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Dallas / Fort Worth Restaurants

Greetings:

I move to DFW about three years ago and have been searching for decent, relatively priced restaurants ever since. Some background, I grew up in New York (Born in Brooklyn and raised in Long Island) and have also lived in Miami and Philadelphia. So, my tastes are pretty specific and my standards are pretty high.
Last year I started a dinner club with some friends in an effort to find some restaurants. We eat out every other Friday night and someone new chooses a restaurant. Our rules are no steak-houses, no chains and cost out the door without liquor no more than $25.00. Here is where we have gone so far:

Edelweiss German Restaurant
Fun, decent, food was okay.

Margies Italian Restaurant
Horrible.

Seoul Garden Japanese Restaurant
Good, I don’t have a lot of Korean food experience.

Cuquitas Mexican Restaurant
Nothing Special.

Clay Pit Indian Restaurant
Decent, chain like.

Fortuna Italian Restaurant
Nothing Special.

Angelo's Italian Restaurant
Nothing Special.

Olenjack's Grill
Nothing Special.

Big Fish Seafood Grill and Bar
Not bad, cheap, needs more varied menu.

Mai's Vietnamese Restaurant
Not bad.

Henks German Restaurant
Good food, cheap, small menu.

Hatties Southern Food
Great, by far the best place we have been to. Food was delicious, restaurant was classy.

Mi Tierra Latin Restaurant
Nice Mom and Pop in Arlington, worth the trip and very cheap.

Terilli's
Nice, Jazz restaurant.

Toulouse French restaurant
Nice, a little pricey for our club.

Pazzo Pizza Restaurant
Nothing Special.

Café Istanbul
A winner, fun and delicious and reasonably priced.

El Gabacho
Good tex mex.

Queen of Sheba
Not my kind of food.

Peggy Sue's Bar-B-Que
Good BarBque, plain surroundings.

La Familia
Okay Tex Mex

Café Amore
Very nice, cheap and food was very good. For the price (Veal for $11.95, you get a good portion and the food is good. A winner for us.

Here are some ideas we have for future restaurants:
http://www.bombaygrillfortworth.com/
http://giovannis-italian-restaurant.c...
http://www.ruffinosfinedining.com/376...
http://sardinesftworth.com/
http://www.celebrationrestaurant.com/...
http://hurricane-grill.com/
http://www.lacubanitadallas.com/menus...
Wan Fu Chinese Restaurant - Chinese Restaurant
Szechuan Restaurant City View
http://www.vittoitalian.com/
http://bolsadallas.com/menu.html
http://thekozy.net/
Roma's Pizza & Restaurant
http://www.sweetbasilitalian.com/menu...
http://flyingfishinthe.net/
http://www.kuaidumplings.com/fullmenu...

I am also hoping we can eat at Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School where I hear they have a 4 course meal for $25.00 all inclusive, BYOB.

What I have missed most is that I have yet to find a decent Chinese Restaurant anywhere in the area. Let me specify I am looking for New York Chinese food so WonTon soup with pork and Bok Choy and Egg Rolls 2 inches in diameter and 4 inches long. I have pretty much given up hope. I have also not yet found a Jewish deli in the area with good Pastrami.

I would appreciate any comments and suggestions.

Thank you

Ron

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  1. Ronald,

    Most of your list is Tarrant County. Are you wanting to stay in that area?

    Rule of thumb we don't have very many if any New York style chinese places here. Most of those if they were here have gone by the wayside to the regional Chinese cuisines. Plano and Richardson highlight these very well and would be worth the drive from Tarrant county. I have heard rumblings about Kowloon in Arlington but again it is not NY Chinese. First Chinese BBQ might have some of the dishes you are looking for but they specialize in Hong Kong style BBQ.

    Skip that Szechuan restaurant you have there and go for Little Sichuan in Plano ask for Jin and order off the white board as they grow the vegetables used in the restaurant. I have yet to have a bad meal here.

    Bolsa in Dallas is fine but I would suggest Potager in Arlington for lunch (they are adding dinner soon). Potager is interesting in that it try to cut costs by having very little waste, pay-what -you-want and the menu is whatever they feel like making. I really enjoyed the food there.

    Skip that Kuai Dumplings and head for Jeng Chi in Richardson. It is probably the best in house dumpling maker in the Metroplex.

    If you are looking for Cuban food La Cubanita will be good but tend toward pricey due to the location in Uptown. A cheaper more authentic take would be Carribean Cafe in Farmers Branch on Belt Line and Webb Chapel.

    I have found that the best Indian lies in Irving. Pasand would definitely please as would Temptations. Temptations also has excellent Neplaese food with the Momo and Chicken Sekuwa being my favorite. If you are looking more for street type food then Royal Sweets and Taj Chaat House would both be great choices.

    Pizza for Tarrant County I think you might like Campania in Southlake or Corky's in far Southwest Arlington.

    Thai food - Jasmine Thai in Plano is by far the best I have had (order some things like Tom Yum Plaa with Coconut, Grilled or Fried Giant Prawns with a Thai Dipping Sauce, Yum Neua Yang Salad, Basil Beef Thai style), Bangkok Orchid in Irving is my second choice.

    For Cajun no one has beat Big Easy yet in Plano

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/kowloon-chine...
    http://www.firstchinesebbq.com/home.html
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/little-sichua...
    http://www.myspace.com/potagercafe - unofficial website
    http://www.guidelive.com/portal/page?...
    http://www.caribbeancafecuba.com/
    http://pasand.net/
    http://www.temptationcuisine.com/
    http://royalsweets.net/
    http://www.yesandyesfoods.com/
    http://www.corkyspizza.com/
    http://www.campaniapizza.com/
    http://www.jasminethai.net/
    http://www.bangkokorchidtx.com/aboutu...
    http://www.bigeasyplano.com/

    1. I also live in the DFW area and I am from New York. My husband is from New Jersey and I know what you mean about decent Chinese food in this area.
      We also joined a dinner club about 3 years ago, but we all meet at a member's house and bring a food of a certain theme. We are going to start going to restaurants every other month as a group also.
      My husand and I go out to eat quite a bit and we just started a culinary tour business - mainly corporate clients, where we take a group of people in a mini bus or limo and take them to different restaurants or other foodie venues.

      Kelly

      1 Reply
      1. Hey Ron , On your list Mai's, Terilli's, Amore and Peggy Sues are all good ones in my book.

        For the pastrami you are looking for, I would recommend Cindi's. There are 3 or 4 Dallas locations but I think they are only in the Dallas area and I wouldn't call them a chain.

        For Chinese, I recommend Hong Kong Royal in Carrollton, not particularly fancy or anything but if it really is good Chinese food you are looking for, I recommend them.

        Other thoughts, I like Ojedas for Mexican, Louies for pizza, the Babe's in Roanoke for fried chicken, Kubys for German food, Twisted Root for hamburger, Sonoma Grill in Flower Mound for American/Wine bar, Tolberts in Grapevine for chili. Italian is probably the hardest for me, Andrea's in Lakewood is decent choice, very random building but good food.

        1. RPE, I totally agree with you on Olenjacks. I had really high hopes and ended up completely underimpressed with a lunch visit. I'm glad you had a somewhat good experience at the Big Fish (assuming you're talking about Grapevine). I wouldn't be so kind.

          So, for Italian Nonna Tata in Ft Worth is a must. (Not to be confused with Nonna in Dallas) Don't go here in search of ambiance - there's only about 6 tables and the seats are backless stools, but the food is excellent with homemade pastas. The hours are unusual in that they're only open Tues - Fri. Unfortunately, due to the limited seating, I don't think this would be approprate for a large group, but still, a must try. BYOB. Tip: if possible, be there before 5:30 to get the first seating.
          http://eatthisfortworth.com/?p=79

          For a good hamburger and some local color in a very casual setting, The Love Shack in the Stockyards is about the best. The chili parmesan chips are supposedly very good, although I haven't been back since I heard that. Outdoor seating only, so pick a day/evening with pleasant weather. They have a stage where local bands perform (see web-site calendar), and if you enjoy boot-scootin' the White Elephant Saloon is next door. Follow your burger with a walk around the stockyards - museums (the cowboy kind), rodeo and shops.
          http://www.shakeyourloveshack.com/
          http://www.fortworthstockyards.org/

          1. I wanted to reopen this link and let you know where we have been since. This is the listing of our restaurants so far:

            May 1st 2008 Edelweiss German Restaurant
            May 15th 2008 Margies Italian Restaurant
            May 30th 2008 Seoul Garden Japanese Restaurant
            June 14th 2008 Cuquitas Mexican Restaurant
            June 27th 2008 Clay Pit Indian Restaurant
            July 11th 2008 Fortuna Italian Restaurant
            July 25th 2008 Angelo's Italian Restaurant
            August 8th 2008 Olenjack's Grill
            August 22nd 2008 Big Fish Seafood Grill and Bar
            September 5th 2008 Mai's Vietnamese Restaurant
            October 3rd 2008 Henks German Restaurant
            October 17th 2008 Hatties Southern Food
            October 31st 2008 Mi Tierra Latin Restaurant
            November 14th 2008 Terilli's
            December 5th 2008 Toulouse French restaurant
            December 19th 2008 Pazzo Pizza Restaurant
            January 9th 2009 Café Istanbul
            January 23rd 2009 El Gabacho
            February 6th 2009 Queen of Sheba
            February 20th 2009 Peggy Sue's Bar-B-Que
            MARCH 6 LA FAMILIA
            MARCH 20 CAFÉ AMORE
            APRIL 3 FRED'S TEXAS CAFE
            APRIL 17 BABES CHICKEN DINNER HOUSE
            MAY 11 CELEBRATION RESTAURANT
            MAY 15 DELI NEWS
            May 29 Victor Tangoes
            June 12 Soley

            As before we are always looking for suggestions within our parameters.

            Thanks

            5 Replies
            1. re: ronaldpedwards

              Bella on Howell across from the Quadrangle is excellent, although they don't take reservations:
              www.belladallas.com

              For good Turkish food, try Ephesus in Plano:
              http://www.ephesusrestaurant.com/

              Flavor is as Asian Fusion restaurant with heavy Thai influence at the northeast corner of Skillman and LBJ. It's BYOB.

              Thanh-Thanh on Arkansas in Arlington has really good Vietnamese. So does Quán Kięn Giang on Skillman (north of Flavor) in Dallas.

              Mayuri in Las Colinas for excellent Indian food:
              http://www.mayuri.com/

              As mentioned previously, Louie's on Henderson for pizza.

              I agree with the pastrami problem, although Zinsky's, a new deli at Preston and Royal will be opening next month. At the recent tasting, their pastrami got rave reviews, as did most of the food. The food is supposed to be as good as any NYC deli.

              1. re: kirakat

                Kien Giang is no longer on Skillman it has moved to Walnut and it might be closed...not confirmed yet. I went several times but there was neevr anyone else eating there.

                1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                  Kien Giang on Walnut is no more. Went by the other day and saw a For Lease sign in the window.

              2. re: ronaldpedwards

                Ron, You were looking for a REAL pastrami on rye, Carshon's Deli on Eighth jus south of Berry. Order the double meat. Cash only. You will not be disapointed.

              3. Ron, I'm also, Brooklyn born and Long Island raised. The Five Towns.
                Ok, NYC style Chinese. Easy one. First Chinese BBQ. It's at the N/E corner of Greenville Avenue and Polk Street in Richardson. No egg rolls but roast ducks hanging in the "chopping block" Just inside. They have about 4 restaurants in the Dallas area but, the Richardson location is the original and the, best!
                NYC style Italian is a bit tougher. However, Cafe Amore is about as close as you're going to
                get. And, at least you can bring your own wine.
                Lover's Pizza and Pasta on Lovers lane is like a Brooklyn neighborhood Italian. Th
                Giovanni's is owned by an Iranian.
                The best NYC deli is, "Deli-News" at the corner of Preston Road and Campbell Road.
                The really best mexican restaurants are on Jefferson Avenue in Oak Cliff. Check them out by going to www.dallasfood.org. Click on "home" and check out "Mexican On Jefferson".
                Especially good is, "La Palapa Veracruzana" and Gonzales Restaurant.

                1. Ronald,

                  We are from Los Angeles originally and miss the wonderful Chinese, Italian and deli food food we had there. But Dallas has become a good eating town compared to what it was 40 years ago, when there were four Chinese restaurants. Here are my suggestions:

                  Deli: Deli News is very good, Zinsky's is opening up in Preston/Royal on Monday. Roasters is okay, opinions are mixed on it. Nothing here will be like New York deli.

                  Italian: We love Two Guys from Italy, located at Webbs Chapel and Forest Lane in N.W. Dallas. It's been a staple for years, great food, funky atmosphere, very well priced.

                  Chinese: Try Royal China in Preston/Royal. Excellent food and good atmosphere. Another one in Plano is Yao Fuzi, excellent food but more upscale. Your best bet are the restaurants at North Central Expressway and Belt Line (east side of Central), where there is an Asian area of restaurants and markets.

                  Good luck.
                  Sandy S.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: SandyS

                    Roasters is hellishly bad. Went last week and the matzo ball soup was pure garbage. Took one bite and sent it back. They were to replace it with another soup but never did. It was on my check however. After a small discussion with the 'manager' (waitress really) she offered a discount card for next time. I let there be no doubt that there would not be a next time. Oh, she made a point to run down other matzo ball soups in town and mentioned Deli News by name. Funny.

                  2. I highly recommend dinner at Le Cordon Bleu. Father-in-law, mother-in-law, hubby, and I ate there when my baby sister-in-law was working the kitchen. She's finishing up her culinary training there now. It's a great opportunity to try some high-end food for a great price. We all ordered different items and pretty much just passed our plates around the table so everybody got to try some of everything. We got to sample some things we'd never had before, and the food was quite good. Of the entire meal for the 4 of us, I think the only "miss" was the dessert souffle. Wasn't quite as light as expected. Food was great and it was obvious that the chefs-in-training took great pride in their work, service was enthusiastic and "interesting" (they're still learning, after all), and they will refrigerate and serve your BYOB wine, no corking charge or anything.

                    12 Replies
                    1. re: Carrollton Foodie

                      Greetings all,

                      I wanted to renew and update this thread and let everyone know where we have since been and also send out some places that are on our list to try. Any feedback would be welcome and of course I would be happy to tell you about our experiences so far.

                      Where we have been:
                      May 1st 2008 Edelweiss German Restaurant
                      May 15th 2008 Margies Italian Restaurant
                      May 30th 2008 Seoul Garden Japanese Restaurant
                      June 14th 2008 Cuquitas Mexican Restaurant
                      June 27th 2008 Clay Pit Indian Restaurant
                      July 11th 2008 Fortuna Italian Restaurant
                      July 25th 2008 Angelo's Italian Restaurant
                      August 8th 2008 Olenjack's Grill
                      August 22nd 2008 Big Fish Seafood Grill and Bar
                      September 5th 2008 Mai's Vietnamese Restaurant
                      October 3rd 2008 Henks German Restaurant
                      October 17th 2008 Hatties Southern Food
                      October 31st 2008 Mi Tierra Latin Restaurant
                      November 14th 2008 Terilli's
                      December 5th 2008 Toulouse French restaurant
                      December 19th 2008 Pazzo Pizza Restaurant
                      January 9th 2009 Café Istanbul
                      January 23rd 2009 El Gabacho
                      February 6th 2009 Queen of Sheba
                      February 20th 2009 Peggy Sue's Bar-B-Que
                      March 6th 2009 La Familia
                      March 20th 2009 Cafe Amore
                      April 3rd 2009 Fred's Texas Cafe
                      April 17th 2009 Babe's Chicken Dinner House
                      May 1st 2009 Celebration restaurant
                      May 15th 2009 Deli News
                      May 29th 2009 Victor Tangoes
                      June 12th 2009 Soley
                      June 26th Skipped
                      July 10th 2009 Chef Pointe Cafe
                      July 24th 2009 Italian Inn
                      August 7th 2009 Love Shack
                      August 21st 2009 Copeland's Restaurant
                      September 4th 2009 Skipped
                      September 18, 2009 MAC's
                      October 16, 2009 Zorro's Buffet
                      October 30, 2009 Bolsa
                      November 13, 2009 Sardine's Restaurant
                      December 4, 2009 Fresco's Cucina Mexicana
                      December 18, 2009 Brio Italian Grill
                      January 8, 2010 Prairie House Restaurant
                      January 22, 2010 Russian Banya
                      February 4, 2010 - Special Take out Chinese Food at the Roots
                      February 19, 2010 Potager
                      March 12, 2010 Matt’s Rancho Martinez
                      March 26, 2010 Gerhard’s Restaurant

                      Posible places to go:
                      Taqueria El Fuego – Richardson
                      El Paisa Cocina Maxicana – Carrollton
                      Tipico's – Carrollton
                      Gonzalez Restaurant – Dallas
                      El Ranchito - Dallas
                      El Tacaso - Dallas
                      Si Tapas – Dallas
                      Neighborhood Services, Dallas
                      Rex's Seafood
                      Sicilianos – Garland
                      Piola – Fort Worth
                      Casa Portugal – Carrollton
                      Carshon's Deli – Fort Worth
                      Original Market Diner – Dallas
                      Urbano Café – Dallas
                      Eatzi's – Dallas
                      L&L Hawaian Bar-B-Que – Plano
                      Salerno's – Flower Mound
                      Breadwinners – Grapevine
                      Rosati's – McKinney
                      Mr. Wok – Plano
                      Jorg's café Vienna – Plano
                      For You Café – Plano
                      Picasso's – Plano
                      Nuevo Leon – Farmers Branch
                      The Porch – Dallas
                      Afghan Grill – Dallas
                      Bavarian Bakery & Café – Fort Worth
                      Bavarian Grill – Plano
                      Bombay Grill – Fort Worth
                      La Playa Maya – Fort Worth
                      Margaux’s – Dallas
                      Marlo’s House – Garland
                      Napoli’s – Grapevine
                      Tolbert’s – Grapevine
                      Weinbergers – Grapevine
                      Ferrari’s – Grapevine
                      Fino’s Italian Bistro - Plano
                      City Hall Restaurant - Keller

                      -----
                      Seoul Garden
                      2502 Royal Ln Ste 103, Dallas, TX 75229

                      Fred's Texas Cafe
                      915 Currie St, Fort Worth, TX 76107

                      Mai's Vietnamese Restaurant
                      4812 Bryan St Ste 100, Dallas, TX 75204

                      Neighborhood Services
                      5027 W Lovers Ln, Dallas, TX

                      Bolsa
                      614 W Davis St, Dallas, TX

                      El Ranchito
                      610 W Jefferson Blvd, Dallas, TX 75208

                      Bavarian Grill
                      221 W Parker Rd Ste 527, Plano, TX 75023

                      Original Market Diner
                      4434 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX 75219

                      La Familia Restaurant
                      1111 La Salle Ave, Waco, TX 76706

                      Prairie House Restaurant
                      304 S Highway 377, Roanoke, TX 76262

                      El Tacaso
                      902 N Westmoreland Rd, Dallas, TX 75211

                      Tipico's
                      3118 W Northwest Hwy, Dallas, TX 75220

                      Margaux's
                      150 Turtle Creek Blvd Ste 202, Dallas, TX 75207

                      Terilli's
                      2815 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206

                      Deli News
                      17062 Preston Rd Ste 100, Dallas, TX 75248

                      El Fuego
                      1891 N Plano Rd, Richardson, TX 75081

                      Queen of Sheba Restaurant
                      14875 Inwood Rd, Addison, TX 75001

                      La Playa Maya Restaurant
                      3205 Hemphill St, Fort Worth, TX 76110

                      El Paisa
                      10091 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX 75220

                      Tolbert's
                      423 S Main St, Grapevine, TX 76051

                      Napoli
                      226 N Walnut Creek Dr, Mansfield, TX 76063

                      Clay Pit
                      4460 Belt Line Road, Addison, TX 75205

                      Italian Bistro
                      2420 Westport Pkwy, Fort Worth, TX 76177

                      Cafe Amore
                      6505 W Park Blvd Ste 320, Plano, TX 75093

                      Edelweiss German Restaurant
                      3801 Southwest Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76116

                      Potager Cafe
                      315 S Mesquite St, Arlington, TX 76010

                      Afghan Grill
                      17370 Preston Rd Ste 490, Dallas, TX 75252

                      1. re: ronaldpedwards

                        From your list, I recommend Carshon's (limited hours, cash/check only) and Afghan Grill. Both are very good. At Carshon's you'll be able to get pastrami to go as well. Tolbert's ... I had chili & thought it was terrible. There's more info about it around here somewhere ... apparently there are other things that are good there. Marlo's is fine ... I think worth going to for the experience. Go early, or prepare to wait forever for your food. You should try Love Shack ...

                        You can eat at Tillman's for your budget (in Bishop Arts or FW), but not just anything on the menu. I had the venison Frito pie the other night, and even though it wasn't as hot (temperature) as I thought it should be, it was many times better than the chili at Tolbert's. If you go to Bishop Arts, check out Dude, Sweet Chocolate (it's open late).

                        For Indian, try Chaat Cafe (multiple locations).

                        -----
                        Tolbert's
                        423 S Main St, Grapevine, TX 76051

                        Afghan Grill
                        17370 Preston Rd Ste 490, Dallas, TX 75252

                        1. re: foiegras

                          I'm not a fan of Tolbert's - except for the chili (different levels of spice heat may be requested). Good value, meaty thick with a good depth and richness of tastes - time-honored flavors of Texas tradition. But please wait until a cold, wet winter night. It'd take one somepin-somepin-chili to favorably impress during summer!

                          As to chili - I had my first bowl of chili from Chili's a few months ago and it wasn't half bad, packing more heat than I'd ever expect.

                          -----
                          Tolbert's
                          423 S Main St, Grapevine, TX 76051

                        2. re: ronaldpedwards

                          Fino's is forgettable and certainly not worth the drive unless you're already in West Plano. Oversauced and cheesy Italian. Replace that with Two Guys from Italy or Bene Bene.

                          You should also add Casa Vieja (Colombian), Inca's Cafe (Peruvian), and Al Markaz (Indian), all are in Carrollton.

                          -----
                          Casa Vieja
                          1927 E Belt Line Rd Ste 152, Carrollton, TX 75006

                          1. re: air

                            @air
                            Al Markaz is Pakistani....just warning you as they would get mad.

                            @ron
                            El Portal (Columbian) also in Carrollton. Indo-Pak Supermarket in Carollton also has a good eatery next to the market and serves up the Pakistani usuals (kebabs, haleem, boti, etc). I also noticed that you missed a majority of the Vietnamese, Korean, and Thai off you list

                            -----
                            El Portal
                            6121 W Park Blvd, Plano, TX 75093

                            1. re: air

                              I know Two Guys gets a lot of recs but it was the second worst Italian American experience I've had in DFW. Spaghetti from your worst cafeteria lunch line nightmares, stale dry bread, bland 'tap-water' soup (mmm taste that tap water!). The entree (marsala) was ok except much too salty.

                              Re: ronald's list:

                              Picasso's is a nice neighborhood joint but probably not worth a long drive.

                              Ferarri's in Addison was pretty good.

                              Bavarian Grill is fun on a weekend evening but I think the food fits squarely in 'nothing special'.

                              Am I missing something with Eatzi's? Isn't it just an overpriced sandwich joint as far as dining is concerned? The bakery and some of the imports are nice though.

                              Mr Wok was good on my visits but the service, though friendly, was excruciatingly slow. Piles of dirty dishes on tables and an eternity to get our check.

                              If Breadwinner's dinner quality is anything like breakfast then it'll be mediocre. Then again I haven't had a good breakfast anywhere in years.

                              El Fuego is my favorite place on the list but I've never been for dinner.

                              If Gregory's hasn't changed except for the location (McKinney now), I'd give that some consideration. Portions are a smallish but every dish has been very good over several visits. I've only been for lunch so I don't know how the portions/prices change for dinner. Gregory (or whoever is in the kitchen) is a very capable cook.

                              Also Jasmine Thai would be good for a medium sized group.

                              -----
                              Bavarian Grill
                              221 W Parker Rd Ste 527, Plano, TX 75023

                              Mr Wok
                              1071 Country Club Dr Ste 106, Mansfield, TX 76063

                              El Fuego
                              1891 N Plano Rd, Richardson, TX 75081

                            2. re: ronaldpedwards

                              Hello Ron how was Chef Pointe Cafe? Looking to try it out next week.

                              1. re: happymeal

                                Hello Happymeal,

                                Our experience overall was positive but had its ups and it's downs.
                                The food was definitely an up. We were served generous portions and the prices were very good. Overall the food was at least as good as most restaurants twice the price or more I have been to in the area.

                                Unfortunately, while the experience of eating in a gas station is unique, something is lost. First, the place is small and when we went (with a party of 10) on a Friday night at 7 we had to wait nearly 90 minutes. But it was a large party and a small place and a Friday night so we accepted it. To be honest, eating in a converted gas station did somewhat take away from our experience. At the time the place was not particularly comfortable and it was kind of annoying to try eating fancier, higher end food with cheap utensils and plates (This may have changed by now as I have just looked up their website and it seems clear that their selection has become more varied.) Our service at the time was at best average.
                                The prices still look very reasonable. There seems to be a larger variety of seafood on the menu and it looks like they are now serving breakfast as well. Certainly their menu tells me they are not afraid to take risks and serve food you would not find outside of expensive restaurants.
                                Overall, we found it to be well worth the trip (the bread pudding in particular was delicious and everyone in our party enoyed the meal.)
                                If you are looking for an opportunity to try some very good food at very reasonable prices (even if they ambience is a little lacking,) give it a shot and of course let us know your experience.
                                I would say that Chef Pointe and Potager have ben the two most interesting restaurants we have eaten in so far. Each a unique, delicious and inexpensive meal in a different way.
                                Have fun and enjoy.

                                -----
                                Potager Cafe
                                315 S Mesquite St, Arlington, TX 76010

                                1. re: ronaldpedwards

                                  You went with a group of 10 at a busy time, so of course your meal would take 90 minutes and you can't expect perfect service. Depending on your restaurant selection, you might consider having larger events on a less busier night. Any kitchen staff would likely be happy to accommodate given a reasonable notice, and the experience would improve for all parties involved. I've had several experiences with Chef Point and the food was excellent in all of them. My favorite there would be the chicken and waffles.

                                  Now I did say it depends because during one dinner a few months ago, I was forced to figure out where to put a group of 12+, as we had to move from one Richardson Chinese restaurant to another, all within the span of 15 minutes. Somehow it all worked out.

                                  1. re: ronaldpedwards

                                    I've been to Chef Point several times - for sure I'd choose a time other that Fri. night, even for just a few people. The one time I went on that night, we did go early, but, when we left, not only was there waiting line of people, there was a line of cars waiting for a parking spot. So, be advised! ;))

                                    I'm not a fan of their chicken and waffles. It's very expensive. 2 orders of chicken and waffles with 2 coffees and tip weighed out at something like 40+$$$. That's insanity! Plus, just so you know - the dish is "pre-dressed" with way too much syrup, so if that's your choice, ask for it on the side. The waffles are cake-like and were on the dry side, the chicken under seasoned.

                                    The lunch and dinner items that I've tried are definitely worth a rec. Looking at the menu, they've really expanded it. And I see they've even received a nod from the NYTIMES ~~~~
                                    http://travel.nytimes.com/2010/06/13/...

                                    -----
                                    Chef Point
                                    5901 Watauga Rd, Watauga, TX 76148

                                    1. re: CocoaNut

                                      Yes, and as I said, we understood that it would be a wait. One of the things about our club is that we always meet on Friday night (every other on average) and always around 7 or 7:30. Also, since we don't make people rsvp ahead of time we usually dont know how many we wil have until about 15 minutes after start time so we often wait a bit. However that is usually part of the fun as we get to see people and catch up. Of course it is one thing to wait 20 minutes inside an air conditioned restaurant while seated or preferably at the bar, quite another to be waiting outside with no seat in 100 degree heat in Texas summer.
                                      I do hope no one thought I did not mean to go. The wait is indicative of how good they are and what you get for your money. The food was very good and while it looks like some prices may have gone up a little since we went, the menu has expanded, the portions are large and well worth it for everything we tried.
                                      Interesting article in the times, glad to see they are expanding.

                                      1. re: ronaldpedwards

                                        oops.... sorry about that ron! I think you've actually explained your groups' casual "process" before at another post. Sounds like fun and the way to do it!

                                        My response was actually directed toward happymeal!

                            3. "Hatties Southern Food
                              Great, by far the best place we have been to. Food was delicious, restaurant was classy."

                              Where is this?

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Curtis_A

                                On Bishop in Bishop Arts. Cross 8th and it's on your right (assuming you're coming from the highway).

                                Re the chili at Tolbert's ... I prefer a multi-dimensional flavor to chili, which is what I make, and what I got at Tillman's. I just saw a recipe the other day that called for anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chili powder, and not much else. This is the kind of chili I had at Tolbert's.

                                1. re: foiegras

                                  "On Bishop in Bishop Arts"

                                  Doesn't ring a bell. What city?

                                1. re: CocoaNut

                                  the pics, in link above, of Paco and John suggest fine dining - it's more cafe. Think Chef Point.

                                  -----
                                  Chef Point
                                  5901 Watauga Rd, Watauga, TX 76148

                                  1. re: CocoaNut

                                    Aren't they going to be a bit challenged at Ellerbe's on their budget of $25? No problem at Paco & John ...

                                    1. re: foiegras

                                      Good point and you are correct. I missed that stipulation.

                                      1. re: CocoaNut

                                        Thanks for these suggestions. You are right that Ellerbe's is too high for our club but having looked at the menu, I think it might be nice some other occassion.
                                        I appreciate all of the help and will continue to keep you all posted every few months.

                                    1. re: CocoaNut

                                      CocoaNut:

                                      Thanks for asking. Here is the updated list of where we have been so far:
                                      Edelweiss German Restaurant
                                      Margies Italian Restaurant
                                      Seoul Garden Japanese Restaurant
                                      Cuquitas Mexican Restaurant
                                      Clay Pit Indian Restaurant
                                      Fortuna Italian Restaurant
                                      Angelo's Italian Restaurant
                                      Olenjack's Grill
                                      Big Fish Seafood Grill and Bar
                                      Mai's Vietnamese Restaurant
                                      Henk’s German Restaurant
                                      Hatties Southern Food
                                      Mi Tierra Latin Restaurant
                                      Terilli's
                                      Toulouse French restaurant
                                      Pazzo Pizza Restaurant
                                      Café Istanbul
                                      El Gabacho
                                      Queen of Sheba
                                      Peggy Sue's Bar-B-Que
                                      La Familia
                                      Cafe Amore
                                      Fred's Texas Café
                                      Babe's Chicken Dinner House
                                      Celebration restaurant
                                      Deli News
                                      Victor Tangoes
                                      Soley
                                      Chef Pointe Café
                                      Italian Inn
                                      Love Shack
                                      Copeland's Restaurant
                                      MAC's
                                      Zorro's Buffet
                                      Bolsa
                                      Sardine's Restaurant
                                      Fresco's Cucina Mexicana
                                      Brio Italian Grill
                                      Prairie House Restaurant
                                      Russian Banya
                                      Potager
                                      Matt’s Rancho Martinez
                                      Gerhard’s Restaurant
                                      Baja Grill
                                      La Calle Doce
                                      Oliva Italian Eatery

                                      My top five so far would have to be:
                                      Hattie’s – By far the best of what I have seen in the area. Exactly what I was looking for when I started this group.; Russian Banya – Fun, interesting food and enjoyable tour of the baths and conversation with the Russian Staff.; Chef Pointe Café – Horrible wait, scores a ½ star on ambience but the food was very good and very cheap for what we got.; Café Istanbul – We had over a dozen people come for this one and it was fun. Got to help the belly dancer which just made our experience.; Babe’s – Long wait, no real menu choices but as a Yankee, this is some really good fried chicken.

                                      Honorable mention to Mai’s, Mi Tierra, Henks and Potager.

                                      Our next dinner is scheduled for August 20th at La Carreta Argentina where we hope to share some Empanada’s. Mixed reviews but food is supposed to be good if you order right. Still have a list of places I want to try in the area but after two years, we are slowly working through them. Any comments are appreciated and if anyone ever wants to participate with us, please just let me know.

                                      Thanks,

                                      -----
                                      Seoul Garden
                                      2502 Royal Ln Ste 103, Dallas, TX 75229

                                      Fred's Texas Cafe
                                      915 Currie St, Fort Worth, TX 76107

                                      Mai's Vietnamese Restaurant
                                      4812 Bryan St Ste 100, Dallas, TX 75204

                                      Bolsa
                                      614 W Davis St, Dallas, TX

                                      La Calle Doce
                                      415 W 12th St, Dallas, TX 75208

                                      La Familia Restaurant
                                      1111 La Salle Ave, Waco, TX 76706

                                      Prairie House Restaurant
                                      304 S Highway 377, Roanoke, TX 76262

                                      Terilli's
                                      2815 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206

                                      Cafe Amore
                                      600 N Coit Rd Ste 2050, Richardson, TX 75080

                                      Deli News
                                      17062 Preston Rd Ste 100, Dallas, TX 75248

                                      Queen of Sheba Restaurant
                                      14875 Inwood Rd, Addison, TX 75001

                                      Clay Pit
                                      4460 Belt Line Road, Addison, TX 75205

                                      Edelweiss German Restaurant
                                      3801 Southwest Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76116

                                      Potager Cafe
                                      315 S Mesquite St, Arlington, TX 76010