Tea Cakes, Finger Sandwiches, Antiquity Galore: Cauley Square Tea Room

To many, a trek to Cauley Square in Redland is akin to a journey back in time. It is after all an intact historic village in a modernized world.

Originally a pioneer village camp, fueled solely by the railway workers building tracks toward Key West in 1903, Cauley Square appears as it did more than 100 years ago, It is frozen in a time when journeying folks gathered to gander at its many unique stores, one of them a lone pink Southern home turned eatery, the famous Tea Room.

Photo by Anais Alexandre
We slurped this tea so fast, and burned our lips good. Worth it? Yes.

Built in the 1940s, the

Tea Room was originally a large Southern house owned by the Odums

family. The room dividers remain, and each

room has its own theme (from the wicker room where we ate, to the pipe

and butterfly room).

The idea of a tea room is foreign to

many Miamians. A place to drink high tea, with finger sandwiches? Where

they've cut off the crusts, and laid doilies everywhere the eye can

see. The walls are heavy with collected antiques and old artwork. There is light classical music playing as the sole waiter

walks us to our dainty table. We feel we've forgotten our petticoat

and lace umbrella. Ismar presents us with their fabulous spiced

tea ($2), the ingredients of which are a secret, but we taste orange

peel and the normal array of tea spices (ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg).

The spiced tea is served cold and hot, and both are sweetened heavily,

which is just the way we like it.

Photo by Anais Alexandre
The iced version, even better!
Photo by Anais Alexandre
Delicious, and a reason to come for.

All dishes are made with local produce, so we expect some wholesome

freshness. Ismar tells us their two most popular dishes are

the baked french onion soup ($6) and the Hot crab au gratin ($15). The soup is made from caramelized onions glistening in their

rich stock and topped with a crunchy slice of french bread flooded

with Gruyere cheese and placed under the broiler to bubble and brown. It's served it with a side of finger

sandwiches, which of course had their crusts cut off and were delicate

in taste.

Photo by Anais Alexandre
Deep sea stank. Fishy-smell almost ruined the whole meal.


other popular dish is a Hot Crabmeat au Gratin dish, which they say is

made from their finest crab meat, with signature sauce and covered in

swiss and cheddar, but the fishy pungent aroma was very strong and

unappetizing. Regardless of whether crab is fresh or imitation, it

should never smell that strongly of fish. It was quite a disappointment after the french onion soup.

Photo by Anais Alexandre
Your standard, everyday cheesecake, topped with a lonely maraschino.


washed away the fish/crab taste with a thirsty gulp from the spiced

iced tea, which cured our taste buds. We followed that with the banana bread slice, which came with the french

onion soup. This was sweet salvation, and it made us want to try their

other desserts, which we heard are all handmade by a local baker.

Photo by Anais Alexandre
Homemade excellence.


carrot cake and cherry cheesecake (both $5) were fair. The carrot

cake had a nice density, minus the saccharine. This one gave us the sense it

was baked from a family recipe passed down the generations

to satisfy a pioneers hungry sweet tooth after a long hot days work.

With one last sip of that satisfying spiced tea, we ended our meal on a

happy note.

The Tea Room in Cauley Square is dripping in

antiquity and dishes out old European traditional fare. While it's true

that the Team Room is antiquated and resembles the dining room of a rich

great aunt, it also comes off as a darling and dainty

place to enjoy a quiet afternoon. While sitting down in the thin wicker

high-backed chair, lifting the delicate glass cup full of steaming

spiced tea to our lips, we sensed that many have echoed that same movement many times before.

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