Label Local Dallas

Food & Drink

The Creek Cafe Provides Japanese Comfort Food That Will Make You A Regular

Photo: Gefen Kusin-Kline

Photo: Gefen Kusin-Kline

My fiancée and I recently moved, and while our new apartment is just a mile east of where we were, the food landscape has changed quite a bit. I can no longer walk to Aca Las Tortas on a whim, nor can I make the trek for an Italian Stallion in a less-than-10 minute round trip. Most tragic of all, La Victoria and Ruby’s are now outside of my immediate hood. This loss has left a burrito-sized hole in my heart and a snoball-sized pit in my soul. I cannot lie, the darkness consumed me, and all that remained was existential hunger — until I found The Creek Cafe.

A few blocks away from my new apartment lives The Creek Cafe — a restaurant that I passed, obliviously, dozens of times when visiting the Cock & Bull. I’m not sure how I missed it so frequently when they offer something no other spot in Dallas (as far as I can tell) does: Japanese comfort food. I must admit, I know virtually nothing about Japanese cuisine outside the typical American staples, so I don’t have a wealth of knowledge and context to draw from when discussing the dishes at The Creek Cafe. What I can speak to, however, is how freaking delicious everything I’ve tried is. 

On my first visit, I opted for their Chicken Omusoba, which is essentially an omelet wrapped around stir-fried yakisoba noodles. I have never eaten anything like it before, and it was incredible. So often, we find ourselves coming back to the same dishes over and over again, rotating between pizza, tacos, burgers, and the like. I cannot overstate how refreshing and fun it is to eat something that you’ve not only never tried before but also something you didn’t even know existed. Every bite of the omusoba felt like a new brand new experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed every second spent eating it, which, to be fair, wasn’t too long since I wolfed it down in what I imagine was a laughably short period of time.

On my second visit, I ordered the vegan pancakes. Vegan isn’t a selling point for me, nor is it for most Dallasites, but I do think there is an unfair knee jerk reaction lots of people have to the v-word, and that is a shame. The reason I opted for these pancakes just a few days ago is that on my first visit, the table next to mine ordered some, and I almost cried when I saw how beautiful they appeared. Japanese pancakes — or at least the way The Creek Cafe prepares them — are not sweet. The pancakes themselves are thick and savory, which I find to be refreshing; sweets just don’t do it for me. They offer several varieties, and I opted for the Berry Berry Pancakes, which come topped with a lightly sweet, cashew-based creamy sauce and a generous serving of fresh blueberries and strawberries. The fruit is by far the sweetest element of the pancakes, so it is welcomingly easy to pretend you’re eating healthy — a delusion to be savored. There are two pancakes to an order, but they are thick: like an inch and a half thick. I triumphantly ate everything served and may or may not have licked the plate when no one was looking. It takes a lot for me to feel genuinely full, but I didn’t feel the need to eat again for the next eight hours. Well done, Creek Cafe, well done. Their menu overall has a lot to offer with dishes ranging from curry bowls to ramen to smoothies and more. They also have quite a few vegan and vegetarian-friendly options as well.

The restaurant’s space is incredibly relaxing. Soft lighting and the laid back jazz playing make The Creek Cafe seem like the perfect environment to nurse a hangover or decompress after a stressful day. The service is fantastic, and every person who works there is friendly, helpful, and seem genuinely happy to serve their unique offerings. 

While I still lament the loss of easy-access breakfast burritos, I couldn’t be happier to have The Creek Cafe so close to my home, and I have the sneaking suspicion that I’ll very quickly become a regular, if not a full-blown weirdo who camps outside their doors every morning waiting to enter the second they open. Only time will tell, but I’m leaning towards the latter.