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Feb 22, 2007 07:39 AM

DAL: Hola! review

4831 McKinney Ave.
Phone: 214-522-0505

We were long time denizens of Cafe Madrid because the food was decent, cheap and we didn't live far from the nabe. The one thing I didn't like about it was the cramped dining space and potential long waits on the weekends. Although that eventually changed when they acquired the retail space next door. The couple that owned Cafe Madrid divorced and the ex-husband, who was the real Spainard of the two, opened a couple of other tapas restaurants one of them being Hola.

We are not tapas aficionados but I've always liked the dining experience at Hola and last night was no exception. Driving down Greenville Ave on our way to the restaurant, I feared the worst because due to the mild weather, a lot of people were dining out and Hola has an outdoor seating area. But it was relatively empty and there were plenty of open tables.

Here's what we drank and ate:
- A bottle of Spanish Rioja wine for $28 (don't ask me the name)
- Marinated olives
- Classic potato omelet
- Green salad with manchego cheese
- Fried calamari
- Marinated red bell peppers
- Potato and codfish croquettes

In the last 4 years, I think we've had this same meal with few variations (chorizo, sardines, cheese) 20 times and it has always been good and reasonably priced. I'm a proponent of locally owned, reasonably priced, ethnic restaurants (Bistro B, Royal Thai, Alessio's) so Hola will always be on my regular list.

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  1. I much perfer Hola! over Cafe Madrid. Does Cafe Madrid still charge for bread? (I think that is absolutely ridiculous!)

    1. Last night was perfect patio weather and while scanning my memory bank for a list of patios in Dallas, I was reminded of this review you did, Scagnetti. To sum up my dining experience: Awesome. The fried quail was was perfect and was not over-seasoned that it ruined the gamey flavor of the bird. The chorizo was one of the best I had. The omelet with the crisp exterior and soft potato core was divine. I will probably pass on the calamari next time, but it was still far better than most of the greasy, unappealing calamari dishes I have had elsewhere.

      1 Reply
      1. re: adkim

        I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'd forgotten about this post until it popped up on this wasteland known as the Texas Board.

        We're off the calamari too. We've overdosed on it because for years we've ordered it at every Italian and Spanish place we dined at. Surprisingly, we really got hooked on it at Romano's Macaroni Grill until their food went on the decline.

        Glad you enjoyed it, and if anybody's wondering, we are STILL regulars at Hola!

      2. I can walk to Cafe Madrid from my Dallas pied a tere, but tried Hola! for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I must say that I thought it was at least as good as CM, and maybe better. I'll be trying in more often in the weeks to come. A shame it several blocks further north.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Mike C. Miller

          There was a bit of a buzz about Cafe Madrid bringing in a chef from the city of Madrid (I think), with the restaurant even offering a Tuesday night promo...has anyone tried the joint since his arrival?

          1. re: guttural

            When did he arrive? I've been there within the past two months or so. Maybe six weeks.