Finding Your Soul in Dallas: Lower Greenville Ave.

Friday

I discovered Lower Greenville Avenue by chance.

Several years ago, I just happened upon a neighborhood in Dallas with fully developed trees, 1920's(ish) architecture, cracked sidewalks and stray cats.

I found home.

Soon after renting the upper level of an old duplex, my "nesting" phase began, restaurants and bars were all within stumbling distance and the relaxed, unaffected neighborhood ambiance was just what I was looking for.

Times have changed the vibe somewhat - as a few of the old, fixer-uppers were scraped up and replaced by bigger, more modern homes but fortunately, the integrity of Lower Greenville is being maintained as the trend now is towards renovation and not replacement.

Lower Greenville Avenue Orientation:
  • The area we are talking about is located south of Mockingbird Lane and continues to Belmont. 
  • Know that parking is a biatch. Bring $5 cash with you. Don't even look for a free parking space, you'll end up frustrated and pissed off. Coughing up $5 for valet parking is a small price to pay. The Greenville Ave Neighborhood Association - aptly named "Barking Dogs"- is very tough on parking in their community.
  • Valet Parking Etiquette: Most restaurants offer 'free' valet parking but bear in mind that valets do appreciate a $2-3 tip when you retrieve your vehicle. Some restaurants charge up to $5 for valet. It's up to you if you want to tip above that.
In addition to restaurants and bars, there are some cool independent retail establishments along Lower Greenville Ave. Strolling the area can be both an informative and pleasant way to kill a little time. Jeans are good anywhere.

As you head south from Mockingbird on Lower Greenville, you'll pass Ellsworth Ave. Soon, you'll see a 7-11 on your left. Start thinking about parking and look for a valet stand. There is a parking lot behind The Granada Theater ($8) but it will be your lucky day if you get a space. Although I can't list them all, this is an area that hosts several good restaurants that offer both inside and outside dining, some retail and The Granada Theater.

J.Pepe's Tex Mex - Patio inside and outside street patio is great for people watching.

Condom Sense - It's a hoot! Don't be shy. I got a kick out of their "Rubber Tree".

Aw Shucks - Very casual seafood but their claim to fame is their raw oysters on the halfshell - served very cold with lemon and horseradish. Don't knock it until you've tried it.

Snuffer's - The original Snuffer's is reputedly haunted. See "Cheddar Fries...Someone Dies" for further details. Great burgers, cheese fries with ranch dip on the side. Currently it looks like it's being re-built. Progress. Hope they don't change the burgers.


Blue Fish - If you love sushi - you will love this place. Try their "Tuna Tower". I love sushi but for those of you who prefer your fish cooked, they also offer their fish that way too. Click on the link to make a reservation. Why wait if you don't have to?

The Granada Theater: Circa 1946 - Once a movie theater but currently a live music venue, The Granada is not to be missed. Check out their website for a virtual tour and upcoming events.

After McCommas Ave, there are 4 or 5  residential blocks before you happen upon Marquita Ave and ...

The San Francisco Rose - Established casual sports bar environment - Burgers, Bar Food and Foosball - Karaoke Wednesdays.

St. Martins Bistro - French Bistro - Think romance, special occasion, Valentine's Day, etc. - Their New Year's Eve dinner is fabulous.

Traveling on another couple of blocks...again, several restaurants and bars that are too many to list but here's a few of my fave's..

Stan's Blue Note - Ahhhh. This place brings back alot of good memories. Sports bar, shuffle board, darts, foozball, beer served in Mason jars, big backyard and street-side patios.

The Blue Goose Cantina - Tex Mex

The Grape - Very cool place for a date and/or Sunday Brunch. Avoid disappointment. Make a reservation


Terilli's - Killer Italian. Sunday Brunch too. Terilli's burned down about two years ago. Thanks to the quick thinking of the Dallas Fire Department, it's original facade was saved and Terilli's has been rebuilt.

There you have it. Lower Greenville Avenue in a nutshell.

Now get out there and discover!

You're Welcome.

Finding Your Soul in Dallas: Upper Greenville Ave

Saturday

When I first arrived in 'Big D', I seriously doubted that Dallas offered anything beyond brass, glass, glitz and glamor and would have been hard-pressed if asked to recommend any places with character in the area. [Coming to America 5]

Since then, I've discovered  few spots...

Upper Greenville Avenue:
Located north of Mockingbird Lane, the establishments on this part of Greenville Ave. are generally a little shinier and newer than those south of Mockingbird. You've got your Humperdinks, Black-Eyed Pea, Two Rows and Fuddruckers amongst a plethora of other good places to eat but I was looking for something more I gained a glimmer of hope that Dallas was more than just a one-dimensional pretty face...after finding "The Ozona".

The Ozona
A casual place just south of University on Greenville, - originally known as "Cardinal Puff's" - The Ozona's claim to fame is its outdoor patio - and rightly so. It would be sinful to choose to sit inside on a pretty day. Shaded by a heavy canopy of trees, the patio speaks for itself . In cooler weather, outdoor  fireplaces are lit adding warmth to a great space. But it's during the coldest of winter's days that my heart yearns for a Hot Buttered Rum near one of The Ozona's indoor fireplaces. ozonagrill.com

Desperados
                                                        
All that is Tex-Mex, Desperados has been in business here for 35 years and on Wednesday's, they serve their top shelf  'La Margarita'  (frozen or on-the-rocks) for the low, low price of $1.99. Check out the restaurant facade - it's The Alamo - nice touch. desperadosrestaurant.com

Kostas Cafe                                                                  
 
 No frills, nothing fancy, just good Greek food. 
Reservations accepted.

Prego Pasta House    

Prego Pasta House is a decent little Italian place with wonderful ambiance, good food, wine and live piano music. If you let your mind run wild, let your hands do the talking and have another glass of wine, it wouldn't take a whole lot to imagine yourself to be in a 1920's speakeasy. http://www.pregopastahouse.com/

Lights Fantastic
Situated next door to "The Ozona", I dare ya to go in and look around. No food here but you can thank me later. lightsfantastic.com

Campisi's Egyptian Restaurant
There is nothing 'Egyptian' about this restaurant with the exception of it's name. It's actually Italian specializing in crab claws and pizza.

Word on the street is that Joseph Campisi bought "The Egyptian Lounge" and didn't get around  to switching out the sign. That was back in the 40's. Located on Mockingbird east of Greenville (across from Kroger). Don't let the line for a table that runs outside the door intimidate you. It moves fast and is a good way to meet new people. campisis.us      

Next post, I'll take you on a tour of "Lower" Greenville Avenue...

In the meantime - any further suggestions?

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