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Potager (Arlington)

I'm surprised that, as far as I can tell, this hasn't been mentioned yet.
Potager is on Mesquite St in downtown (yeah, we have a downtown) Arlington. It's owned by a spectacular lady named Cynthia who really deserves a thriving business.
This restaurant is incredible-- there is no menu and no price. She cooks food from scratch every day from really high quality, natural (I believe even some home-grown?) ingredients. You then eat what you want, however much you want, and pay what you think it is worth. Please pay her a visit! I want the place to thrive so that I can continue to eat there :).

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  1. Captainshen,

    Love the idea of this place but can you give us some kind of clue what you have had while dining there, what you paid, etc.

    1 Reply
    1. re: LewisvilleHounder

      Oh yeah, sure. Today I had lemon-herb tilapia, some IN-CRED-IBLE jambalaya, mixed green salad with vinaigrette, and a small slice of their sourdough bread. They had a pear tart with caramel sauce and dark chocolate (Dagoba, I believe) crumbled on top, but I didn't have any-- I eat relatively healthy. Because I had quite small portions of all of it (she encourages small portions and then coming back if you're still hungry, so there is no wasting), I decided on paying $6. I've paid more in the past, though, and this could have easily been a $12 or $13 meal (in quality) at a more pretentious restaurant. (Edit: Or higher. Keep in mind I'm a poor college student and haven't stepped foot into a place with higher prices than that!)

      In the past, I've had a spinach feta quiche, vegetarian lasagna (WOW), and um... I think a casserole of some kind? Check my picture of the vegetarian lasagna here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/captains...

      This is a cash only restaurant. There are envelopes on the counter (they're cute! she folded them from magazine pages, I think) and you slide your money in and drop it into the watering can nearby. She has all sorts of coffee and tea, too-- and then a little counter with small things for sale, like good chocolates.

      Also: there are pitchers of water everywhere, so go knowing that you're welcomed to refill your own glass.

      And here:
      315 S Mesquite St
      Arlington, TX 76010
      (817) 861-2292

      They're open 11-3 M-Sat. They're trying to start staying open at night, though, I think.

    2. Captainshen-Thanks for posting this. I work at UTA and drive past Potager a lot. I've heard good things about the restaurant, there's a little bit of buzz happening. I will definitely check it out-- I want to support this kind of operation! Maybe there's hope for downtown Arlington?

      1. I've heard recentlyly that in several states around the country, these "pay what you think it's worth" places are opening up/changing traditional menu pricing. Wish I could remember where I heard it or remember the term they dubbed that concept. Nice to know there's one local - one that serves great, high quality eats.

        Edit - googled "pay what you want restaurant" - here is one link:

        1. Potager (french for "kitchen garden") was just featured on the 6:00 Channel 5 news. The food served here is organically grown, purchased from local farmers. While there was no comment as to whether the owners are turning a profit, a friend said there was also an article in the Morning News stating that most diners pay around $8 and that is the minimum it cost the restaurant to plate the meal. The menu changes daily.

          6 Replies
          1. re: CocoaNut

            unfortunately, the article said that people are paying $7, and the costs are $8


            1. re: gavlist

              What a dumb idea! No business is run like that, unless you count high school car washes. Whats the French word for SUCKER?

              1. re: OCNC

                Perhaps the better phrase would be "pay what you SHOULD", then hope it happens....

                I would suspect that most folks in the d/fw area have not embraced the finer qualities of organically grown products, much less their cost; and would further suspect that to many, "buying local" means trotting to your local Albertson's. Perhaps the average college age student is more "aware", but conversely, that person is generally on a much tighter budget. Because of that, there is also a long standing “notion” that there is cheap food around college campuses. Couple all of that with those who are simply looking for “something for nothing” and be it as it may, I just don’t see the chosen location being the best location for gratuitous profit. But that’s just my opinion. I hope I’m wrong.

                I’ll definitely be checking it out – and the sooner, the better.

                1. re: OCNC

                  shame on you for such a completely pessimistic & judgmental attitude towards innovation. it's a risky idea, yes. however, that doesn't make it a stupid one. potager isn't the only instance i've heard of companies trying a more untraditional way of conducting business. some museums, for instance, have long been allowing people to donate instead of charging tickets (while posting a "suggested" price).

                  some of wal-mart's green markets (or whatever they're called) have a coffee/ready-made section that is pay on your honor system. and who is more mogul-corporate than wal-mart??? if they're willing to entertain an idea, there must be some legitimate business motivation behind it.

                  other industries, like the failing music biz, have started using a "pay what you should" system too. the most famous instance of this would probably be radiohead, who allowed fans to download the album for whatever price they wanted. since then, other bands have followed suit.

                  it's a novel concept, and like i said, pretty risky. but who are you to say if it's stupid or not? i for one, think that while some people would pay too little, some people will definitely pay more for delicious food.

                  maybe it's time to be more open-minded and just give it a chance!

                2. re: gavlist

                  I assume they're using averages like mad, because I know for a fact that the small amount of food that I usually eat isn't worth $8 of groceries! I hope people pay in proportion to what they eat.

                  1. re: captainshen

                    of course, at a restaurant you also have to pay salaries, rent and the (hopefully minimal) cost of wasted or spoiled food. Plus, I imagine, a bunch of other things (taxes, insurance, ...).

              2. This place is awesome. Had lunch there today. Best new restaurant in the Metroplex. Everything I had was fantastic. cauliflower soup, mixed greens with blue cheese, nuts, onions and vinagrette, quiche with smoked salmon, bacon wrapped meatloaf, fingerling potatoes, tomato mushroom saute. Wow!

                There was a sign up that people have been screwing them over with their donations and that they would not remain open long if it continued. Sadly, I don't see how this payment system can work. Especially when the restaurant is located blocks away from a college campus.

                2 Replies
                1. re: snatex

                  I also ate there today. I was pleasantly filled on the amount of food I had. I thought the quiche was well executed as was the pear tart. All of the mains blended together nicely and nothing was overly seasoned meaning the potatoes were potatoes roasted with oil, salt, and pepper...no rosemary, no truffle oil, no glam. The meatloaf was good but made better with the mushroom and tomato satuee' on top as a customer suggested.

                  I am not sure why everyone is concerned with the economic viability of this restaurant just go and try it out. I would say give credit to a risky individual who took the leap to put the concept out there for us. We have never had anything like this in the Metroplex and it could start a trend or it might fail. In this economy it seems everyone is so down and negative when we really should be supporting a cause like this. It could very well lead to a concept that one day could help ease hunger in the metroplex, but that is just my two cents.

                  1. re: snatex

                    Dumb dumb dumb. They put up a sign to guilt people with a consience into paying MORE than they really think the food is worth because people without a consience are stiffing them? Why not just put a price on the food that gives them a fair profit? A business with a death wish is gonna die.

                    Thanks for the word on the food. We may go over there before they close. Do they have veg options?

                  2. First off, I think, while idealistic, this concept is wrong, wrong, wrong for for the location chosen. Especially if their customers rationalize their payment decisions as captainshen does. You say you are a college student, by now you have probably learned of a little thing called "profit margin". According to the various interviews with the owner that have popped up, their expenses amount to around $8. So, your patronage cost them $2. Well, thanks to people like you, who do not contribute what they think a meal is worth but rather, how much money they care to part with at that moment- this restaurant probably will close, quite quickly.

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: libnabgal

                      What do you expect? If I go there, how do I know what there food costs are that day? How do I know what my share of there workers salaries and rent and electricity should be? How do I know what profit margin they sgould get on top of that? I'm not a psychic.

                      This smells like a publicity stunt to me. They come up with a dumb way of doinig business to get some press from the lazy Dallas Morning Snooze. After losing money for a few months, they will switch to a regular priced menu and whine to the press to get more articles about why it didn't work.

                      1. re: OCNC

                        I saw the article in the morning news, and the comment about the food costs being less than it should be but the owner made comment she is able to pay her bills. Also noted that she is a Cordon Bleu trained chef (same as the late great Julia Childs).

                        If it is a stunt, many people will profit from it. But hopefully after the publicity, people will realize you can not get this quality of meal (think Guinness-glazed organic chicken or the pork shank with a side of sautéed mushrooms and onions in a red wine-cream sauce) for roughly the cost of a tray of McDonald's slop.

                        I live in North Dallas, but this is on my radar to visit. I notice its a lunch haunt for the time being, you guys in Arlington need to pony up a few more bucks and see she is funded for a dinner opening. And FYI, the way to properly and customarily calculate the selling price of food to cover all expenses and give the house a profit is to multiply the food costs by three. there are a few here that are entirely too harsh on this chef/ owner and i would challenge you to open a similar business with whatever ideas you have, I would be the first in line.

                        I would definitely not add the all-you-can-eat tag. Another suggestion would be to sell desserts seperate. High margin item.

                        I believe the location has a lot to do with the low donations. Unfortunate, and I wish her the very best. Maybe we can make a chow day at this place?

                        1. re: DallasDude

                          I'm Cynthia's husband, so I know a bit about how this is working, even though she's done nearly everything herself. It's interesting to see this evolve. She's been open two months and it's her first restaurant (although she did grow up in a small family-owned one). Since she opened, she went through about a month of steady business with pretty generous customers, then started getting some people who took advantage, and then suddenly in her second month got a bunch of (totally unsolicited) press coverage on CBS, NBC, CNN etc. as well as in various newspapers. They were swamped. Now (a week later) things are a bit more normal, and people seem to be back to being reasonable and fair in general, from what I can tell. She has a very loyal customer base, some of whom eat there almost every day.

                          Some people have commented that the university students might try to exploit this, but they're fun customers and very supportive. There's a real social aspect to this too -- strangers sometimes have to share tables (it's a small place) and they actually talk. So it's not just about the food, although it really is top-notch and Cynthia is as organic as possible. She's got great chefs who took a chance on the place, and it's a very tight-knit group who really enjoy working together. Another plus (one of Cynthia's main goals) is that almost no food is wasted -- any extra goes to a local homeless shelter as soon as they close, vegetable peelings are composted, etc. We'll see how the business model works out, since it's only been two months and things have happened very fast. But she's having fun with it and people are responding very positively.

                          Oh, and did I mention that the food is great? (Shameless plug).

                          Paul Chippindale

                          1. re: coelacanth

                            Paul, thank you for the heads up. I was hoping to make it today but I missed lunch altogether. I would personally be pleased if you could keep us abreast of any news. You will see me Weds April 1st!

                            1. re: coelacanth

                              Paul: In reference to Monday's article in the Startle-Gram and Cynthia's quote about [All Arlington food sucks!]-It seems to be a very narrow-minded statement, moreso coming from someone whose credentials would otherwise indicate a broad knowledge base-Does she really feel this way?

                              I've been meaning to stop by for a few weeks now, but admittedly have reservations about giving my business to someone who would exhibit such disdain for her adopted hometown.

                              I'm sure many others would agree with me on this-Can you, or perhaps she, clairfy that quote?

                              1. re: Hoprock

                                I was surprised to see that -- I wasn't there for the interview, but this seems like a pretty standard case of a reporter taking a quote out of context (as with a couple of others there). Apparently, she said something like this in discussing the proliferation in Arlington (and elsewhere) of chains that serve massive portions of cookie-cutter food, half of which gets wasted. She talked for a long time with the reporter about the idea of affordable fresh, healthy food, encouraging small restaurants and other businesses (Arlington's regulations seem geared mostly to the strip malls etc. and they make it really difficult to get a small business off the ground), promoting local food and environmentally sound practices, and creating a friendly social atmosphere (he did mention that at least).

                                I've been interviewed about environmental issues (I'm a biologist and work with conservation of endangered species among other things), and I've learned that I really have to watch what I say. One reporter even told me (when he simply mis-reported something that I'd said) that they're allowed to put quotation marks around a statement if it "captures the essence" of what was said (other reporters have since told me that's nonsense, and I'm not accusing this reporter of such a thing, just saying that obviously he was selective and didn't present the whole picture).

                                BTW, Cynthia and I frequent all sorts of Arlington restaurants, including some of the great taquerias, the amazing range of Asian places, the friendly and authentic Jamaica Gates at Cooper & Arkansas, Mi Tierra "Latin fusion" on Abram, Beirut Cafe right by UTA on Cooper, and Pierre's Mardi Gras on sort-of-S. Cooper (he's a relocated Katrina refugee who serves some of the best Cajun food around and is about to open a place downtown). There's a great coffee place just across the street from her. These are just a few, and Cynthia is friendly with some of the owners. I think that one of Cynthia's other complaints is that it "sucks" that such places are so scattered when you'd expect a concentration downtown within walking distance in a university town -- and finally that seems to be happening.

                                I really shouldn't be speaking for her but hey, she's my wife and the attitudes implied in that article really irritated me. She's just trying to establish a small inviting place with good food, and encourage this sort of development in our long-neglected downtown. Her attitude? "There's going to be some negative press no matter what, I have a restaurant to run, and I'm not going to dignify it with a response". (OK, it's not a direct quote but I put quotation marks around it since it captures the essence).


                                1. re: coelacanth

                                  Thanks Paul-I was across the street for coffee at Downtown Coffee Roasters this morning and was trying to decide when this week my schedule will allow a visit to Potager-Thanks for clarifying the article. I'm looking forward to a visit.

                                  Best regards


                        2. re: libnabgal

                          How on earth could you have possibly arrived at blaming "PEOPLE LIKE" me for shutting down this amazing place? I'm afraid you have no clue how much I eat or anything about myself or that that even matters-- I mean, really, I started a thread to SUPPORT this place! I am apalled at the outlandish accusation that I pay what amount I "feel like parting with" as opposed to whatever amount relates to my portion. I wholeheartedly support the places that I love and have sent dozens of people to this one in particular! How could you possibly jump into the middle of all of this and insist that this jewel will undoubtedly be shut down? Go eat there. But please, don't bring your pessimism to Cynthia.

                          1. re: captainshen

                            I'm sorry you found my response harsh, and perhaps I could have been more diplomatic. However, I stand by my point and encourage you to honestly ask yourself whether you paid an appropriate amount. Frankly I think it is irrelevant whether you are a light eater. Quantity is only one factor in determining the price, and to that end I will say if one eats large portions that should be taken into consideration when figuring the price, of course. However, you are paying for the expertise of the chef and quality of ingredients, both of which you emphatically admit were high. Many four-star restaurants serve tiny, miniscule portions but for the reasons outlined above charge a pretty penny.

                            I have eaten there, twice. It was delicious and overall, charming. Each time I paid $15, which I know to be almost twice their cost. I hope that was truly fair. I think the price-fixe idea is a good one, I would feel more comfortable with the guesswork taken out of the experience.

                            To the owner's husband- congratulations to your wife on her wonderful addition to Arlington dining and I wish you both the best of luck.

                            1. re: libnabgal

                              After rereading my post here some months ago, and before I actually ate at the restaurant (have now 3 times) I wish to augment my phrases.

                              I would change nothing. This delightful little oasis of wholesomeness and everything that is good about this business needs no additions, no advice, and no challengers.

                              I also wish to correct a statement I gathered from a news article that stated Cynthia is a Cordon Bleu alum, when in fact based on her very own myspace page, she is a CIA alum.

                              Good bless ya baby. Find my review from my first visit below.

                              1. re: DallasDude

                                That Myspace page I believe was put up by Nick Amoriello ,the chef, which is a CIA alum.

                        3. Discounting the "food sucks" quote, I found this FWST article to be reasonably accurate with regard to the delightful ambiance and furnishings of this planned little gem in the rough. However, I do wonder if the author(s) actually tasted any of the scrumptious food that was only minimally described with mere clinical reference to potential greatness vis-à-vis the chefs’ pedigrees. Maybe I missed it, but I saw nothing about taste, albeit, this was in the business section and what do those guys know anyway.

                          As to my experience, my plate containing two salads of mozzarella cheese/tomato, sided by a second of field greens, dressed simply with lemon juice and options of gorgonzola cheese crumbles, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts and thin shavings of red onion, alongside of spaghetti in a rich marinara and a very large and outrageously flavorful meatball accompanied by a couple of well seasoned, not overly cooked broccoli spears, were beyond my taste bud’s expectations. On the chalkboard menu, these foods carried a much more sophisticated name. Unfortunately, those names escape me. Fortunately, the remembrance of simple presentation and wonderful flavors has not and I am sure to return. My only regret is overlooking the minestrone soup and the misfortune that their oven was having issues - I didn’t get to try the grapefruit torte, a prospect I found quite intriguing. A word of note – On this “Italian” day, to my happiness, garlic did abound and I did love it.

                          Having first heard of this spot here on Chow, I only knew of it as Potager. When I arrived and saw “Natural” in the full name, I actually did a mental retreat, reliving flavor memories of grass juices, bran, soy and the like from the ‘70’s. That is not the case here. What is the case is full-on flavor whose base begins with health conscious ingredients, all of which happens to be prepared by classically trained chefs. It’s well worth the drive and carries all the positives others have referenced.

                          And for my “everyone’s thinks they’re a critic” comment. Served buffet style, it’d be nice if the food were a bit hotter or the plates warmed and how about a tiny web site revealing the daily menu.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: CocoaNut

                            Yes, a website with daily menus would be awesome- that way people don't have to call & disturb the chefs as they prepare the food! I just went here Friday & loved it. The concepts are great- you are so right about so much food being wasted at restaurants. (not to mention the HUGE portions that make people FAT!) I had spinach quiche (YUM), acorn squash-red pepper soup (good), salad (OK), & chocolate ganache cake (yum). Only complaint was the salad was a bit bitter & needed more dressing & nuts. Couldn't tell what the vinaigrette was. Loved the French press coffee & I am assuming it was Cynthia who served this to us. My friend & I each paid $15. The strawberry tea was also out-of-this-world! I will tell as many people as I can about this place. If things start going south in regards to $, please consider a prix-fixe.......perhaps $10 per person for what I had and $15 for the main lunch offerings. (such as beef, fish, or chicken) It would be worth it to make sure this charming establishment remains open!!!

                          2. I went today after wanting to go for so long, and boy I'm glad I did. What an excellent place. I have a friend that appreciates natural food and fresh ingredients, and I asked him to meet me over there. We both loved it. The menu consisted of a fresh fritata, chicken parm, garlic broccoli, great 'red bread', a salad with homeade vinagrette, roasted red pepper soup, and an excellent sort of chocolate cake. I had a little bit of everything except the soup, but my friend had the soup and thought it was excellent.

                            Oh, and the seafood! - There was this seafood dish (I can't remember what it was called) that was on the bottom of the menu, and it was a special request type of item as it was made to order. I asked for a 'little of the seafood dish', and they brought out a plate of lightly breaded (to a perfect light crisp) seafood with artichokes and a few other vegtables, and some type of good sauce on the side. I believe the dish consisted of octopus, shrimp, and squid. It was amazing.

                            Without going into a long review, it was some of the best, freshest food I've tasted in a long while. I told Mrs. Chippendale that some of the food reminded me of a recent trip to France, and we discussed some of her favorite places and influences from there. Before I left, she asked if I had tried her esspresso, and I told her I had not. She went over to her beautiful espresso machine (very nice!), and made me one for the road. As I drove back to the office, I couldn't help but relish in the best meal I have had in weeks. Thank you!!

                            p.s. I paid $15 cash and had small portions of pretty much everything (shared the soup and a couple of bites of the cake). It was well worth it!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: crdean1

                              Today was the day. I have been threatening to go for months, but this portion of the planet isn't generally on my easy access list. As I approached the building, my GPS said I had arrived and my smile was hard to control.

                              Me and a friend were a bit late for lunch, it was 1:30 and there were just a few tables filled with happy people. I immediately saw the woman that has been mentioned here more than a dozen times, holding court next to her espresso machine, a beautiful copper kettle awaiting its next mission. I introduced myself, and she led me to the chef's station.

                              I was asked to select any or all items on the chalkboard, and the young man would be pleased to take care of order. We had a choice of a nice salad with fresh organic greens, mushroom quiche, broccoli soup, a savory bread pudding with cheese and jalapeno, a vegetable medley of baby new potatoes and green beans, barbecued chicken and a fresh handmade sourdough that was off the chart tasty. We were too late for the creme de caramel dessert.

                              We started with the soup and salad, then made our way back for pretty much everything else. The portions are regulated by you, just let them know what and how much you would enjoy. There is a definite no waste rule in effect.

                              Cynthia chatted with the small gathering as she thumbed through a cook book. She recalled a trip somewhere in Texas that was coming up and reminded us all to be back in the next few weeks for the blueberries she would have then, and said definitely blueberry pie was in order.

                              Pretty much the same report as many of the other visitors, tasty, homey, healthy and delicious. Cynthia personally came around collecting our plates and eventually enticed me with a cappuccino. You could see her joy and personally soak up some of the love she obviously has for life. We have been told the hours are lunch Monday through Friday, but Saturday is now on the lineup and a promise for nights very soon.

                              As far as the unusual aspect of the pay issue, her staff assured me that everyone was generous, and she had a local contingent that has been very generous. Sometimes some people do things so right, that everything just works itself out. It seems this is the case, and God bless Potagers. I will be back and in greater numbers.

                            2. I visited Potager yesterday and, although I had only the very delicious salad, organic green tea and very good coffee, I loved the restaurant. The food I had was very good. The food I did not have (pecan crusted chicken, pork and fennel stew, carrot cake) looked great and the other patrons seemed to be enjoying it. The staff members were all very helpful, both providing information about the food and explaining how the restaurant works. It is now open for dinner 5-9 pm on Fri and Sat and you may bring your own wine/beer.

                              It is great and adds to the interesting and small restaurants in the area. Visit and help keep this and the other restaurants in the area (Beirut Cafe, Mi Tierra, Tin Cup) alive and thriving.

                              1. Thank you all so much for trying this place out-- and I'm glad you loved it, for those who did!

                                1. After reading these posts I headed to Portager for a thursday dinner. I was not disappointed! A woman (reading cookbooks) sitting at one of the few tables warmly welcomed me to the small and bright restaurant. I started with the smoked salmon, capers, and goat cheese (?) quiche and salad with bacon, parm, and homemade ranch. Excellent. 'The lettuce was picked today' the seated woman (Cynthia, the owner and chef) told me. While chatting with her, the two other friendly chefs, and a few other eaters, I then had the fried chicken, mashed potatos, homemade sourdough bread, and collard greens (with homemade gravy). All excellent. After asking for details, Cynthia provided me with additional info on the origin of the ingredients. The beef is from the local Burgundy Farms (100% grass fed, dry aged, no growth hormones or antibiotics) and the chickens from local Dominion Farms (no antibiotics or hormones, rotational grazed and grass fed). Cynthia talks to local growers who provide her with fresh veggies, etc. She grows many of the herbs herself. Dessert was a berry pie with outstanding crust and berries picked today with a cup of strong coffee from an antique hard-wired espresso machine. Not only was the food excellent, but the chefs were warm and friendly without being intrusive. They clearly were passionate about healthy, local, sustainable food. While eating, the owner of a local health food store stopped in to say hello and have some salad. The two of them discussed local growers/suppliers and what fresh ingredients were best right now. They also discussed ideas of possible future community events that they would like to plan.

                                  This meal was not only excellent, but supported all the right priorities. I really liked the BYOB, the idea of smaller portions (with the option to go back for more) and 'pay-as-you-want' although I found it hard (here for work, live in New England) to accurately judge what a reasonable price was. I highly recommend this place!

                                  1. I'm a huge fan of this restaurant. How rare to find a place that nourishes not only the body, but the heart and soul as well. Well done Cynthia, and everyone else that is making Potager what it is.

                                    1. HOORAY!!! Web site in place with menu!


                                      Thank you Potager!

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: CocoaNut

                                        Thanks CocoaNut, you pegged that fast. Duck Pot Pie, yum.

                                        1. re: CocoaNut

                                          Thanks, CocoaNut! Been hoping for this.....& thanks to Potager!

                                          1. re: CocoaNut

                                            Fresh link ... http://www.potagercafe.com/

                                            Now this is totally cute ... a page with things people have left at the restaurant: http://www.potagercafe.com/lost-and-f...

                                          2. Finally visited last Saturday and although I'm the antithesis of the typical Potager customer I enjoyed the food and the experience. Had my annual serving of quiche and an omelette. The only food I didn't enjoy were the biscuits, too dry, blueberry muffins much better. Guys, if you're needing brownie points your lady will love the place.

                                            Potager Cafe
                                            315 S Mesquite St, Arlington, TX 76010

                                            1. For those that didn't see this, a long time friend of Chow wrote an excellent piece in the DMN on Potager...


                                              Potager Cafe
                                              315 S Mesquite St, Arlington, TX 76010

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: DallasDude

                                                Just tried Potager for the first time tonight and I must say, it was really delicious. The food was perfectly seasoned and super fresh. I loved the fact that you could truly taste the food itself, rather than just a mouthful of spices. The vegetable soup was out of this world (I had three cups)!

                                                The place takes a little getting used to, though. As mentioned in previous posts, the portions are small, so you have to ask for more. This didn't bother my husband at all, but it was a little akward for me. I got over it though!

                                                Overall, really cozy place with terrific food. Owner was especially sweet. Maybe I can get that vegetable soup recipe!!!

                                                Potager Cafe
                                                315 S Mesquite St, Arlington, TX 76010

                                              2. Many on this board might be interested in this news: Potager will shut down in 60 days. Get out there and show them your support.

                                                Potager Cafe
                                                315 S Mesquite St, Arlington, TX 76010

                                                8 Replies
                                                1. re: air

                                                  That's a shame, among others reasons, due to her vast word-of-mouth advertising and it's habitude in slowness of circulation. Since the "landlord" relented, allowing her 60 days notice instead of 30, he hopefully will let her post a sign for another 30 days, notifying diners of the move.

                                                  1. re: CocoaNut

                                                    She's not dead yet...whether she gets tossed out is still up in the air due to some new developments (like, the guy who claims to be her "landlord" really isn't, very strange story). Cynthia is very resilient and is working to keep this alive. The big headache is that if she has to move, she really needs a place that's already been a restaurant and has various key things in place (like big ventilation hood etc.). Otherwise it costs a fortune to set up a restaurant from scratch, and she puts the money into food, atmosphere, environmental and social causes, and so on.

                                                    She's getting huge support from her loyal customers, and I think she'll bounce back, there or somewhere else. I'd hate to see her shut down, because she really loves what she's doing and has a big following. Potager's Facebook page got well over 100 sympathetic posts within a few hours of her announcement of the eviction. Her supposed landlord wants to put in a pizza place and bar, just what we need more of in Arlington, with another pizza/beer place about to open up the street and yet another opening a couple of blocks away.

                                                    We'll see what happens, but for now, drop by and show your support if you have the chance.

                                                    1. re: coelacanth

                                                      Close to Eden and Celebration, the house formally occupied by Patry's on Lovers Lane is for lease. it would be a great venue for Potager.

                                                      Patry's Restaurant
                                                      4601 W Lovers Ln, Dallas, TX 75209

                                                      Potager Cafe
                                                      315 S Mesquite St, Arlington, TX 76010

                                                      1. re: twinwillow

                                                        But by comparison to her current location, outrageously high rent district!

                                                        1. re: CocoaNut

                                                          But there are a ton of people who won't go all the way out to Arlington to eat who will eat at a place here in Dallas.

                                                          It's more costly for a reasont -- it's proximity to a lot more people (and on average, those people have more disposable income, too).

                                                          1. re: Mike C. Miller

                                                            There are many of us in Arlington who appreciate having a place like Potager for lunch. There is no time to drive to FW or Dallas during a full day of work. In addition, there are some who don't want to drive all the way to Dallas for good food. Finally, the whole idea of local means that having the restaurant near Gnismer Farm (only a few miles away) where Potager gets much of their produce is appropriate.

                                                            Potager Cafe
                                                            315 S Mesquite St, Arlington, TX 76010

                                                            1. re: Mike C. Miller

                                                              That's kind of a silly argument for restaurant placement in a metroplex of 7+ million folks.

                                                          2. re: twinwillow

                                                            Patry's spot is taken and will reopen as "Zio Cecio" before the end of May.