It’s so hard to talk about a place that is brand new. It’s not just that it’s my first impression of the place. It’s everyone’s first impression because it didn’t exist until a week or two ago. It will probably be a totally different bar by the end of the year.
We showed up at The Whistling Pig on Mother’s Day shortly after noon. Understandably, the place was not packed. The first pleasant surprise was that, despite the glass exterior walls, it was not brightly lit. You’re not supposed to feel like you’re in shopping center even if you are in a shopping center. The brunch menu was not available yet but they were offering $2 Mimosas and $5 Bloody Marys. That was the second nice surprise.
Asher Stevens from Cock & Bull is the chef at this new pub. So, we decided to have lunch. We started with Pulled Pork Fried Jalapenos ($9). Packed full of flavor. Meaty to the max and hotter than hell. If I ate all five of those myself I would have had to skip the sandwich. They are a substantial snack.
The house-made pulled pork, which showed up again on the Cuban sandwich ($14), was moist and tender. Very good. Along with ham, baby Swiss and thinly sliced dill pickles, the sandwich was pressed, toasted and “melty”, just as described. We opted for “Texas Toothpicks” instead of fries. Strips of onion and jalapeno were battered and deep fried. Excellent and only mildly spicy.
It makes it worth the 15+ years we lived here with no decent pubs and only chain restaurants to see this kind of new life in East Dallas. We will be visiting again soon, I’m sure. Great to meet you, Pig!
Last Friday Hubbard, myself and few friends made our way to Club Schmitz to pay our final respects. It’s not gone yet, but May 31 will be it’s final day since it opened in 1946. Hubbard and I attended the University of Dallas and this was one of the closest spots to get a cheap beer and decent burger, play a little shuffleboard and shoot some pool. The place was packed.
I suspect it will remain packed until it’s final day. So, if you want to pay your final respects and gobble up one more patty melt with tater tots, you might want to try and get there early on a week day. Our friend Bo here prefers the “double double”. You can just guess what that is. Strangely enough, I didn’t take any pictures of the food.
It’s the feel of Club Schmitz that we’re going to miss. The well worn table and time-warp restrooms. The ripped seats and plastic pitchers of beer. It’s remembering what it was like to be young and new to beer joints and finding one that you could call your own. Goodbye Club Schmitz. We’re going to miss you.
The sign still says open, but not for long. Don’t forget to grab a T-shirt.
Hubbard, my husband, is the maker of great chicken fried steaks. I never order chicken fried steak when I dine out. I’m afraid. Afraid I’ll get some grade-school cafeteria meat patty. Afraid of huge fluffly crusts that have only the vaguest attachment to the meat. I want no gristle. Hub likes to make chicken fried steak. In fact, he likes to make it for other people so much he’s made it for Bill Addison, the former food critic for Dallas Morning News. Last Saturday night, Steven Doyle of CraveDFW.com.
Yes, I’m bragging on my husband. And the fun of having a good stand-by meal that you can feed your friends. Strangers love chicken fried steak, too. We make ours with a Paul Prudhomme gravy. In his book, “Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Seasoned America”, Chef does his take on traditional American food. You know, Cuban Stew and Oklahoma Honey Wings? That kind of American food. We fell in love with the spicy gravy from that book’s Chicken Fried Steak recipe.
Think about it. When was the last you time you had a homemade chicken fried steak? With charro beans and mashed potatoes and gravy? Homemade bread on the side. Butter. Tell me that’s not good.