Coffee culture is a unique little beast, a facet of hipster-ism that actually predates hipsters. By nature, coffee is a drink of fellowship. Excluding the morning rush, people go to coffee shops to study, to chat with old friends, make new friends, read and relax. A good cup of coffee is something to bond over and thankfully, that is what XO Coffee Company serves in the heart of walkable, wonderful Downtown Plano.
XO Coffee Co. was recently welcomed into the community with open arms. If you’re wondering whether you’ve heard of it, you probably have. It’s also known as “that Hasselhoff place” because it’s owned by David Hasselhoff’s nephew and niece-in-law, David Martin and Linda McCall. He visited when it opened to create some hype and it was awesome.
XO’s interior is cozy and clean, showing off the building’s history with exposed brick and rafters. The central coffee bar, the sleek metal lights and cream-colored tables give it a vibey, modern feel while it remains undeniably warm and woodsy. The menu has been drawn on chalk boards, along with sage wisdom like “a yawn is just a silent scream for coffee.” True words.
XO Coffee Co. stands out in the crowd. While the Dallas area is full of amazing coffee shops and amazing restaurants, rarely can you find both in one neat package. Alongside coffee, XO Coffee Co. serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and now dinner, all courtesy of Chef Tony Gardizi. While I’m a sucker for a cortado, it’s the addition of good food and wine that takes XO Coffee Co. to a whole new level.
Let’s break it down.
Citrus-smoked Shrimp Cocktail comes with shaved bok choy slaw and a Thai chili cocktail sauce that’s just a little spicier that you’d think, a refreshing twist on an old standby. Charred Brussels Sprouts, the trendiest of vegetables, tends to be classed up in the coolest ways and these are no different, tossed with thick slices of sugar-cured bacon. But the Pan-fried Shishito Peppers are a rarer find. The idea of ordering a plate of bite-sized whole peppers might be intimidating—basil aioli and parmesan shavings notwithstanding—but this Japanese pepper is actually very mild (except for roughly one in 10 wild cards). They taste very green, a summertime veggie that’s fresh, tender and delicate. A heartier appetizer, pork medallions arrive topped with a poached quail egg, which is fun, on a chunky but delicious tomato jam.
For entrees, try the Crab-crusted Halibut. Well-seasoned with fresh-ground pepper, it has been seared perfectly crisp at the edges and flaky everywhere else, topped with that amazing crust of crumbled crab. The fava bean risotto is unconventionally cheesy, dotted with cranberries which provide a welcome sweetness. Well seasoned with pepper, the delicate flavor of the fish is preserved even though there are a lot of flavors at play.
Remember those cakes that sit temptingly at the register? The towering Italian cream cake isn’t so much a dessert as an event. Each slide is thin but tall, sort of like the Flatiron Building.The frosting is as light as air but not as calorie-conscious, and the plate is swirled with pineapple and strawberry compote.
In conclusion, XO Coffee Company masterfully treads a thin line: upscale yet casual, easy yet elevated. Appropriate whenever, it easily translates from first date to third date; weekday to weekend; studying to celebrating. Come for the lattes. Stay for dinner.
XO Coffee Company
- Sunday–Wednesday | 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
- Friday–Saturday | 7 a.m. –10 p.m.
Where: 1023 E. 15th St., Plano
More: 972.212.4318 | xocoffeeco.com