“A musical morsel supreme! Toot Sweets! Toot Sweets! The candy you whistle, the whistle you eat.”
Am I the only one that gets the “Toot Sweets” song from the classic and incredible movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang when they read the name of this coffee shop? It is not spelled exactly the same, but it is the same name pronunciation just without the “s” on the end. I totally forgot that song until I heard the name of this shop. Funny how little things can trigger memories like that! Anyway, when Lauren and I were in the greater Houston area, we got several recommendations to go to “Tout Suite” in Downtown Houston. We weren’t on any kind of time schedule, so we decided to go for it even though it was not at all on our radar. When I say that “Tout Suite” is in downtown I mean it is in downtown downtown. The shop is located in the Houston neighborhood of East Downtown, referred to commonly as EADO. The shop is actually pretty close to Minute Maid Park (go Astros!). The area is definitely in a transitioning and up and coming state. If you are familiar with transitioning areas, you know that you have to endure a little roughness to get to the final result. The coffee shop itself is in a cool white painted brick old garage looking building. The building is neat and looks extremely nice and redone. Around “Tout Suite”, on the other hand, you can not entirely say the same about the other buildings. There are extremely nice looking apartments in eyeshot of the coffee shop, but there is also a bridge right across the street filled with many homeless people. The contrast is striking, for sure. There is parking directly in front of the shop so you do not have to walk far to get inside, that is definitely a plus. And parking is free, yay! That’s a perk for any Downtown place for sure. The outside of the coffee shop has a nice bar outside area that would be extremely nice to use on beautiful sunny days. The windows of the front doors are extremely tinted so you have no hint to how the inside is going to look. When you open the dark glass doors with the slick “Tout Suite” logo you are incredibly greeted by the cool, modern, and industrial looking style of the coffee shop. The original concrete floors, the glossy white subway tiles, and horizontal wood siding fit together wonderfully to create the unique look of “Tout Suite”. The metal exposed air ducts and shelves composed of pipes bring together an industrial feel. The industrial feeling is balanced with the wood accents and nice and modern light fictures. There are cool elements in the shop that I absolute adore and really make the place stand out. There are several chalk board walls, one on a column and a couple on a normal wall. The “Suite Rules” are displayed on the wall that include fun things like: talk to a stranger, try something new, mind your manners, and bring friends. How cute! I absolutely loved that fun little touch. There is also a “Keep it Local” wall that displays different flyers and brochures of different things going on around town. What a cute way to incorporate the community into the life of “Tout Suite”! The shop has two different levels and an abundance of seating. There is so much room for people to finish their work, hang out with friends, and have casual meetings. There is a sick tile brick wall in the lower level that is different shades of earth tone colors. I have never seen a wall like it and I am definitely a fan. There are also fabulous floor to ceiling windows that really make the shop feel open and spacious. I love Edison bulbs, as you know, but the use of them on piping in this shop really makes an impression. I really like that some of the original elements of the space are used in the shops like the concrete floors. There is even a marker that tells you all of the things that the space has been. First, it was a Ford dealership, then a motor oil shop, then a night club, and now “Tout Suite”. Something that I really loved was that even though you are in the heart of the city, and sometimes city people can be generalized as being standoffish, the employees here were so incredibly helpful and welcoming. I was impressed by the people working at the coffee shop and the kindness they exhibited to us while we were there.
“Tout Suite” actually serves wonderful food and desserts in addition to coffee. I’m a huge fan of sweet things so when I learned that they had amazing desserts, I was pretty stoked. The confetti birthday cake looked extremely tempting but I decided to do something a little smaller and decided on a macaroon. I’m normally not a huge macaron fan but these looked incredible so I thought I would give it a try. My macaroon had sprinkles so I think it was kind of like a confetti macaroon. It was very tasty, very sweet but that’s how I like it. For my drink I got a vanilla latte and it was divine. It went perfectly with my macaroon and came in a slick black mug on a matching saucer. “Tout Suite” brews “Greenway Coffee”, which is located in Houston. I think brewing local coffee is the best way to go, so I definitely dig that they use Greenway.
Another sweet thing about this coffee shop is that it is a short five minute drive to Discovery Green Park! There’s always something fun and new to do down there so grab some delicious “Tout Suite” coffee and drive on over and enjoy the beautiful park and the downtown that Houston has to offer!
Photos by Allie Boykin
Musical quote taken from the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang soundtrack (2004)
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