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Restaurants' reputations

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What restaurants are still going gang-busters based on their history/reputation rather on the quality of their food? My first nominee is Barbec's.

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  1. To which I would add, The Grape and, Kuby's.

    2 Replies
    1. re: twinwillow

      When was the last time you've eaten at the Grape? Also have you tried Luscher's Red Hots? I will be honest that I haven't had a full on sit down meal there lately, but I've run into Chef Luscher many times at food events around town and they are still making stellar food. For a "historic"/quintessential or whatever word you want to use for the restaurant, they are being innovative and do deserve the reputation and praise. Hardly mediocre.

      1. re: air

        Regarding The Grape: You've got me all wrong! I was on the "still going strong" part of the OP's question. Not on it's food which I agree, is still first class!
        Now, go bother someone else, please.

    2. Dunston's Steakhouse

      Celebration

      The original Sonny Bryant's

      Campisi's

      Mecca

      Old Warsaw

      Javier's

      l'Ancestral
      Mercado Juarez
      Club Schmitz

      6 Replies
      1. re: Scagnetti

        Manny's ... St Martin's.

        I tried Old Warsaw during RW, expectations set appropriately low. I wouldn't say it's going gangbusters ... I was touched by several quite elderly couples--the age group I typically see only at Highland Park Cafeteria. I imagine it has been 'their' restaurant since the beginning.

        The thing about mediocre restaurants is, I think there's a very large audience for mediocre and even bad food. So many people grew up with it ... and I think a lot of people think bad Tex-Mex is proper Tex-Mex.

        Agree about Sonny Bryant's and Campisi's ... ordered pasta there that I took one bite of and brought home for the dogs. Rise couldn't take us ... that was a sad night. To get in the mood for really good food and then end up at Campisi's ... that's just something you never want to do.

        1. re: Scagnetti

          did anyone ever really think Campisi's was very good? If so, it was before I first had it in the late 80's. It's the Joe T's of Dallas.

          Schmitz is still as mediocre as ever, but I still like it.

          Mercado, I never got.

          Ojeda's was good in the 70's along with Casita Dominquez. Haven't been in years.

          Nice that places like Nonna are still as stellar as always.

          You seem bitter, Scagnetti.

          1. re: Brad2

            Brad2, I revel in my bitterness and embrace my elitism but you already knew that.

            N'cest pas?

            1. re: Brad2

              The Joe T's of Dallas ... so true.

            2. re: Scagnetti

              While I never thought it was great, I think it's a bit unfair to put Celebration into the category of a reapstaurant that is coasting on its reputation. I think it still delivers good quality family style food for reasonable value. I fact, I had a really lovely piece of redfish with a tomatillo sauce there not too long ago that was quite good.

              Granted, I'm kind of a sucker for home cooking, meat and three type menus, but what can I say? It's the kind of food that I grew up eating. It's never haut, but it's good, relatively a good value, comforting, and filling. You can do a lot worse for a meal these days.

              1. re: Mike C. Miller

                I'll second your comment about celebration.

            3. As long as we're at it......

              Marco's pizza.

              Wild about Harry's.

              Campisi's (The Egyptian) Scagnetti, I know you mentioned it but, I just wanted to clarify the original.

              Pietro's.

              And how about, El Fenix!

              C'mon guys, I know there must be more (still) out there!

              2 Replies
              1. re: twinwillow

                and Ojeda's is just terrible now!

                1. re: twinwillow

                  I would have to say that overall El Fenix is the same as ever for the most part. The style of tex mex had just gotten a lot better everywhere else. They stayed the same.

                2. You guys are missing the worst of the bunch. The Magic Time machine. It was bleh at its best. Now it's just pathetic.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: irodguy

                    Did it ever have a good reputation? Also, it's a good spot for Karaoke!

                  2. Tolbert's.

                    And I yeah I agree, Ojeda's is realy really, I mean really bad!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: RobbnTX

                      Tolbert's is an excellent casual restaurant for burgers and oh yes.... chili.

                    2. Goff's Hamburgers.

                      1. Cafe Pacific.....I've never been to a more middling place. Can someone please tell me why I still go there? Help!!!