It was surprisingly difficult work — Menke traveled to North Carolina to learn the secrets of making gelato, and Goode worked closely with a coffee importer-roaster in Grand Prairie to create unique blends — such as the mix of Kenyan, Sumatran and a hint of Italian beans that make up the Buli Bold. The cafe will offer a rotating coffee of the day and feature different gelato flavors based on customer response. (I’ll cast my vote for the pistachio.)
Sandwiches were a late addition to the menu. Originally, they were going to concentrate on a sweetshop that served coffee and tea, but eagerness got the better part of them. For newcomers, their sense of style with food seems intact. The barbecue mayo on brisket panini gives a kick, and the chicken with chipotle raspberry warrants a taste. Those with a sweet tooth should try an amaretto or champagne truffle.
The menu was still in flux as the opening date neared, with Whittall making minor adjustments. The taste of the club panini, with its cranberry mayonnaise dressing, was right, but the cheese needed to be melted. The brisket panini wasn’t warm enough on the first go round, but not to worry. They’d get it right. They had to. And they did.
When Buli opened its doors on Sept. 3, all the paint on the walls was dry, the furniture was in place, and the menu — panini, gelati, salads, hand-dipped truffles and assorted desserts alongside the specialty coffees, teas and soft drinks — was set. Everything went off without a hitch.
But the birth of Buli — they pronounce it “byoo-lee,” an acronym for Because U Love It — wasn’t as easy as they first imagined.