It’s so hard to talk about a place that is brand new. It’s not just that it’s my first impression of the place. It’s everyone’s first impression because it didn’t exist until a week or two ago. It will probably be a totally different bar by the end of the year.
We showed up at The Whistling Pig on Mother’s Day shortly after noon. Understandably, the place was not packed. The first pleasant surprise was that, despite the glass exterior walls, it was not brightly lit. You’re not supposed to feel like you’re in shopping center even if you are in a shopping center. The brunch menu was not available yet but they were offering $2 Mimosas and $5 Bloody Marys. That was the second nice surprise.
Asher Stevens from Cock & Bull is the chef at this new pub. So, we decided to have lunch. We started with Pulled Pork Fried Jalapenos ($9). Packed full of flavor. Meaty to the max and hotter than hell. If I ate all five of those myself I would have had to skip the sandwich. They are a substantial snack.
The house-made pulled pork, which showed up again on the Cuban sandwich ($14), was moist and tender. Very good. Along with ham, baby Swiss and thinly sliced dill pickles, the sandwich was pressed, toasted and “melty”, just as described. We opted for “Texas Toothpicks” instead of fries. Strips of onion and jalapeno were battered and deep fried. Excellent and only mildly spicy.
It makes it worth the 15+ years we lived here with no decent pubs and only chain restaurants to see this kind of new life in East Dallas. We will be visiting again soon, I’m sure. Great to meet you, Pig!
Do you want a late burger and a beer? Or maybe a whiskey drink? You want to watch a game? Hang out with a crowd that is generally over 30? How ’bout no cell phones at the bar? Go to Bailey’s 1st and 10. It’s in a shopping center on Mockingbird at Abrams. Go hungry. The “skinny burger” is a mere 7 ounces. Seems like nothing, compared to the regular burger which is 12 ounces. Still, not very skinny. The fries are different. They’re sliced like someone was about to make a potato gratin but decided to throw the potatoes in the deep fryer instead. We like ours with a side of ranch. Don’t ask me how much the burgers cost because there are no prices on the menu. They’ll tell you if you ask. But, since I go there to eat a burger it doesn’t really matter what they cost because I’m going to eat one anyway. Our total bill is always within the reasonable range. It is not so much the food, but the fact that it’s a low key, neighborhood bar that keeps us coming back. Not a dive. But, nothing fancy. It’s not a hip place. I wouldn’t be surprised to see my grandpa at the bar yuckin’ it up with some buddies. You definitely feel like you’ve left Mockingbird Avenue as soon as the door closes behind you. Just remember that bit about cell phones not being allowed at the bar. ‘Cause they’re not kidding.
It’s funny how you forget to mention a place that you go to all the time. Capitol Pub on Henderson has become a regular spot for us on Sunday afternoons. Ciudad was always our go-to place for brunch. How can you argue with $1 Margaritas and fabulous food? Sadly, it closed. Monica’s Aca y Alla has $1 Margaritas and Monica. Sadly, it does not have Ciudad’s food. I’m not saying Monica’s Aca y Alla is bad. Their brunch just can’t touch what Ciudad used to produce. Monica’s is better for dinner. So, even though we have to pay for our drinks, we’ve been hitting Capitol Pub.
First of all, it has a great beer menu. $4 Mojitos & Bloody Marys, $12 bottomless Mimosas during brunch. The drink menu is a lot of fun and huge. The service is good and usually interesting to look at, due to the abundance of tattoos and beautiful people. Pretty amazing this last Sunday. It’s fun to just sit and pass the time over a couple of beers. We arrived starving. I ordered the Eggs Benedict and a side of bacon. Hub and our friend, Welch, ordered the Steak and Eggs, a steal at $10.50. Eggs, the way you want them, breakfast potatoes and an 8 ounce hanger steak. Major breakfast. Hub and Welch woofed it down. My Eggs Benedict was presented with two perfectly poached eggs, great sauce, thinly sliced Candian bacon over fresh English muffins, breakfast potatoes and about 5 pieces of crunchy, crisp bacon. I didn’t even ask how much the side of bacon cost. I had to have it.
We’ve been for burgers, too. Big and juicy with terrific fries. I think I enjoy the burgers there more than Hub because he accidently got the Cotswold cheese once and didn’t like it. It leans to the blue side of cheese in flavor. You know how that stuff can be when it’s just the tad bit over-ripe? I think he had that kind of experience. I have not, though, and always liked the Cotswold. They’ve also got a nice turkey sandwich with brie. I’m a little thrown off by the color of the cranberry mayo. But, the flavor is good and I got a killer cup of tomato soup. I always hesitate to order soup in a bar because there’s nothing worse than bad, canned soup. If that soup came out of a can I’d be stunned. I wish my homemade tomato soup was that good. Just a bit spicy and real vegetables. I also consider it a bonus to have the choice of fries, soup or salad with a sandwich or burger. Generally, in a pub, it’s hard to find any healthy choices. I’m thinking there’s a real chef back there. Not just some guy flipping burgers. Too many good things went into this menu and everything I’ve eaten at Capitol Pub to call it simply “bar food”.
Capitol Pub has a pizza menu and other main courses, too. I’m barely scraping the surface because it’s usually where I want to go for breakfast or a burger. You should go. I will warn that I’ve heard it’s smoky inside at night during the chillier months. We have only gone recently and the doors have always been open, keeping it well venilated. Plus, most people want to sit outside on the patio when it’s nice. If it gets a little cool they light a fire in the wood-buring fireplace at the end of the patio.
I like it.