Hey, Brian, What’s for Lunch?

Back by popular demand. Seriously. Several of you have asked for this.

Let me remind you of the premise. Easily bored by the lunch options within walking distance, I search for interesting and satisfying lunch spots that can be found within a five to 10 minute drive.
An avid lunch eater, uninspired by the options I’ve visited on foot around Victory, I’ve been doing some exploring. Here are some of the places I’ve found. All in the range of $8–$15 for lunch.

Saint Ann
Just up the street on Field, easily viewed from the NE corner of our offices, this was my logical first destination. A very cool space … a converted Catholic elementary school. Nice patio for outdoor lunch or drinks after work. The indoor space is bustling, which is a nice way of saying a bit noisy. You can sit at chef’s tables right next to food prep if you’re interested in watching. The food is a bit pretentious, but pretty good. One complaint: no salt and pepper on the table. I get that some chefs believe that they season the food perfectly and the intricacies of salt and pepper shouldn’t be left to the unknowing patron. In this case, they’re wrong. The food is consistently under-seasoned. All I ask is for some S&P, please. Thank you.
http://saintanndallas.com/

Marie Gabrielle
A block north of Saint Ann in the Centex building by the Rolex building. Kind of a cool set up. Two different places in one. A “fine-dining” restaurant. Haven’t been in it. And a “servery.” Different food stations. A buffet of sorts. This features a salad bar, a custom-made sandwich bar, a baked potato bar, and a hot entrée area. The hot entrées include rotisserie chicken every day and a daily assortment of other hot options. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, they fire up the grill and grill shrimp, steak, pork chops and chicken breast. You can choose options on potatoes and vegetables to complete your entrée. All for less than $10. Pretty good for what it is. Nice outdoor terrace for eating in moderate temps. Parking is free underneath the Centex building.
http://www.marie-gabrielle.com/MG_servery.asp

Meddlesome Moth
Most of you have probably visited here. Take Hi Line across 35 until it runs into Oak Lawn and you’re there. The food is consistently interesting and good. Cool indoor space that opens to a cool outdoor dining area on nice days. Jeff Warren recommends the rabbit pot pie.
http://www.mothinthe.net/

Royal 60
Located just across 35 in the Design District around Irving Blvd. and Turtle Creek. From well-known (?) caterer Wendy Krispin. A big open industrial kind of space with a varied lunch menu of salads, soups, sandwiches, burgers, entrées. Went once. Waited forever to be seated. Food was good. Definitely worth another visit.
http://www.royalsixty.com/index.html

Bridge Bistro
Located at the bottom of the new Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge on Riverfront. Unfortunately, there’s no view of the bridge as the floor-to-ceiling restaurant windows face east, not west. There is a view of the downtown skyline obscured by a web of power lines, if you’d like that. The food was great. Enjoyed some cornmeal fried oysters to start and a warm spinach salad. Saw a lot of items on the menu I’d like to try. Definitely going back.
http://www.bridgebistrodallas.com/

Taco Stop
This place kind of sprang up out of nothing a few months back. A little taco stand in a small deserted building. Parking and picnic tables out front. Pretty cool. Located on Irving Blvd. at the corner of Turtle Creek. Very reasonably priced. The tacos are small. You’ll want 3-4. I’ll recommend the rib eye tacos with magic onions (sautéed in bacon grease) on corn tortillas. Also serving breakfast tacos and “hangover helper,” which I tried for lunch yesterday. Nice folks. Give it a shot.
http://www.tacostopdallas.com/
http://www.dallasdesigndistrict.net/2012/02/taco-stop-opens-on-irving-blvd/

Off Site Kitchen
Now … my most special find. If you drive past it, you’ll never know there was something so special inside. From the same people who brought you Neighborhood Services and Neighborhood Services Bar & Grill (this was actually the off-site kitchen for those restaurants, thus the name) we now have their unique and delicious take on “downscale” lunch fare. Amazing looking burgers, chicken strips, fries, brisket sandwiches, tacos, meatloaf. Order at the counter from an impressively varied menu. Fight for one of about eight counter stools inside or enjoy eating at picnic tables in the back. Or bring your food back to the office and show it off. I absolutely loved the brisket sandwich I had there recently. Can’t wait to get back for more. And more. Can’t find a Web site. Here are links to two very positive reviews, pics of the food, the menu, etc. Enjoy.
http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/cityofate/2012/02/off-site_kitchens_brough_ham_f.php
http://sidedish.dmagazine.com/2012/02/14/happy-valentines-day-off-site-kitchen-in-dallas-is-open-for-business/

Coming up in May:
The great street taco taste-off. Fuel City. Fuel Town. Fuel Metropolis (kidding). Taco Stop. Got any other recommendations? No, Shooters won’t be on the list. Let me know what you think, and if you want to tag along.

Happy eating. Now get to work.

3 Responses to Hey, Brian, What’s for Lunch?

  1. John says:

    Nice write up. I now have lunch plans for the next month!

  2. Steph says:

    LET’S GO TO OFF SITE KITCHEN! LET’S GO TO OFF SITE KITCHEN!

  3. Great information here. Going to try them all. LOL!!! However, you know I’m in on the Taco Taste-Off. Let me know when, and where.

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