Urban Vines, Dallas, 4/5 and 5/25/18

building
building

Urban Vines is a large place in East Dallas.  They are open for lunch and dinner and offer snacks if you just want a place to drink some wine.  You enter through a patio with a large fireplace and plenty of outdoor seating into bar area that adjoins the dining area.  Some bench seating, regular tables and high top tables are available.  Tables are bare wood but cloth napkins are part of the set up.  The walls display art, some of which is for sale.  Different days offer specials and Thursday is half price wine by the glass. Two of the walls have large windows letting in some natural light in the daytime but in the evening the lighting is fairly low.  The menu offers sandwiches, flatbreads and a few bigger dishes.  Frankie and I visited a couple times to try some of the options.  It is a casual place with friendly and helpful servers and while the food is not outstanding it is a perfectly adequate place to meet with friends over wine and food.

entrance
entrance
patio
patio
Frankie checked out the table flower
Frankie checked out the table flower
bar area
bar area
interior
interior
interior
interior
menu cover
menu cover
menu 1
menu 1
menu 2
menu 2
menu 3
menu 3
menu 4
menu 4
menu 5
menu 5
menu 6
menu 6
Frankie found a cork holder
Frankie found a cork decoration

 

 

The flatbreads are thin crust pizzas.  The Jalapeno Flatbread is made with jalapeno cream cheese spread, mozzarella, red wine onions, roasted tomatoes and crispy prosciutto.  It had a bit of spice but was not overwhelmingly hot.  Good flavors made it a fun choice.

Jalapeno flatbread
Jalapeno flatbread
jalapeno flatbread
another angle
wine front
wine front
wine back
wine back
Frankie hid in the pillows
Frankie hid in the pillows

 

The Steak Flatbread came with chimichurri sauce, mozzarella, skirt steak, onions, tomatoes, avocado and jalapenos.  The bits of beef were quite chewy and it was okay.

flatbread
Steak Flatbread
Frankie found an interesting piece
Frankie found an interesting piece

 

The Italian panini was composed of hard salami, capicola with mozzarella, roasted red peppers, field greens, tomatoes and roasted garlic balsamic vinaigrette on a grilled panini bread.  All paninis are served with a choice of pasta salad, pita chips or fruit.  We tried the pasta salad and it was pretty ordinary, but the sandwich was well stuffed and quite tasty with a nice crispy bread.

sandwich and pasta salad
Italian Panini
another angle
another angle
art for sale
art for sale
art for sale
art for sale
Frankie climbed the rings
Frankie climbed the rings

 

On a second visit, this time at lunch, we tried two other panini options – the waitress said they were the 2 top sellers.  The Turkey and Brie panini was made with oven roasted turkey, brie, cranberries and raspberry vinaigrette served on grilled panini bread.  It was well stuffed but the brie flavor dwarfed that of the the turkey.

table set up
table set up
turnkey sandwich
Turkey and Brie Panini
another angle
another angle
Frankie found a slightly different table plant
Frankie found a slightly different table plant
interior
interior

 

It didn’t come together as well as the Braised Chicken and Drunken Goat Panini made with roasted tomato pesto aioli, braised chicken and drunken goat on a grilled panini bread.  Drunken Goat is a wine infused goat cheese.  It was quite good.  With the sandwiches we got pita chips which were very crisp and unseasoned.  They added a nice crunch but had a fairly dull flavor.  All paninis also came with a dill pickle that was very strongly flavored and full of juice – nice.

chicken sandwich
Braised Chicken and Drunken Goat Panini
another angle
another angle
pita chips
pita chips
Frankie looked over the options
Frankie looked over the options

 

On the side we had a small Wedge Salad made with blue cheese dressing.  It was plenty to split and the lettuce was fresh and crisp but I found the blue cheese flavor wasn’t strong enough for me.

wedge salad
Wedge Salad
other side
other side

 

For dessert we had  daily special chocolate torte.  The crust was made with ground chocolate graham crackers and then that was spread with layers of dulce de leche and chocolate.  It was gooey and sweet and apparently sells out every time they make it.

chocolate dessert
chocolate dessert
other side
other side
another angle
another angle
Frankie made a frog friend
Frankie made a frog friend

The Mitchell, Dallas, 3/3/18

exterior
exterior

The Mitchell is located in downtown Dallas.  It has the feel of a bar with tables rather than the reverse.  I had read another person’s glowing write up of this more casual French place that would be a good option to the more formal ones newly ‘opened’ and recently written up here.  Unfortunately when we got there the chef in the write up was gone and another had assumed his duties and changes had been made to the menu.  Not sure these were good changes.  The place has elegant chandeliers and a silent TV boxed in by the giant bar.  They are short on wine selections but have about any liquor you’re looking for.  Tables are small dark wood and seating is upholstered black chairs and a curving black banquette.  There are also a number of seats at the bar.  Service was friendly and efficient but I might have preferred if they’d spaced the serving of the dishes due to the size of the tables.   Continue reading

La Victoria, Dallas, 11/2017 and 1/30/18

building
building

La Victoria is a small place that looks like it was once a drive-in burger joint.  However when you get inside it’s light and airy with a number of stools at a counter and a half dozen large bare wood tables.  Many windows let in lots of natural light, which matters as they are only open for breakfast and lunch.  Service is friendly and helpful.  For example, when I was there for lunch the waitress suggested we order the half size rather than the whole one because it’d be too much, and she was right.  Food is not your standard Tex-Mex and chips are not automatically on the table, but they are on the menu if you want some.   The spiciness of the sauce varies but they also have an un-spicy variety that is available upon request.  There is a quality to their food that I find appealing, it’s simple but honest and the owner is often in the kitchen cooking when she’s not out on a catering job. Continue reading

Hello Dumpling, Dallas, 1/24/18

building
building

Hello Dumpling is in a shopping center near several other casual restaurants.  It is a moderate size place with a counter where you place your order, pay and then put a number in the stand on your table. They feature Chinese dumplings and noodles made on site.  There is a good selection of stuffings but a similarity to the tastes.  The main  difference I found was in the method of preparation.   They also offer sides that provide a vegetable or texture to your meal.  One last option is their bubble tea but I didn’t try it nor did I get the hot bites skewers that sound pretty good.  The workers are friendly and helpful and they have souvenirs for sale.  Service is quick and so it could make an ideal lunch spot if you are on a time frame. Continue reading

The Parlor on Commerce, Dallas, 1/2/18

exterior
exterior

The Parlor on Commerce is a good sized bar in the Deep Ellum area of Dallas with food as well as drinks.  They’ve been open 13 months and the wine list is limited but they have a good supply of beers and hard liquors.  The kitchen also turns out some pretty tasty food to go for or to snack on while drinking.  The folks at the bar, bartender and guests, are super friendly and the place does have lots of counter seats as well as a number of tables.  The finish out of the interior has lots of interesting objects around as well as art.  The owner, Seth Byars, is a Star Wars buff so watch for some articles from that theme.  Also check out the boxcar flooring that was made into the bar counter and the basketball flooring that is now the bar’s flooring.   Continue reading

Here, Dallas, 11/4/17

neon sign
neon sign

Here is a good sized, very stylish bar and restaurant.  The small, closely set tables are in the middle of the lowly lit room.  Around the edges are cozy round booths that match the elegant large arc shaped bar.  Comfy chairs and bar seats finish out this amazing looking space that is located in a very non-descript strip shopping center.  The menu offers a range of small plates and larger ones but the beverage service is mostly liquor.  Portions run on the large side, so be prepared to split even the small plates.  A good selection of beers is available but the wine list is very small (one thing that would really improve this place). Continue reading

The Cock and Bull Neighborhood Pub, Dallas, 9/7/17

IMG_9110
exterior

Cock and Bull has been in the Lakewood area for many years and has gone through several owners.  It is a neighborhood bar but also serves non-bar food in the evenings and for weekend brunch.  Prices on the menu are very reasonable and they also offer a few nightly specials, two of which on the night we were there, were beef tenderloin preparations for $32 – so it could become a more moderately priced option.  They have a full bar but limited wines however on Wednesday night wines by the glass are 1/2 price and that makes them quite a deal.  Tables are set with nothing but lists of wine and cocktails and the flatware comes wrapped in 2 paper napkins.  Music plays in the background but the noise level was not bad however there were also lots of empty tables.  Service by the bartender was friendly, efficient and she was also willing to help with choosing menu items. Continue reading