The beauty of Dallas, and of any city really, is the inevitably of the urban cycles. I won’t go into the economic development of it all, but just know that Uptown Dallas has not always been what it is today. And Deep Ellum is no different.
The area that was once the epicenter of music and nightlife in Dallas in the early 80s is back with vengeance, and Texas Tapas is the latest addition to the Deep Ellum party.
Located next to the Prophet Bar, Texas Tapas serves some of your favorite foods, but in small plates. Everything from tacos to burgers to calamari is served in small portions making it the perfect late-night snack, devoured by your friends after a fun night on Elm, or if you’re me, chump on after a long week at work.
We decided to choose a variety of foods for our sampling because calories don’t matter on the weekends. Our dinner started with the Deep Ellum Fried Ribeye served with gravy and an egg.
Is there anything more Texan than a chicken fried ribeye steak? I think not. Sometimes, chicken fried steak is little pieces of tough meat buried underneath a big salty blanket of batter. Not the case at Texas Tapas. Battered to perfection, this steak was full of flavor and incredibly tender. Each bite had a little bit of steak, egg and gravy and made my mouth happy.
Prophet Bar owner Russell Hobbs created Texas Tapas so that patrons attending shows at the neighboring bar would have something to nibble on. He previously served quesadillas and burgers, but wanted to add some items to the menu that would stick to your ribs.
After the steak, we attempted to come down from our food high for the Calamari Texas Style served with a Texas jalapeno jelly and Deep Eddy vodka. My dining companion is a self-proclaimed conosseuir of calamari and always orders if he sees it on a menu. This by far was his favorite, and I would have to agree. Like the steak mentioned above, the calamari was meaty accompanied by a slight crunch from the crispy coating. And the Deep Eddy vodka glaze was the icing on the top! The only thing I missed from this dish was the calamari tentacles, but apparently most people don’t like those anyways, so I’m really just a minority.
And then there was the star of the show. The item that everyone buzzing about Texas Tapas – the waffle burger.
It is exactly what it sounds like. A hamburger patty, topped with a fried egg and cheese and then sandwiched in between two waffles. Oh, and then I pour syrup on top because that’s what you put on waffles, syrup.
If eating this is wrong – and it probably is for my waist – I don’t want to be right.
There are some things one eats that makes you do a double take. This burger is so sinfully delicious, the perfect combination of savory and sweet; the ultimate in comfort food. There’s nothing more I can say besides go try it for yourself.
We also had the opportunity to sample two different types of tacos. Out of all the dishes I tried, this was my least favorite. All of the other dishes were so unique and flavorful but these tacos didn’t have the same impact. For many, tacos are their go-to late night snack, so they may enjoy it more.
Deep Ellum has come a long way in the last 10 years, and it’s good to meet people like Hobbs who appreciate the uniqueness of the neighborhood and what it provides to Dallasites. It’s not like any other sector in the city. The restaurants, bars and music spots understand their role in Dallas and have attracted a new clientele that doesn’t mind kicking back listening to music and drinking a beer from a local brewery.
Texas Tapas embodies that spirit. It’s simple, but delicious menu is the perfect end to a night in Deep Ellum.
Disclaimer: My meal was complimentary, but all thoughts are my own.