DFW - Has anyone been to the Porch?
I tried The Porch on a weeknight recently and we did not have to wait.
I had high expectations for the "concept" as a whole due to all the buzz. The ambience was fine, but the space had less character than I had imagined. To me, the name implies a more rustic presentation. I was reminded of Houston's, whereas I had expected something closer to Tillman's Roadhouse. (Tillman's, by the way, is a wonderfully executed visual concept thanks to rock star talents Rob Dailey and Todd Fiscus.)
Design out of the way, the food was competently prepared. Ribs and mac 'n' cheese met my expectations for "upscale comfort food," but certainly didn't redefine the category.
I do want to highlight the bourbon pecan pie a la mode, which was outstanding. The pecans were perfectly toasty and caramelized and were well-proportioned with the crust and filling. I can't wait to return for another slice of this stuff, despite my jaded reaction to everything else.
Overheard at the next table:
"Who is Condaleeza Rice?"
"The Governor! Whoo!"
I'm still hoping they were kidding, but the fact that it took well over half an hour for them to figure out their bill on a line-by-line basis was not promising.
All the specialty drinks on the menu are $10.
Peach Julep: bourbon, peach bitters, crushed peach, mint. Definitely get it if you like bourbon. Definitely don't if you hate bourbon. Can be modified into a standard mint julep. Same contingencies apply.
Framboise Tart: no idea what's in it. But if you need to get your 4 year old to drink, this is the one to get. Tastes like Kool-Aid.
Cuban Spritzer: Bacardi Silver, champagne, crushed raspberry, and something else fruity. The best of the group.
Stodge (I think) Burger: patty, cheddar, bacon, fried egg, on a fresh bun brushed with foie butter (?). $14. It was the size of my head. A perfect medium rare. For all the bells and whistles, it was good, but far from the best burger in town. The fried egg was lost among the other flavors. My hands smelled like foie afterward. I didn't even make it half way through.
Service was attentive and accomodating (they even let me send back the peach julep). But near the end of the night, they practically pushed us out the door.
Just tried this restaurant last night and overall our party came away fairly disappointed. I thought the buzz maybe slightly wearing off but, boy, was I wrong. We get there just after 7 on Friday and the place is bursting at the seams. We are told that the wait will be approximately 1 hour for our table. The most unfortunate part of the experience, which I am unable to forgive them for, is we did not get seated until 5 minutes short of 2 hours after we put our name down. Nothing was offered to our party except a seemingly forced apology.
The food, though decent, was not that standout by any means. The menu reads like a TGIF menu (though I must admit that I haven't been to TGIF in like 10 years). The one positive part of the experience was the wine list. The wines are very well-priced (in most cases less than double retail) and has some excellent choices. We had the Fort Ross Pinotage which retails in the low $30s (that is if you can find it) at $54 which I was more than happy to pay. The wine was also served at an appropriate temperature which definately makes it a step-up from a TGIF.
Overall, the food/cocktails were good but definately overpriced when you compare them to most chain restaurants which carry very similar fare. I am not planning on going back, though, because of the hostesses undershot our wait-time by 1 hour which I cannot forgive (this restauranteur has PLENTY of experience with running restaurants and should have a better guage on how long it takes to turnover tables).
I went over the weekend as well. The brisket sliders seem to be the talk to the town. They were really good. I could make a meal of them and an appetizer or salad. They are served three per order as an appetizer. Also had the beef stroganoff. It was ok, nothing too exciting. I had heard it was "so good". It could have used a little more seasoning (salt and pepper). The mac and cheese was good but, a little dry. The bbq ribs stole the show for the entree's. They had so much flavor and were so tender. They are served with little ramekin of cole slaw that is a nice palate cleanser. The stuffed pasta shells with spinach and crab were so boring. I could'nt believe that they would even serve something like that. The desserts were pretty ordinary. Only four offerings. They have a pretty good drink list. Most cocktails run 10.00 each. They are each made to order with muddled fruit and fresh juices. The atmosphere is nice. It is pretty loud though. The space is wide open with mostly booths except in the bar area. I think they should broaden the menu. There arent enough choices for such a casual place. Our server forgot a few drinks and couple of food items that were ordered. We werent charged for them.The music is awesome. Its a great mix of indie rock and alternative. It wasnt too loud.
I went last night and can say that I was definitely not impressed. I have no problem spending money on dinner but I think their prices are way above their quality by far. I had the club sandwich and a glass of wine which was $24 before tip and the club sandwich was rather thin. Service was good but at 8:00pm the place was more than half empty, not good for a restaurant that has been only open a week...
Had dinner there on Sunday. Ordered chopped brisket sliders for appetizers - they were ok, nothig special, not worth the price. Cheeseburger was quite good, good grill/smoke flavor. Beef short rib stoganoff was good - meat a bit to fatty. Smoked ham mac & cheese was very good. Skipped desert, but descriptions sounded good. Don't remember the prices exactly so this is guess: Sliders $10; mac & cheese $8; Burger $10 or 12; Stroganoff $18.00. Overall it's good, will likely go back for a casual meal. At about 8:00 on Sunday the patio was full, dining room not. Very large bar, I think they're expecting a lot of bar business. Reminded me of a more casual version of Houston's. seating inside is primarily booths, dark woods, butcher block style tabletops. Service was very friendly, very efficient, knowledgable.