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Refresh For Spring Promises Great Taste And A New Look

Article by Roger Ireland

Photography by Melissa Hatcher

Originally published in Celina Lifestyle

From its humble beginning as a lunch counter in the back of Annie Jack, Toasted Walnut Table and Market has evolved into a culinary mainstay of Celina’s downtown square. Much as our beloved town continues to grow and change, so do its businesses. We sat down with owners Amy Hager and Audrea Weimer to learn more about what we can look forward to. 

First, for the uninitiated, Toasted Walnut is an upscale “Southern bistro” that consistently delivers on its goal to “create food that restores, replenishes, and revives.” You can find everything from carefully crafted soups, salads, and dips to gourmet sandwiches and perhaps the best hamburger you will ever eat! Complementing the divine menu items, you can enjoy a curated wine and beer list while enjoying service that makes you feel like you are part of the family. 

Speaking of family, one thing that is not changing are the men and women of the kitchen staff that bring the menu to life day in and day out. Rosie Mendoza has stepped into the role as General Manager full time, skillfully guiding her husband and sons through the daily grind of preparing hundreds of meals to exacting standards. The family feel in the kitchen is the backbone of what makes Toasted Walnut so special. 

While there are some changes to the menu, we can continue to expect the same superlative quality and attention to detail that has created their stellar reputation. Most notably, dinner items will be backed off the menu to allow the kitchen to focus on what they do best. The long-standing tradition of everything being made in house will continue except, of course, the ketchup! The space that this creates on the menu will allow expansion into a more diverse offering of salads like a hand-crafted Caesar salad and a house salad and allow for some more creative explorations in Southern and Cajun cuisine. 

Another tradition that will continue and take advantage of the culinary roots of the owners is the secret menu! As many have noticed, some new items have found their way into the rotation in the form of crawfish etouffee and chicken and dumplings. These classic dishes are inspired by old family recipes and are the tip of the iceberg in this new exploration. While everyone we know in town has a favorite item on the secret menu rotation, on occasion, we’ve been disappointed to find out late and miss it! Going forward, the secret menu items will be on offer in two-week cycles to ensure everyone has a chance to get their fix. 

Other changes currently in the works are to the dining room itself. Our friends at Puente Construction Services are expanding the number of signature booths as well as opening up a hostess stand up front to improve upon the atmosphere. And while we’ll miss shopping the market while we wait to order, plans are in motion to add a “grab and go” section where patrons who can’t stay to enjoy a meal can grab some lavash and chicken salad or other items on the run! 

From the cosmetic changes to the dining room to the menu changes in the kitchen, everything is geared toward improving the customer experience. Some are subtle changes like the addition of mimosas, some are over the horizon changes like the addition of a brunch menu and perhaps even live music. Regardless, Toasted Walnut's commitment to quality and their customers is evident in everything they do.

304 W. Walnut, downtown Celina on the square

  • Amy Hager and Audrea Weimer, Owners of Toasted Walnut

Businesses featured in this article