Bentley's House of Coffee and Tea

Tucson, Arizona


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We had a mixed response to Bentley's. Some stuff, like the cakes were OK, though the chocolate tofu tart was amazing, and very rich. We were disappointed by the tofu 'scramble' though - the tofu wasn't even scrambled, just cut into cubes, and, although the flavour was OK, it was incredibly greasy. It was served with equally greasy potatoes and a slice of dry toast (which unfortunately came with a pat of butter - make sure to make it clear to them if you're a vegan).

The hummus and avocado sandwiches we had there were great though. Far nicer than you'd expect a simple hummus and avocado sandwich to be.

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I love Bentley's! I've been going there for 5 years now. There are a lot of great options for vegans (scrambled tofu, veggie burger and chocolate tofu pie to mention just a few). It's a great space with a relaxed atmosphere. There's even a play area for kids and free wifi!

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Pretty much all the food I've had here has been incredibly bland -- and I've tried a lot of it. If you have a reason to be here you will at least be able to eat. There are so many better nearby options, though.

They have been misleading about vegan items in the past -- for instance, their tofu pie with honey has been mislabeled as vegan. This makes me suspicious of the ostensibly vegan bread used for their veggie burger and sandwiches, which I would otherwise recommend. I am constantly receiving conflicting information about the breads' ingredients, so as of now I just don't trust them enough to eat their "vegan" sandwich. I wish they were as vegan-conscious as they advertise themselves to be, but they are not.

Vegan options that seem safe include the hummus plate (decent), bean-and-rice burrito (bland), and various soups of the day. I would go for the soup -- I've only had one, and it was almost tasteless, but maybe they have some good soup recipes up their sleeves.

Lacto-ovo vegetarians will have many more options. I'm glad there are at least options for vegans, but I wish I could trust their labeling. The owners are also very supportive of progressive causes, which is a plus.

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The chocolate tofu pie is the only reason I ever visit Bentley's. The other food choices are, boring. The coffee is nothing special. The service is lacking.

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I've gone to this place several times over the last few years. Sometimes the staff is really nice and other times the service has been terrible-- it really depends on which people are serving and how busy the place is. Years ago I used to be a regular; but after a number of bad experiences with rude staff, I only go there occasionally now.

If you go at peak times, expect to wait about 25-30 minutes (or even longer) for your food. However, at off-peak times, you can usually get your food within 10 minutes. During peak times there also may be a lack of seating, so you may be standing up waiting for a table or sitting on the few tables outside.

One thing I like about the place is that there are a good number of vegetarian and vegan options. Some of the dishes are great... I really enjoy their soups.Most of their soups are vegan. Another plus is that it is open both early in the morning and late at night; one of the few places still open after 9pm. Although they are usually listed as closing at midnight, sometimes they choose to close early if they feel there are not that many customers-- so if you go there at 11pm and they are closed, don't be surprised.

Some cons are that they use the microwave pretty liberally to warm up their food... which doesn't appeal to me. Another issue is that many of their desserts labeled as vegan are not 100% vegan (they don't contain dairy or eggs, but many labeled as vegan do contain honey (I saw the actual ingredient lists, so I'm not making this up)... although they are quite healthy otherwise, containing whole grains/oats, or whole wheat pastry flour with little or no refined sugar.) But for a strict vegan this would be an issue, so I recommend you check if the dessert item labeled 'vegan' has honey before purchasing; though for a vegetarian this place has great options.

Another good thing about this place is that it has free WiFi... though often it doesn't work, and you have to ask the staff to restart it. There are many college students there working on their laptops. The place also has a nice coffee-shop ambiance, as there are a lot of paintings on the wall (available for purchase) by local artists (I have even seen kids' paintings in the past for sale). Another plus is that this place has an adjacent parking lot, so you can most always get parking there (though this may not always be the case during peak times, though there is usually space available).

Another thing that some people may like is that they often host music events where artists will sing or play the guitar or tell jokes, and there are open-mic nights. Those are not too frequent, so if you are interested, call the staff to find out when events are going on.

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I have an extreme nut allergy and I have previously gone to Bentley's with my husband and friends. Bentley's could not guarantee that no nuts would be in my food, so I did not eat. This time I went with my husband and several friends, I also brought a small dish of cheese that I could eat while everyone else was there. The manager came over told me I was stupid for bringing the food in and insulted me in front of the entire groups I was with -- who had bought food from Bentley's. The behavior was unbelievable. I will never go there again and I am actively encouraging others not to eat there. The service was so terrible that it can not make up for the food.

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I and several of my friends have been sorely disappointed by the lack of good customer service in this establishment. The coffee and food is sub par.

They made a large Americano for my boyfriend with only two shots of Espresso (should be four) and balked when they were asked to correct it.

On another occasion my friend requested a "White Mocha" and was read the riot act for requesting a drink whose title was apparently too Starbucks-sounding for their tastes.

Their pastries and coffee were not outstanding in anyway, nor was their atmosphere and definitely not their service

Unfortunately some of the baristas have a nasty, elitist attitude. This is unfortunate since my friends and I make sure that we patronize independent establishments in Tucson. This kind of elitist attitude turns people off who may be looking for quality alternatives to Starbucks and the like.

I really wanted to like this place but the unacceptable service and food made me cross it off my list. Please...go to Raging Sage. It is one of the best cafes I've ever come across in my travels.

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I'm a big Bentley's fan. This is my preferred coffeehouse, providing that there's no live entertainment. (If there's someone performing, then it's too loud to talk to my friends.) Their coffee is great! And it's fair-trade and organic!

Vegan food options include a veggie burger that should be avoided at all costs. (It's terrible.) But aside from the awful burger, the food is really good. They have a red bean burrito, vegan tamales, salads, soups (usually at least one is vegan), and more. There are many more vegetarian options that are not vegan.

Their breakfasts are good and very reasonably priced. Tofu can be substituted for eggs, and I'm a big fan of their tofu scrambles. (I like adding jalapeno peppers and mushrooms.) Vegans should ask for margarine on their toast instead of butter, which they will use if you don't say otherwise.

Bentley's almost always has two vegan desserts available, one cookie and a chocolate tofu pie (which is very rich--I usually split a piece with someone). And of course they offer non-vegan desserts (cookies, cakes, etc.)

And free wifi access. Love the wifi.

Kids are welcome at Bentley's. There are toys available and a little (very little) play area. The place is almost always noisy (it can get crowded), so kids won't be glared at for talking, playing, and doing kid things.

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