15 Places to Spill Food On Your Beard During 35 Denton
At its inception, the 35 Denton music festival was simply North Texas' answer to Austin's
famous shitshow, South by Southwest. In its third year, 35 Denton has become a legitimate music showcase, pulling names like Big Boi, The Flaming Lips and Mavis Staples into its funky little downtown square. The powers that be (some dudes with beards) have put together another righteous lineup for 2012 featuring Built to Spill, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Bun B and Devin the Dude, among hundreds of others. What you may not know about Little D is how easy it is to find good food and cheap booze. The fest is pulling into town on Thursday and will be sleeping its dirty ass on my couch until the 11th, so if you're planning to come get your ears fed, make sure to stumble into these fine establishments (and plenty of others that aren't listed but are just as loved) and get your belly fed too. Shoes optional.
600 North Locust St.
The food here is oh so Denton and 1,000 kinds of delicious. The bar is equally as impressive, offering monthly specials catering to the season. They have an awesome vegetarian menu, and the appetizer options make for mad decent bar food. Try the pulled pork sliders, and then try them again. And again. If you can shove more food into your body, get the chicken Monterrey sandwich, the lamb burger, the fish tacos or any one of their super fresh salads. Don't leave without having the lemon-sage custard. The atmosphere is great and their recently renovated outdoor patio is the one of the city's best places to have an ice-cold beer and watch Denton happen.
113 Industrial St.
Get the Rooster Tails and then find a good Realtor because you will want to move to Denton and eat these everyday. Beer-battered chunks of sweet onion will float to your table on their own accord (because they are made of magic and dreams) and are served with something called Cockeyed Sauce, which you will want buy a quart of before you go back to your crappy apartment in Dallas that doesn't have a Rooster's next to it. Eat nine baskets of these and then get the pulled pork nachos, smoked garlic jalapeño bacon cheddar burger, or the big ass grilled cheese double burger. It has two grilled cheese sandwiches instead of buns and cradles a meat fest (to which you should add bacon) that will blow your mind. And then your aorta. Or, if you're in for a challenge, get a Hell Burger. Don't let the requisite signed waiver fool you, it's not ... um ... that hot.
1020 Dallas Drive
Dedicate at least one day to getting up early and putting your name on the list for some Oldwest Cafe breakfast. The good news, you can go back to sleep immediately after you're done because you won't have any other choice. The biscuits and gravy are downright perfect, the pancakes are the size of a tire, and the omelets are fluffy and full of fresh, delicious things. They also have oatmeal, but like, don't be that guy.
603 N. Locust St.
If any place in Denton can go up against the biscuits and gravy at Oldwest, it's Loco Cafe (across the street from Greenhouse). Their breakfast items rival anything in Dallas and their simple, local approach to food makes every item shine. They also boast a huge tea and coffee bar. Get the breakfast tacos or the ham and cheese sandwich. Or both. Get them both. And a biscuit. Oh, the biscuits ....
500 N. Elm St.
If you have a thick wad of cash laying around that you can part with, there is no better place to let it go than at Keiichi. Chef Kei is a classically trained, unbelievably talented chef from Japan whose specialties include what could possibly be the freshest, most dynamically flavorful sushi in Texas (or the globe). Also up for eats? Deeply authentic, stunningly savory Italian dishes. Wait, what? Trust me, this place will be one of the greatest experiences of your culinary travels. Just go read some of the reviews on the interwebs and try to deny your curiosity for trying world-class fare in a tiny brown building in a creepy parking lot in Denton. You're welcome.
Taco Lady (Behind the Laundromat)
1101 E. McKinney St.
Yes, that's the official name of this taco mecca down the street from City Hall. You can pay your speeding ticket and electric bill, then get an authentic street taco all on the same block. Taco Lady has fresh and flavor-crazy carne guisada and some seriously hearty breakfast tacos. It's a small, simple place with a handful of chairs and nothing special on the walls, but who needs fancy decor when there are tacos to be inhaled? And inhale them you should, and fast, Taco lady closes at 3 p.m. Cry tears.
You know that feeling when you must have tempura anything? Like a tempura shoelace would be acceptable as long as it's hot and crispy? Mr. Chopsticks can help you. They have classic Chinese dishes, a great sushi selection, a ridiculously huge sake menu, incredible appetizers and one of my favorite atmospheres in Denton. Their quasi-new location on Scripture has an elevated patio with a decent view and the servers are super friendly and bring cheap alcohol and bowls of delicious, spicy, shrimpy tom yum goong soup. This stuff ... it cures things.