Get in your car and drive just a a few miles up 75 from Downtown Dallas and you'll find a new restaurant and bar in the Westin Park Central called Urban South Dine + Bar 1865.
Now, I travel for work relatively often -- no joke, sitting in a hotel in Vancouver at the hotel bar writing this as we speak. Side note, Vancouver and Dallas are having exactly the same weather right now, what is wrong with this picture? Much like the bar I'm currently sitting in, you have no faith in the bartender, and your best (and safest for your tastebuds) bet is to order a house chardonnay or a local beer on tap IF you're feeling real adventurous and trusting of the bartender's opinion on craft beer.
This was NOT like Bar 1856.
Let me backtrack. We arrived at Urban South Dine and were told we could park for free in the garage, as long as we were dining in the restaurant. We had 8pm reservations and were pretty early - let's just say the Dallas traffic gods blew us a big ole kiss on the lips with that one. We figured we would need to kill some time moseying around the hotel, but the hostess was very accommodating and managed to find us a table a bit early!
Our server greeted us with a cocktail list -- aka - my favorite way of being greeted at any given time. We learned that the Bar 1856 had their own MIXOLOGIST?!?!?
WHAT -- NO WAY? Says the girl currently sitting with the house Chardonnay in a rainy Vancouver hotel bar.
I briefly eyed the cocktail menu and saw the word GIN and pointed decisively at the CCR - Gin + Fresh Lemon Juice + Agave Nectar + Celery + Cilantro.
My date, the bourbon lover, picked out the oh so tasty Curious George - Jim Beam + Banana Liqueur + Fresh Lemon Juice + Honey + Angostura Bitters... and of course a few bananas as a snack. Add a snack or two (or 8) in my drink and I'm a happy camper.
Yes, I'm the girl that makes a snack while waiting for my snack to cook.
We of course picked out an appetizer to share.
(Remember that part about the snack before the snack??)
We had the cheese flight. Much like snacks, add the word flight and I'm on board. Wine flight, beer flight, flight flight to somewhere warm and beautiful.... and now add the Urban South Dine cheese flight to that list of "flights" I love.
Local was the name of the game at Urban South Dine, everything put on our table had local ties to Dallas, which I thought was really neat. For example, the bread basket came from NY Bagel in Plano!
This, folks, is why you eat before you write blog posts.... I'm already getting hungry.
Kind of like going to the grocery store starving + on a diet, poor decision. Full cart of #CheetosandPizzaLunchables (just me?)
Ok, shiny red ball, sorry I'll get back on track.
Main course deets...
I ordered the fresh cut pork chop with sweet potato soufflé, caramelized apple sauce and grilled asparagus. I hadn't had a pork chop in years and this one looked so darn tasty so I shocked myself by ordering it.
Pro tip: ORDER THE PORK CHOP! It was so flavorful that I was tempted to pick it up and eat it like a piece of fried chicken. BUT I DIDN'T DO THAT BECAUSE I'M A LADY!!!!!
My date (let's call him CB- short for Chalupa Batman - because that's what I call him on my other blog) ordered the Pan Seared Gulf Coast Red Fish with grits cake, swiss chard and lemon butter sauce.
So confession -- I know I'm from the south but I HATE GRITS. Ok, go ahead and hate me. I'm a fraud yada yada yada....
But this grits cake tho...
THIS GRITS CAKE THO!!!!
It always amazes me when someone is able to take a food I'm not a fan of, and make it a dish I have dreams about! Round of applause on that one, Urban South Dine!
Then came dessert.
This is a dessert that could just be referred to with one name - like an Oprah or Beyonce - it was that good.
The Apple Empanada.
Or better yet...
Soon to be a multi platinum selling dessert or famous dessert talk show host. Whichever comes first.
You heard it here first, EMPANADA - the next big solo name.
So --- what are you waiting for? Go make a reservation for Urban South Dine.