my breakfast, but I haven’t tried them for other meals. For breakfast and lunch, you order at the counter. For dinner, wait service is the standard.

Beyu places great emphasis on the quality of their coffee, and their hope is to be considered a coffee-house-type destination for lingering, conversation, and music at any hour of the day.

I’ll disclose right now that I know Alicia Hylton-Daniel, who helped design the interior space of Beyu, and I am friends with her mother, Rosie, a fantastic Jamaican cook who’s been profiled in the Durham Herald for her curry before. So, I’m predisposed to like Beyu’s décor, and I do. It has a mix of dijon mustard and turquoise painted walls, brick, and columns with an intricate wallpaper pattern. There’s also copper plating over the bar and a wall of windows in the front of the house that bring great light into the rest of the space. I especially like the amber teardrop lamps over the bar and the single, out-of- place lamp above the couch area.

I should also say that I’ve met Dorian, the owner, before, but I haven’t had any free food or even had the chance to try one of his own coffee drinks-he’s gotten great reviews on his coffee skills. I have enjoyed the three coffee drinks I’ve had regardless: a cocoaccino, a peppermint frostaccino, and a regular cappuccino.

The cappuccino was a bit wetter than I like, but otherwise good.

The cocoaccino is a cappuccino made with chocolate milk and a healthy dose of cinnamon. It’s a good combination and not as sweet as you might think. I don’t have a picture of the peppermint frostaccino but it’s just as good as frozen coffee drinks anywhere else.

I was quite satisfied with my western omelette plate at breakfast.

The red potato home fries needed some extra salt (and tabasco sauce, if you’re me), but otherwise tasted great, with nice onion chunks and bits of fresh herbs mixed in. The wheat toast was very lightly buttered, a good thing in my book, and tasted a bit airy. It was a nice texture. The omelette was pretty thick and fluffy and had only a thin layer of grilled onions and peppers in the middle for filling. Usually, I’d want more filling than that, but somehow, the thin layer worked great the thickness of the omelette.

Prices for cocktails at Beyu are very reasonable. The Beyu Express, at $6.75, was a steal and it was fantastic.

The picture does not do it justice. If you like coffee cocktails, you need to try this one.

I’ve already tried three different desserts at Beyu, and for the most part, agree with the raves I’ve heard. If you don’t like one, don’t worry, there are plenty of other options.

First, the milk chocolate and cappuccino cheesecake.

This dessert was more like a truffle cake than a cheesecake, and if you know my rating system, you know I’m going to like that. The milk chocolate honestly tasted closer to dark chocolate, and I’m assuming that’s due to the quality of the ingredients. It’s chocolate heaven, with cappuccino-lined clouds. That cappuccino flavor almost seemed to have some citrus to it-or perhaps that was from the cream cheese. I don’t know; I know only that it was good.

I wasn’t as impressed with the chocolate and caramel crunch cake.

I found the frosting too dry-it’s a thick buttercream, I think-though the crunchy toffee bits were nice. I’ve also had a slice of lemon ginger cheesecake, which isn’t a normal offering. The portion size was very small compared to the other desserts, but it was really good.

Having lunch at Toast and then strolling down the street to Beyu Caffé for coffee and dessert seems like a popular thing to do in downtown Durham. I can definitely recommend it for that, but I must say, I think I found the cocktails the most impressive of all Beyu’s offerings. Whatever you’re in the mood for, though, the relaxed, but modern atmosphere is inviting, as is the free wireless.

3 stars

3 stars

Reviewed from 2.10 to 4.10.


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