National Anthem, Nick Badovinus’ (Town Hearth, Neighborhood Services) latest restaurant, opened Oct.6. It’s in the 100 year old triangular shaped building on the east side of downtown, almost to Deep Ellum. There is street parking and valet and it’s a lot like Badovinus’ other places – noisy, heavily decorated and serving good food. His concept is to further develop the floor above and the rooftop into other restaurants. Here you enter into the bar area with a few high top tables and stools around the u-shaped bar. Then you pass into the main dining room which has a combination of booths and tables and a long open window into the kitchen. There are tons of people working – providing good service, but between the TVs, windows to the street and various decorations there’s a lot of eye distractions. The large menu includes everything from raw oysters to prime steak and there are a few daily specials. It’s worth going to.
Green Beans were tempura style with Johnny’s salt and a buttermilk herb dip. They were nicely crisp, lightly breaded, tender green beans. Well seasoned, they were fine alone or dipped in the traditional tasting dip. Easy to split, they were a good start to the meal.
Tiki Berkshire Belly is with pickled red onion, breakfast radish, red fresno, scallions, soy caramel and charred pineapplesauce. This was 6 small cubes of pork belly meat with an amazing sauce underneath. They were topped with many things but the sauce was the most striking flavor. The quality of the pork belly varied with each piece but this was a winner overall.
Prime Steak and Frites was a 10 oz. sliced flat iron served ‘London Broil’ style with original voodoo sauce and truffle oil and parmesan fries. The meat was cooked to the doneness requested and was tender with a good sear on the outside. Dipped in the buttery, zesty voodoo sauce you couldn’t lose. The fries were small cut and very crisp. The parm and truffle added a nice depth to their flavor. Ketchup was served on the side if requested. This was a wonderful, tasty plate of food.