With a name like Sweet Rose Coffee and Wine Bar, you just know there has to be a Rose involved. There is. She's the grandmother of Monica Richardson, who owns this Arlington spot with her husband, Mark.
"Rose is my grandmother. The place was named after her," Monica says. "She was the cook in our family. All of our recipes, I got from her."
That includes Southern classics such as shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, and chicken and waffles. The shrimp and grits has a tomato sauce with Cajun sausage. As for the chicken, it's a fried breast paired with a Belgian waffle, garnished with berries. Those two items are available on Saturdays only.
"We were doing collard greens on the side, but with the summertime here, we're doing fresh fruit," Monica says. "We do all of our own dressings from scratch. Our son worked with us for a little while on the recipes; he attended Le Cordon Bleu."
They get their coffee beans from Dallas-based Globex and serve brewed coffee, French press and espresso drinks. Sweet Rose also does smoothies, frappes and fresh lemonade – "which I squeeze myself," Monica says.
The restaurant is located in what used to be the Butter B's space, at the corner of Cooper Street and Arkansas Lane, just north of the Parks Mall, in a plaza that is still suffering the loss of its anchoring Albertsons store. But the Richardsons feel optimistic about their location on Cooper, a busy street.
They won't get their liquor license until the fall; for now, the restaurant is open breakfast and lunch, with a BYOB policy. The menu includes oatmeal, bagels, salads and panini, including one with a Philly cheese steak theme.
And then there is Rose's pound cake. "The pound cake is everyone's favorite thing on the menu," Monica says. "People come looking for it. You can get it plain — it melts in your mouth — or with berries and drizzled chocolate. It's a Rose recipe — an old family recipe that is secret."