Stephan Pyles Says Goodbye to Samar and Hello to More Boring

Categories: Complaint Desk

Thumbnail image for Samar Shawarma Pita .JPG
We hardly even knew you.
Well this sucks.

It hasn't even been a year since I wrote about the temporary closure of Samar and its potential impact on the sandwich scene here in Dallas. Samar earned four stars in the Dallas Morning News, and it was arguably one of owner Stephan Pyles' most exciting restaurants. The menu gathered flavors from India to the Middle East, brought them together and made them sing. It was good stuff, and you didn't have to drive to Richardson to eat it.

If you are a sandwich lover, the best item on the menu was the shawarma, but only if you ordered it made with bread fresh out of the kitchen's oven. For whatever reason the kitchen typically made sandwiches with bread shipped in from a bakery, even though an oven behind the bar turned out fresh baked rounds for table snacking by the minute. Still, if you asked they were happy to switch the bread out for you. Hooray sandwich.

So last May when the closure of Samar was announced, I tried to warn people: "Get your shawarma while you still can." I even pounded the keys while I typed it. Even though Samar was to reopen after the significant renovation, Pyles admitted he planned to change the menu. I feared this could be it for the shawarma for good.

And of course, yesterday Pyles announced that he's not just going to retool the menu, but he's building an entirely new Latin American restaurant instead. There are tandoors in Peru so... so long shawarma.

It gets worse.

Pyles said "some people" thought Samar was a little too exotic, according to the Dallas Morning News, and that despite his love for Samar and its niche following, it just wasn't making enough money. He hopes the new restaurant San Salvaje will appeal to a wider audience. Or as he puts it even more succinctly, "I don't want a $1.5 million restaurant, I want a $2.5 million restaurant."

Translation: Plyles wants the new place to cater to "some people."

Whoever these people are, they don't exactly sound like adventurous eaters. And that makes it a little harder for me to get excited about Pyles' upcoming San Salvaje. You can expect tacos, empanadas, ceviches and fresh tortillas, according to the News. But please, don't expect anything too exotic.

Location Info

Samar by Stephan Pyles - CLOSED

2100 Ross Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant


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31 comments
mremanne
mremanne

Clearly those "some people" will have not-so-exotic tastes in food and extremely exotic bank accounts. 


BTW, how do you pronounce "San Salvaje"? I keep wanting to say "Sam's Salvage". Close?

bill.holston1
bill.holston1

one of the go to places for my wife and I. I loved the fact that it drew from India, Spain, Lebanon for its influences. Good wine list, great service. Very disappointed. 

alexmolayem
alexmolayem

Expensive Food in Dallas + Nothing New + Weak Location + High Overhead = FAIL 

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

"Too exotic" WTF -  Guess the majority of the Opera, DTC, Symphony crowd was looking for something closer to a Swanson frozen dinner to feel safe.


Samar used to be a regular stop for us - So disappointing

JoeCheez
JoeCheez

One can only hope that the menu will offer queso and a "combination platter #4".

Guest
Guest

Pyles food has gotten stale and dated - you can tell by the average age of his diners. It looks like a Luby's. Samar was my favorite restaurant by him. I office across from his main restaurant and everyone groans when anyone suggests a dinner there - if I have to eat another one of those strange mealy cesar salads and another chunk of meat with shit piled on top of it I'm gonna barf. Stampede 66 is bizarre and poorly executed.

dfw_maverick
dfw_maverick

This is an awfully negative opinion piece on a restaurant that hasn't even opened yet.  I will wait until I can try it before I form an opinion.

meebles
meebles

Bread shipped from a bakery? I'm glad you got all the inside deets, bro bc that is by far false as all hell

gm0622
gm0622

Such a shame; such a shame.

Place that serves decent and good food, doesn't make it in Dallas?

Who woulda figured that most Dallasits would prefer to eat garbage?


There is always taco hell


tb00
tb00

That is too bad. I loved Samar. And I used that shawarma bread trick often, thanks to you Scott.

Greg820
Greg820

Samar was a fabulous place.  While I fully appreciate the economic decision, we NEED places like it rather than just another mexican restaurant.

Twinwillow
Twinwillow

Oh, boy! Dallas finally gets a Mexican restaurant! Now, that's news!

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Wow!  Another taco restaurant.  I'm so excited I could plotz...

J_A_
J_A_

@Guest  LOL I use to work near his namesake restaurant and everyone would groan when a corporate lunch was suggested there.

scott.reitz
scott.reitz moderator

@meebles  The restaurant used two breads. Not all of it was baked in house.

Twinwillow
Twinwillow

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz  I don't understand Mr. Pyles.

I'd been to Samar at least a dozen times. Not only did I find all the food unique and delicious, Samar was packed with diners every time I was there.

chefnotpyles
chefnotpyles

@JaniceA  lunch is a total loss leader, just prep time for dinner. If dinner is slow, lunch is pointless.

J_A_
J_A_

I use to work across the street and it was always packed here during lunch.

Twinwillow
Twinwillow

@scott.reitz @Twinwillow @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz  Does Stephan think that cheap Mexican food will earn him another one million dollars?

I suppose we can now expect an order of steak fajitas to cost $22.00 and a top shelf Margarita will set you back $15.00! 

I wonder how much extra $ chips and salsa will cost. 

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