Deep Ellum Could Use a Few More Restaurants

Rosemont Bar.jpg
Rosemont's bar was a nice place to sit before the Deep Ellum restaurant closed.
Occasionally, I'll get an email from a reader who mistakes me for a food expert and is willing to risk a meal out based on my recommendation. The worst question I'm asked is: "Where should I eat?" As if I could instantly divine what someone is in the mood for, the status of their bank accounts and how much free time they have.

Earlier this week, though, I was asked for a recommendation for a casual but nice dinner recommendation in Deep Ellum or Fair Park. I was stumped. And I'm not the only person who noticed the lack of restaurants in the 'hood. A recent story listing the best neighborhoods for foodies in Dallas glossed right over Deep Ellum.

Pepe and Mito's, Cane Rosso and Local are the only three restaurants in the neighborhood that are worth visiting on their own. And while Local has the fine dining front covered, the other two are very casual. Both offer a nice meal out, for sure, but they're hardly an event.

The remaining Deep Ellum restaurants might suffice if you're there and you're hungry, but they're not worth a trip on their own. It would be nice if some mid-tier restaurants could round out the offering. Something like Neighborhood Services, The Grape or Mesa -- a spot that's refined enough to get you to slow down and think about your meal but affordable enough to keep in your regular rotation.

Parking a car around Deep Ellum can be a full-blown bitch, but once you're situated it's one of Dallas' most walkable neighborhoods. Considering the nightlife -- it's certainly not lacking for spaces to grab a drink should you want to linger after dinner -- it's too bad there are not more places to dine.

The building the used to hold Tracy Miller's Rosemont is a beautiful spot. I wonder how long it will lie fallow?


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
39 comments
ChrisDangerShow
ChrisDangerShow

I moved out of Ellum last fall after a 1/2 decade+  living above All Good and Monicas, I always said that ellum needs more places than Breakfast/Burger/BBQ/Pizza Joints, I would've killed for a decent Chinese place that had dim sum on weekends and an all night ramen place to boot. I find it interesting I've found better choices in southern Denton co. than Dallas for Asian food.. Also, for ellum to grow, they're going to need to put in some actual businesses like grocery stores, laundromats and dry cleaners. 

SwingLow
SwingLow

I've been in Dallas off an on for 30 years, there's never been a need for more restaurants. They come and go. Honestly, I just visited some family in Houston and hadn't been there for a few years. Lots more greenspace down there than up here. Granted you have to deal with the copious sprawl. Deep Ellum and the rest of the city could use more open public park space. Look at San Fran, there's a park every few blocks. Lake in Austin, Herman Park in Houston. It helps pedestrians and opens things up. An example would be dragging a greenified trail all the way across deep ellum and up to White Rock lake on one side, and going through downtown and over to Katy trail on the other side. They are currently putting a trail along the drainage ditch in the Design District which will also connect to Katy Trl. If only we had a giant river with land for parks, right near downtown. Hmm.

kevinjmccarthy63
kevinjmccarthy63

Pizza Lounge by Fair Park is great.  The chef there makes some unexpected food.  You truly don't expect food this good for the looks of the place.  I great example of not judging by the appearance.  

vonhigh
vonhigh

i lived in Deep Ellum for almost 6 years, just left a few months ago.  i've seen dozens of DE restaurants come and go, and i couldn't agree with this article more.  i only moved 2+ miles away, yet Cane Rosso is the only one that i purposely make my way back for.  when they opened up a block away from me around Valentine's Day a couple years ago, i felt like it was Xmas.  i think Local is incredible but pricey.  Lemongrass and AllGood, thumbs up.  i've eaten at St. Pete's and Angry Dog who knows how many times.  good, yes.  great, absolutely not.  Uber's, Buzzbrew, Twisted Root?  once at each was more than enough.  seems like most people here are focusing on "meh" bar food.  place like that are a dime a dozen.  i think COA is here to inform and educate.  who needs help finding a mediocre burger?

evtonic3
evtonic3

This may not be the forum for this but I don't want anymore restaurants lets get free things we can all enjoy as a city. This article is totally what I'm talking about--great article. http://frontburner.dmagazine.com/2011/01/12/why-is-there-nothing-to-do-in-dallas-at-night/ I just went to Chicago for the first time and me and my wife fell in love with the cool factor of the entire city. We walked everywhere and Millennium Park was awesome and guess what we stumbled upon it! Wish we had stuff here like that. Love Dallas but we need more! 

PLEASE NO MORE RESTAURANTS


Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

Meanwhile.....WOЯK is currently working on thier second concept, PL∀Y.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

12 new bars and restaurants have opened or are opening in Deep Ellum.

For instance, try 'Work'.  It's upscale and hip.  It opened this week in the old Sambuca space.  

This writer should be sentenced to walking Elm, Main and Commerce until he expresses contrition for his ignorance.  

krysta.wirkala
krysta.wirkala

You want an event? Maracas provides plenty of entertainment with their live mariachi band and congo line on weekends - and their food and margaritas are pretty damn good as well. The "underground dinner" experience (another "event") at Frank has phenomenal reviews - unlike any other restaurant I have seen in the area. St. Pete's Dancing Marlin has one of the best tuna steaks you can get in a land locked city. You're also forgetting Angry Dog - which is 1 of 2 candidates left in the running for DFW's best burger: http://bit.ly/1058W8p I've never been to Frank but the reviews are phenomenal. Deep Ellum's Farmers Market is also home to Pecan Lodge, which just landed a spot (#9 to be precise) on the 100 Best Restaurants in Dallas. Sure, its not a sit down restaurant, but with a line that extends over an hour its clear they don't really need tables and waiters to supplement their food. All Good Cafe snuck in at #96 as well.

You can bash the "very casual" all you want, but casual is what Deep Ellum is. Don't try to make it something its not (cough cough Uptown).

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Get rid of the expressway (downtown section) and Deep Ellum would blossom into great entertainment area. 

romeolipschitz
romeolipschitz

The most useless article from City of Ate since the 4 Star review of Twinwillow's mother's tuna taco.

xdarkridex
xdarkridex

Ouch, big shot in the junk to The Freeman.  The food and service kicked ass the couple of times I was able to make it down there.  

Twinwillow
Twinwillow

There's nothing wrong with the food at Lemongrass. Actually, it's damned good. White tablecoths and all. Plus, they have their own free parking lot just across the street from their front door.

Anson
Anson

Want more restaurants in Deep Ellum? Go out and make a million or so dollars and open one.

freshbrisket
freshbrisket

Check out the new spot on Elm Street called WORK. Bar and Grill. They serve great lollipop chicken and have a nice selection of smoked meats! www.workdeepellum.com

JustSaying
JustSaying

Back in the day, me and my friends went to a few million concerts in deep ellum. We never wanted to eat big while we were there because who wants to be in a crowded club show and realize that you need to take a dump? We often grabbed some appetizers at St Pete's Dancing Marlin because it was so close to Deep Ellum Live and the Bomb Factory. I always meant to go down there one time for a real meal and just never did. The whole area just seemed like it wasn't worth the effort unless a concert or a tattoo was on the docket.

Matt Bardwell
Matt Bardwell

I agree. As someone who plays there on a frequent. Don't you think we have enough places for people to go gossip about their daily lives. That's part of the problem! Your taking people away from the music dives, and in turn fucking with the history that is Deep Ellum.

Jodi Gat
Jodi Gat

There r enough restaurants in DE, IMO

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Parking is the major problem, but not the only one. Deep Ellum failed when the crime rate rose and edgy teenie boppers (boys and girls) began to litter the sidewalks.

It was never a fine dining destination. It had the green room, deep Ellum cafe and Sambuca, but only the GR served table cloth worthy food.

Get rid of the all night meters, make the lots look accessible, safe and friendly, and finally, put some uniforms on the street and bouncers in the doors.

There used to be some great clubs down there. Even with the changes it will be a Sisyphean task bringing Deep Ellum back to its expired glory.

Cane, Allgood, and the rest are doing fine. Congrats to them and I bet they didn't get a nickels worth of tax abatement.

Vik Jasrotia
Vik Jasrotia

i dont really think the DE hipsters want those options. they are fine the way it is with simple dive bars and lounges. leave the fine cuisine for uptown and oak lawn

Jenna Myhre
Jenna Myhre

Uncle Uber's totally warrants a trip of its own. If I ever move out of Deep Ellum I will be driving down here weekly!!

Mervis_Earl
Mervis_Earl

When did the farmers market move to Deep Ellum?

1dailyreader
1dailyreader

@krysta.wirkala We drive from GP just to go to Angry Dog.  Scott doesn't know what he's talking about when he say's there are only 3 restaurants that are worth visiting on their own in Deep Ellum.  He did say he's not a food critic so you have to take that into consideration.  Of course, we all have our own preferences for food too. 

todd
todd

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Bullshit indeed.  Deep Ellum was, arguably, the hottest area in town in the late 80s - early 90s.    

EllumLiving
EllumLiving

@xdarkridex The food at Freeman is the problem... tried it a few times and it's far from N.O. cooking.

scott.reitz
scott.reitz moderator

@Twinwillow You're right about Lemongrass. I actually think the food is quite good and have eaten there a number of times. I haven't seen the dining room full in the evening once. Lunches on the other hand, have been packed.

monstruss
monstruss

@freshbrisket they need to WORK on their website. There doesn't seem to be a lot of information on there. 

ChrisDangerShow
ChrisDangerShow

@EllumLiving @xdarkridex Its because the owner is a bit of a pompous windbag..He needs to decide to either run his establishment or run for the Libertarian Party ticker for garbage inspector, man cannot serve two masters..

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...