When we think of Tyler, we tend to think of Roses, consider it the halfway point between Dallas and the Bossier boats, and maybe recall a small town charm, but we never really associated Tyler with vegetarian food or art. Not until recently, anyway.

A couple of us went out to support an artist we know at her first show in a coffee house. Of course we loved her work, even without all of our bias, but we were pleasantly surprised by the location. Caffé Tazza in Tyler, TX is a fun little place that offers a light atmosphere and fresh-made food. None of the pre-packaged cake slices and industrial wrapped sandwiches here. We found salad, paninis and pastries made in house from scratch. Even the scones and cinnamon rolls were fresh. So fresh, in fact, that the icing was still soft and gooey.

The best part of this freshly made goodness is the abundance of vegetarian options. Sure, the sweets are good, but every section of the menu offers some sort of veggie-friendly item. With artichoke, spinach and feta, the vegetarian quiche has more to offer than the standard Lorraine version. Vegetarian Breakfast Panini or a Vegetarian Panino at lunchtime, European salad (with optional meat addition, for those who need it), and a brunch bar on the weekends make this a great find. And everything we tried was good, to boot!

Caffe Tazza's tea serviceIn addition to the Thursday night art shows and great food, Caffé Tazza serves tea and coffee in hand painted Italian ceramics. If you love the dishes, check the walls. All of the pieces on the shelves are for sale, so talk to the staff about the ones you like. A two- or three-cup teapot with a teacup nearly equal in size gave a Wonderland feel to the visit. Add to all of this fresh squeezed orange juice and lemonade and we may just have to declare a new favorite in town.

The next time you are out Tyler way, stop by Caffé Tazza and have a bite. And, if you are lucky enough to be there between 5 and 8 p.m. on a Thursday, take in some local art with a glass of wine.

Until next we meet, enjoy great food and keep a happy heart.

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.