Eden's Shameful Pass at "High Tea" Tempts an Englishman to Sin

eden sandwich.jpg
Gavin Cleaver
Fillings on the outside of the bread -- the Earl of Sandwich is not amused.
Sometimes a brisket-loving expatriate Brit just needs a taste of home, so we've sent our Englishman in BBQ Sauce on a trek to sample Dallas' version of cream tea. We hope Anglo-American relations will withstand the stress.

Deep down, I knew that Maudee's, with its understanding of appropriate tea and a vague idea of what should go on a scone (or indeed what a scone might look like) was the very tip of this hellish quest I now find myself on. I knew it. In retrospect, they should have won an award for that cream tea. This week, I went to Eden. Not Eden like the mythical garden where everything is wonderful. Eden like the place on Lover's Lane that has to be someone's house, and that serves a tea that is basically fraudulent.

See also:
- Dallas Does Cream Tea? Bad Mistake, Dallas.

Now, before I turn both barrels on this tea, I should point out that this was not marketed as a cream tea. It is a "high tea." While that is quite different, a high tea should not only feature the holy trinity of things necessary for a cream tea (jam, clotted cream, English breakfast tea. Competence of scones is assumed), it then also requires several courses of cakes and cucumber sandwiches. We know how to live it up in Britain. We live it up with cucumbers and pastries.

eden scone.jpg
Gavin Cleaver
Cheese and jam on a cake -- why, America? Why?
We arrived, into what must be described as extremely pleasant surroundings on a glorious Dallas afternoon, to be greeted with a tea menu that listed more than a dozen teas, and no English breakfast tea. The tea that a large part of the world just calls "tea." They left it out. I could get cinnamon tea, or wild raspberry tea, or even Earl Grey, but tea? No sir. We don't do that here.

Thankfully, we had prepared for this in advance. We had scoped the place out, doubting its Britishness. What we did was bring our own tea. That's right. We brought our own teabags to a tea place. However, as is our custom, we felt bad about this. We had actually created the most British paradox ever. We desired our tea, but to insist on our tea would be rude. How can we thrust our tea into the faces of people in this woebegotten place? Isn't that what caused all the issues with America in the first place? So, we compromised with ourselves. We would grudgingly accept whatever they assumed passed for "tea" for the first course, and by the second course work up the wherewithal to insist on actual tea, especially as the second course contained the fabled scones.

The first course was confusing, mainly because it was a sandwich in which the filling was partially on top. When the Earl of Sandwich visualized his most brilliant invention, the sandwich, he did not think that, many centuries later, someone in Dallas would so utterly misunderstand the nature of the sandwich as to put part of the filling on top of one, thus completely bypassing the functionality and usefulness of the invention. He would have been appalled, even though there was a cucumber sandwich (WITH CUCUMBER ON TOP OF IT I ASK YOU), and these sandwiches, especially the salmon, were quite delicious. We accompanied this with Earl Grey. It was clear that today was going to be a bad day.

Nothing could have prepared us for the second course. A variety of pastries and cakes were brought out, and until our server identified what she called a "scone" we were bereft of ideas. Some sort of triangular blueberry cake was what we were faced with, and apparently, to create our normally very-easy-to-achieve cream tea, we had been supplied with strawberry preserve (accurate) and mascarpone (WHAT). Is this flavorless cheese spread a substitute for clotted cream, we wondered, and suddenly we found the gumption to thrust our teabags into their faces (chortle).

Cheese on a blueberry cake? Are you quite insane? If this was Britain, this place would have been on fire within minutes of opening time. A polite fire, caused by an irate tea devotee asking if the proprietor would mind terribly if he stuck his flaming torch right in the goddamn mascarpone, but a fire nonetheless.

Bonus joke of the week: What's the best cheese for disguising a small horse? Mascarpone. That joke only works with the British pronunciation of mascarpone. You're welcome.

Comforting my wife, who, upon taking one bite of her "scone" had broken into a quiet sob, we soldiered through this course, which also saw such heretic baked goods as small muffins and zucchini bread, whatever the hell that is. Let's review. For a proper tea, we require a) tea (we had to bring our own or suffer flavoured tea) b) clotted cream (let us never speak of what happened at this place again) c) strawberry jam (present, but of average quality). The scone is assumed, which apparently was a misstep, because a triangular blueberry cake is not a scone. Who can cock up a scone? America.

The third course featured the most delightfully tiny chocolate cake imaginable, but given that we were minutes removed from an event neither I nor my wife will ever forget, and not in a good way, we don't really remember anything about it. Suffice to say, my wife has not eaten since, and spends her evenings holding her knees and openly weeping. Whether this is down to the tea or to being married to me, I cannot say. Next week, I have promised her, next week things will improve. They'd better, or this marriage will be over before you can say "Why the fuck do I have cheese on a blueberry cake?"


Location Info

Maudee's

4333 Lovers Lane, Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

Eden Restaurant and Pastry

4416 W. Lovers Lane, Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
25 comments
taln.sg
taln.sg

My sympathies  and appreciation for having persevered long enough for a thorough review.  It is nice to know I am not the only one who keeps her preferred tea at hand - even in coffee shops.  Though I sometimes enjoy what this side of the pond calls "scones" they are decidely named incorrectly.  Maska-a pony has it's welcomed place, too.  But it is not at "Tea"; not even for those of us less than fond of clotted cream.

J_A_
J_A_

At least they didn't bust out some oolong or green tea? 

elaine170
elaine170

Look, I'll use the occasional tea bag in the interest of convenience. But if I walk into a place that purports to entertain me with a tea ceremony, replete with scones, clotted cream, cucumber sandwiches and the like, and they serve a brew made from packets of dust and fannings, I'll walk out right now.

Frankly, I'm not much for the tea ceremony at home. I usually brew a day's supply of tea in a french press, and hold it in a vacuum carafe. But I'm damn well making it from whole leaf tea.

gm0622
gm0622

Just checked the cupboard. Would Irish Breakfast Tea work?

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

I suspect looking for proper tea in Dallas is like looking for a nun in a Reno house of ill repute.  Not only are you not going to find what you are looking for, you are missing out on what the establishment does right.

Twinwillow
Twinwillow

Your review of having "high tea" in Dallas reminds me of having to eat Thanksgiving dinner at an English friend's home while in London. It was all we could do to keep from laughing. 

We always had our high tea at Fortnum & Mason when in London. Yum!

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

I just realized we have English Breakfast tea here at my office.  It may be in a packet that you place in one of those single cup machines but it says English Breakfast so I will go make one now.  Maybe it will make me feel Britty n shit or maybe it will just cure my hangover but hey fuck it, I'm cool like that.  


Whats so bad about being a Chelsea fan, I mean for some reason I get looked at crazy for actually admitting to that, its not my fault my coach when I was 8 was one and outfitted us in chelsea garb, it just stuck with me.  

BigAl
BigAl

I saw a jar of clotted cream in the cheese sections of a Central Market. Would this be acceptable for use in recreating a cream tea, or is this something that is made fresh for the event?

Sartess
Sartess

This reminds me of the time I was attending a meeting in Detroit, Michigan, and an unusual concoction was served at lunch. Another Texan in the room pointed out it was the Michigan version of Mexican food. It was interesting, with chicken, American cheese, and green bell peppers. But, Mexican food? The whole situation made me lonesome for the the Lone Star State.

cleaver.gavin
cleaver.gavin

@ScottsMerkin You have a real chip on your shoulder about being a Chelsea fan don't you?! I guess that's normal for a Chelsea fan.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@Sartess I can tell you from experience -- just walk away from the chili.  Don't make eye contact.

cleaver.gavin
cleaver.gavin

@Sartess Just click your heels together three times and say, "There's no place like home"

Twinwillow
Twinwillow

@cleaver.gavin @JaniceA Although I enjoy both Oolong and green tea as well as my favorite Jasmine tea, There seems to be something especially warming and comforting about British tea. When made properly, of course.

Twinwillow
Twinwillow

@cleaver.gavin @Twinwillow Oh, ya! We loved a "posh nosh". Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@cleaver.gavin really I just want to fit in and dont want any wanker at the Londoner to try and start shit with me.  How is it at the Londoner Addison.  And in honour of your bbqness, I will outfit my boys team in Watford gear when he gets old enough to play

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@everlastingphelps 

I recall the watery pale reddish brew my mother used to make and call chili. Complete with kidney beans and spaghetti noodles. . . yeah, I know. . .

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk @everlastingphelps @Sartess Michigan is as bad as Ohio and Indiana on that front, yes

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...