By: Stevette Ballog
One of the greatest joys of dining out in a city is uncovering hidden gems. Since they often hide in plain sight behind unassuming storefronts, it takes real time and effort to find them. Today, I’m revealing a secret place where you can grab a quick breakfast or lunch at a bargain price that has been hiding right under our noses.
Darth Vader Building
Anyone that has lived in Coral Springs for as long as I have has heard of the “Darth Vader building.” It once held Flavors of Italy and Steve’s Prime Steak & Seafood – two hot spots where locals wined, dined and danced the night away. I can credit both places for paving the way to my hospitality/culinary career as they were the first restaurants to hit my resume. Until recently, the drive past that black glass building would leave me reminiscing about the days that hungry habitués lined up to fill their bellies with delicious food. Even with its new facelift, the place looks extremely vacant. Who would have known that there was a jewel tucked away inside begging to be discovered?
Tazza Café, an uncharacteristically cozy breakfast and lunch-minded shop, aims to please those time-pressed patrons looking for a bite before rushing back to work. Their menu boasts familiar carb-filled suspects—sandwiches, wraps and subs loaded with Boar’s Head meats, bagels, and freshly baked sweets—but it also has a few scratch-made edibles you wouldn’t expect. With the name Tazza, Italian for “cup,” it’s no surprise that they also offer a large selection of coffee, including Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, tea, smoothies and soft drinks. Their specials change daily so with items like three-egg omelets, burgers, soups, salads, barbecue pulled pork, chicken parmesan lathered in homemade sauce, pesto chicken flatbread, shrimp po’ boys and fish tacos, you’re bound to try something new with each visit.
About the Food
When I arrived, I noticed that a turkey burger was listed on the specials board. I am not usually a big turkey burger fan, but this sandwich came out topped with cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, lettuce, and tomato – and it was good. It wasn’t one of those unappetizing tofu patty-like turkey burgers you find around town. This was juicy and packed with flavor, and for $5.99 it was a win-win.
Next, I tried the cheeseburger: crisp-edged and somehow un-greasy beef sandwiched between a layer of melting American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions and a lightly toasted bun. For a mere $6.99, this 8 oz beef burger was also a great find.
I continued on with a cold sandwich and the soup du jour. By recommendation of owners Sal and Patti Sabella, I ordered one of their most popular subs called the American which was Boar’s Head turkey, roast beef and ham, layered onto a 6” sub roll with mayo and American cheese before basically running through a garden of veggies including spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, olives, red peppers, banana peppers and more. It was love at first bite and a great deal for a measly $5.79!
Let me pause for a second to tell you about the bread. Normally, I would have selected white bread because most wheat breads are too crumbly and dry for my liking. I chose the wheat roll mainly for picture purposes so that everyone would know it was an option. This, by far, made my sub extra fantastic. I could almost taste the presence of honey, and it yielded that perfect texture of firm yet it was soft and chewy.
On to the Mexican tortilla soup. It was piping hot, lightly spiced, loaded with black beans, corn, tomato and onions and paired perfectly with that sweet wheat bread.
Last – and with literally no room left to eat, I ordered freshly-baked muffins. The first was chock-full of sweet cinnamon chips and had a pleasant crystalline-sugar crunch; the second had a deliciously crumbly coffee cake top covered in confectioner’s sugar. These muffins eat other muffins for breakfast. With flavors like banana walnut, chocolate chip, blueberry, double chocolate, corn and more – they are sure to please any sweet tooth.
Mr. and Mrs. Sabella’s little Tazza overflows with love – you can taste it in their food and see it on their smiling faces when you walk in the door. They understand that nowadays not everyone has time to be seated and handed a menu. Convenience, portability, and health are often priority for consumers who eat out during the work day. This presents unique challenges for those on the go. Thumbing through the menagerie of fast food options around town will put you on your cardiologist’s naughty list. So drop the junk food and go check out Tazza Café.
As you fill your tazza with coffee and your belly with a homemade meal, be sure to tell Sal, Patti and the cook, Sasha that Stevette from Fork Notes and Coral Springs Talk sent you and let me know what you think!
TIP: If you are in a real rush, follow them on Facebook or Instagram for their daily specials and call your order in ahead of time @tazzacafe104
Conversation piece: If you have a little time, ask Sal to show you their Guinness-worthy giant French fry…it’s HUGE!
(Inside the Darth Vader Building)
3111 N University Dr. #104
Coral Springs FL 33065
Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Stevette Balllog, formally from Chicago has been living in Broward County for 15 years. She has a B.S. in Culinary Management from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and is owner of the Fork Notes Blog. She loves to travel all over the US in search of the best food, wine and craft beer, and she loves to cook. If you have an idea for a restaurant for her to review, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org follow her on Twitter at @Forknotes