Nachos and Baseball at the Stoneleigh P

Categories: Whimsy

nachos Stoneleigh.jpg
The Stoneleigh P's red neon sign serves as a beacon for those driving by. It also casts half the ambient light inside the bar, echoed in the burgundy painted walls. The televisions show the baseball game but not many are watching; the jukebox is filling the space with a mix of '70s pop.

Two cooks in an open kitchen casually glance up at the screen between flipping burgers and chopping ingredients. They man the standard minimalist bar food setup: a six-burner stove, two-basket fryer and your choice of an open or flat top grill depending on the menu you want to drive. Stoneleigh's is an open grill, and the burgers boast the requisite char.

Order nachos with fajita beef and one of the cooks will turn from the game, pull two small strips of blood red beef from the reach-in fridge and toss them on the heat. The steak is limp at first, but then fat starts to render and juices flow, dropping to the gas burner below and bringing the grill to life with spits of flame and smoke.

Mike Shropshire's not here. He hasn't been each time I come and ask the bartender if the man with a burger named after him, who used to write sports, still drinks at the bar. Turns out Shropshire is a daytime drinker these days, and he's still in often.

Back in the kitchen the knock knock knock of a heavy knife on a plastic cutting board signals my steak is done. The cook sprinkles the tiny, chewy morsels over a composed plate of nachos dressed in black beans and then adds cheese in excess, working on hot plate that's shoved in the oven. Minutes later they're ready.

Weekdays at the P are quiet, patronized by the regulars who keep the place afloat when the hotel across the street isn't full. Occupancy at the Stoneleigh Hotel is the best indicator for business to come at the Stoneleigh P on any given night. When the hotel is full, guests who want a drink at a watering hole that's a little more rustic than the polished brass of their hotel bar pour across the street and order cheap beer and whiskey and Cokes. Tonight the bar is filled with out-of-town football fans priming their weekend with Thursday night booze.

Weekends are always busy. The youthful uptown crowd descend en masse with starched button-down shirts and strappy heels, filling the tables and booths and gathering in a gaggle in front of the bar, changing the tone of the space from neighborhood haunt to trendy dive bar.

In the ninth inning, errant cheers signal a crowd that would prefer the Rangers play Detroit at home, versus the Yankees away. They've gotten their wish and I've gotten mine: a decent plate of nachos, an ice cold beer and a bar that doesn't suck, in walking distance from my home.

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Stoneleigh P

2926 Maple Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

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25 comments
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Chuck G.
Chuck G.

Looks like a bunch of rabbit pellets covered with jizz. I'll pass.

Scott Reitz
Scott Reitz

I wrote they used cheese in excess. They're fine. The Stoneleigh P is more about space and history than food. Comfortable like a dive bar without the grit.

Chuck G.
Chuck G.

Sounds similar to the Magic Time Machine. Cool ambiance and atmosphere--lousy food.

Scott Reitz
Scott Reitz

Not lousy. They were good, they're just not going to win any nacho awards.

Go eat em.  It's Friday and you shouldn't be at your desk at this time anyway.  Why am I at mine?

primi timpano
primi timpano

Very old school.  Used to be quite the happy hour destination.  Never did like the dark bread hamburger buns.  Pool tables, too.

Steve
Steve

Another reason to avoid the Stoneliegh P:  you're a dick.

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

And this is a lesson to all the bar owners out there. Places like this stay for decades

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

what is the lesson? dont serve bacon? or cater to douches?

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

Really? 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

thank you, I just didnt gather that from the story, I heard shropshire, trendy crowds, and young uptown boys with their starched shirts.  Sounded pretty non-diverse.  But you made your point

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

Decent bars serving honest food that have a diverse enough crowd to transcend "trendiness" and have long lives. Even if the food or service isn't perfect

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Is there Bud on tap or do we have to suffer with bottles?

therrick
therrick

If you're drinking Bud then you are suffering either way.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Why do you hate the econobuzz?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

shiner=shitty hangoverzeigen, notsomuch

and beer snobs piss me off,  they make me want to take pint glass across their forehead

Jim
Jim

Stella = Bud of BelgiumZiegenbach= fake Shiner Bock. Bud's answer to Shiner's popularity.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

nothing wrong with the econobuzz, I like to start with a couple of stellas or zeigenbach, then I switch ot bud light once the buzz kicks in

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