Since When Did Great Food Have A Curfew?

Categories: Complaint Desk

Nova Four meat Pizza.jpg
There's got to be more to late night.
It started off as a simple idea. Go to a restaurant after 10 p.m. or so, order some food, consume it, and if it's good publish a Late Night Eats post about the place. The first three were actually just that simple. Then it got hard to find additional places. Really hard.

See also:
- Late-Night Eats: The Four Meat Pizza At Nova
- The Umami Burger is out and Poutine is in at Dish

We have a serious problem here: There is a dearth of late night dining in Dallas.

Let's take Buzz Brews, Café Express and your favorite diner off the list. I'm not talking about places that were designed to stay open around the clock. What I'm looking for are restaurants that serve good food after regular dinner hours and preferably late into the evening.

After looking at a ton of restaurants' hours, I've determined that 10 p.m. is the standard closing time for most restaurants during the week. Weekend hours extend an hour or so, but closing before midnight still seems a little stuffy to me. It's like Dallas' restaurants have a bedtime.

It's the customers that are imposing the curfew. If restaurants were full of diners at 10:30 on a Wednesday, the kitchens in these restaurants would undoubtedly stay open. The few that do stay open? Right now, they feel a little like a kid that's being allowed to stay up past bedtime. Maybe that's why the whole affair seems so sleepy.

I can't help but to think there's a better way. Picture this ...

Your favorite restaurant plays a game with their entry-level cooks. Every Friday and Saturday, the low men on the pole have to stay late and cook for a decidedly late night crowd. Imagine a cheese steak in the hands of Dean Fearing's staff, offered downtown at midnight. Or what about a twist on Buffalo chicken wings and gourmet banh mi sandwiches at one of Stephen Pyles'. Would it be a terrible thing if Tei-An stayed open till 2 in the morning and offered an after hours ramen bar?

Oak toyed with offering a late night menu. Their website claimed it was coming for months before management determined the neighborhood couldn't support it. Obviously location is important, but I can't help but think if one restaurant would strike out and do this, and also keep it interesting by changing up the menu on a regular basis, the industry crowd would come to eat. And customers who find themselves hungry after their weekend-evening activities might follow.




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11 comments
deep-sigh
deep-sigh

Midnight is the closing time for Park Tavern during the week and 2 am starting on Thursdays-Sat.  They roll up early on Sunday, 11 pm.  but it's a go to place when we're out late.

J_A_
J_A_

Zenna is open until 3AM every night.

David White
David White

Dan's in Lakewood was my favorite. RIP.

MarkusA
MarkusA

Yes, I am plagued by this from time to time. You're a bit hungry and wonder what's available other than fast food. It's tough, many times I just head home. I think Tim Rogers over at D Mag has written something similar. It certainly has some to do with Dallas' density, city-life, etc. etc. and we all know that plight.

But I will say that my time on the west coast also proved frustrating in late night eats as well. I'd say mostly outside of NYC and parts of LA, it's a problem. Chicago is surprisingly not that great, DC is pretty good as you prob know. Miami does have a decent bit of options with more of an international/european tinge. Midwest, Boston, Denver, other metro's just all lack late night food.

casiepierce
casiepierce

You think it's bad here? Try finding this in Minneapolis/St Paul. 10pm IS "late night" there...

Twinwillow
Twinwillow

Don't forget DaLat on Fitzhugh just east of 75. Great Pho till 2:00am EVERY day. 

ChrisYu
ChrisYu

thanks, but why not include weekdays? please keep us updated on your findings here. I work late, very much appreciate Snookies.

ChrisYu
ChrisYu

@stevelspence  wow, was just thinking the other day how I wished the Corner kept the kitchen open later, no kidding. I used to be a regular and will be stopping in again soon.

stevelspence
stevelspence

Chris, would love to meet you whenever you decide to stop by!  Make sure and ask for me or my wife Brandy so we can introduce ourselves and meet you.  Cheers and see you soon!

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