My day job is teaching journalism/mass communication, so it pains me to type Madhatters without the apostrophe. (It’s possessive, not plural, so it should read Madhatter’s Tea House and Café.) However, I’m willing to overlook the missing apostrophe because delicious food always trumps correct punctuation.
Madhatters Tea House and Café, located at 320 Beauregard, is in the King William neighborhood, Texas’ first historic neighborhood, according to the King William Association website. It’s surrounded by stately homes built by German immigrants. Madhatters isn’t stately, but it is comfy.
Patrons may choose to sit inside or outside. The variety of seating options will please both the solitary and the communal. We met two guys, friends since high school, who sat outside while enjoying a slice of apple pie. My lunch companion and I sat inside after we placed our order at the front register.
We both ordered from the Original Cheapo menu. For $6, you get half a sandwich, chips and salsa plus ice tea, coffee or a fountain drink. You may add a cup of soup or a small Ceasar or field salad for $1.69 more. I got the cold spinach and chicken salad with sprouts and tomato on sourdough bread with a side of gumbo, while my friend ordered a smoked jalapeño tuna salad with mashed avocado, tomato and sprouts on wheat bread with a side of tomato basil soup. We were both happy with our selections.
Other Cheapo choices include turkey with mashed avocado, chipotle cream cheese, greens, tomato and pickled onion on sourdough bread; egg salad with greens, tomato, pickled onion on Black Russian rye bread; or a cup of soup with a small Caesar salad. The Cheapo plates are only available from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays.
The diners at the table next to us ordered a Tea Party for Two ($18). You may select the High Tea, the Afternoon Tea or the Kids Tea. I’m not sure what our neighbors ordered, High or Afternoon, but it looked divine and is now on my to-do list. Don’t forget to bring your own white gloves.
The menu at Madhatters includes daily breakfast, daily lunch, Saturday brunch, Sunday brunch and a comprehensive list of teas. Aside from the restaurant’s cool vibe, my favorite thing about Madhatters is choosing which tea cup to employ from their vast selection. The experience always reminds me of Sister Mary Brian Sherry, a nurse who worked at the Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital. Every afternoon, she would sip hot tea out of a lovely porcelain cup with pink roses and gold trim. She claimed that the beautiful cup made the tea taste better, and she was right.
Madhatters is open from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m., Mondays through Fridays; 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Saturdays; and 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Sundays. On First Fridays, it is open until midnight.