Telecommuting At Tout Suite
As a freelancer, I spend most days working from home. But occasionally it boosts my productivity to get out of the house and head to a cafe to work instead. I'm currently on a mission to share with all of my fellow freelancing and telecommuting folks, or anyone else who enjoys a good cappuccino and free wifi, the best coffee shops, co-working spaces, and restaurants around Houston to work at. So far, Tout Suite takes the cake.
Tout Suite is located in EaDo (East Downtown for my non-Houstonians), inside a converted warehouse space. It's a coffee shop, bakery, and full-blown restaurant all wrapped up into one, which is why I love it.
When I visited Tout Suite for the first time, I was immediately thrilled by the private parking lot. One of the main things I hate about living and maneuvering through downtown Houston is parking. Usually you'll be forced to pay a ridiculous amount per hour to park your car in a public lot, squeeze your car into a tiny space on the street (which for the parallel parking inept like me, is hardly ever an option), or simply say, "forget it!" and hand over ten bucks to the valet because you're too annoyed to keep looking. Tout Suite has its own lot for patrons to park in, and a few times, I've seen a patrol keeping watch, which is always comforting.
Once you go inside, you'll see lots of bar styled ledges to work at, comfy couches to lounge in, and tables to dine on as if you're at your typical restaurant. If you prefer to stay outside, there's plenty of seats out there too. To put it simply, the place is huge. The decor features that trendy, hipster style, consistent with most coffee shops downtown, with "But first, coffee" (my personal life motto) drawn onto one of the big chalkboard poles. I'm a huge fan of branding, and this place nails it.
Breakfast is available in the morning, from 7-11AM on weekdays, and the "Noon & Night" lunch and dinner menu is available thereafter. There are also a few snacks that you can order at anytime. On Saturdays and Sundays, they offer a full brunch menu. I went there for a brunch and blogging session with my sister once, and I ordered waffles and a few breakfast sides. Considering it was just a "coffee shop," the brunch was actually really good.
On another visit, I got there around lunch time, so I ordered a club sandwich, which was also pretty tasty. While the food isn't anything I would die over, the convenience is what sold me. If you've ever struggled with working at a coffee shop in the morning, getting hungry around lunch time, fighting against traffic to grab food, and then coming back to your seat being taken, then this place will solve your problem. You can eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, have your favorite cup of joe, and even a glass of wine at the bar (did I forget to mention, there's a bar?), all without having to lug your laptop across town every time your stomach starts to rumble.
For my coffee lovers, Tout Suite has all of your standard brews, from lattes to cappuccinos, as well as teas, lemonades, and organic fruit juices. I'm a latte kind of girl, and I've had both their hot and iced lattes. Both tasted great. Although next time, I'll probably try something new. Their menu selection is too vast to stick to only one drink.
Tout Suite is also a full bakery, complete with a full macaron menu. For my sweet snack, I grabbed a couple cronuts (a crossaint and donut mashup), and they were delicious! If they didn't cost $4 a pop, I'd probably head over there now to get a few more.
While the food and drinks are cool and all, what I love most is how work-friendly this place is. All. The. Outlets. If you're a Starbucks frequenter or a usual at one of those small, indie cafes in Montrose, you know that finding an outlet for your laptop is like being in the Hunger Games. I can't count how many times I've had to leave a coffee shop because all of the outlets were taken. Between my always dying laptop, my phone, and my iPad, having access to an energy source is a must. Tout Suite has outlets all across the walls and under the ledges I mentioned earlier, with multiple sockets per seat. So even if someone sits down next to or above you, you can both use the same outlet. Truly, honestly, it's amazing.
To keep it honest, when I went on a Sunday, the wifi was a tad bit slow. It could have been the amount of people there (the Sunday brunch crowd packed the house). Or it might have been my own laptop, which can be pretty slow in general. However, when I went during the week, it was smooth sailing. And when the wifi did happen to go out once, one of the employees came to the rescue like Superman before I could even notice.
Tout Suite is a bit pricey, so I personally can't afford to go there every day. But it's definitely somewhere I'll continue to visit at least once a week. The customer service is top notch and the employees have always been extremely nice to me. The decor, lights, music, and overall vibe is lively yet not distracting, and the vast food, drink, and bakery menu is the cherry on top.
If you ever find yourself out at Tout Suite, let me know how you like it!
Address: 2001 Commerce St, Houston, TX, 77002
Website + Menu: www.toutsuitehtx.com
Hours: Weekdays 7AM - 12AM | Weekends 10AM - 12AM