We ended up at Denica’s Pastry Cafe & Taco Lounge completely by accident. At first we were planning to have Dim Sum at Koi Garden in Dublin but there was a line up out the door because it was Mother’s Day. We decided not to wait and wanted to find the next best alternative. My friend had come across this place on Yelp and the reviews looked promising. When we arrived at Denica’s, we were surprised that it too had a line up out the door. Fortunately, the line moved fairly quickly.
My friend ordered a bowl of Split Pea and Ham Soup ($5.59), which was one of the Daily Soup specials. I tasted the soup and was impressed that it tasted homemade. The ham gave the soup a nice smoky flavour. Normally, I’m not even a fan of Split Pea soup but I found Denica’s version to be quite tasty. Also, I found the portion size for the bowl of soup to be unexpectedly generous relative to the price.
In addition to the bowl of soup, my friend ordered one of the Daily Special Salads, the Aloha Salad ($8.95). The salad consisted of mixed greens and romaine lettuce pieces tossed in a passion fruit vinaigrette. The salad was topped with sweet, ripe mango chunks, strawberry slices, avocado slices, and cashew nuts. To our surprise, this salad was a big hit and actually the star of the show. This salad seems so simple, but it was easily the best salad I’ve tasted in a long time. I can’t remember the last time I had a salad that tasted so fresh and crisp. The passion fruit vinaigrette provided the perfect tanginess and tropical flavours to bring all the ingredients together.
My other friend ordered the Short Stack($4.99), which consisted of 2 Buttermilk pancakes with hot syrup and butter. I had a taste of the pancakes and was impressed with how fluffy and thick they were. These were one of the best pancakes I’ve tasted. I was really surprised that the pancakes actually tasted homemade. I would definitely go to Denica’s for pancakes instead of a greasy spoon joint.
I ordered the Daily Sandwich special which was the French Dip ($6.99). It consisted of a french baguette filled with thinly shaved roast beef, a container of jus, and a choice of soup or salad. I chose a cup of vegetable soup. I thought the sandwich was just ok. There was nothing special about it and it didn’t contain very much roast beef either. This was far from being the best beef dip I’ve ever had. The beef wasn’t very flavourful and the jus didn’t taste like it was made from scratch. The vegetable soup tasted ok but wasn’t outstanding either.
For their kids, my friends ordered the Bella’s Berry Belgian Waffle ($7.99), which consisted of a waffle topped with strawberries and whipped cream. The waffle was crispy on the outside and fluffy and light on the inside.
Overall, my friends and I were really impressed with our meal at Denica’s. Although I probably wouldn’t order the French Dip sandwich again, I have no hesitations going back to order the Aloha Salad. In fact, I hope the Aloha Salad is featured again as their Daily Special on my next visit or that it gets put on their permanent menu. I would also go back for breakfast items such as their fluffy buttermilk pancakes or their crispy waffles.
Denica’s Pastry Cafe and Taco Lounge
6058 Dougherty Rd.
Dublin, CA 94568