The aroma of slow-cooked ribs and ground sirloin sizzling on the grill circulates up through Tierney’s Café & Tavern’s storied structure, which dates back to 1885. First built by Dr. J.W. Kennedy, rumored kidnapping victim and physician to Bonnie and Clyde, the building has seen its fair share of visitors, first as a private residence, then as a restaurant and antique mall. In the East and West dining rooms, patrons tuck into homestyle platters loaded with hot turkey or meatloaf amid the building’s original 120-year-old cedar planks. Outside, a patio dotted with umbrellas hosts gatherings that get under way with the help of a full bar and live music.
The smell of fried catfish and laughter of customers didn’t always fill Memphis Catfish’s cozy eatery. In fact, the Frisco joint almost never opened, since the owners faced a slew of problems early in the southern food eatery’s inception. But what seemed like a curse eventually turned into a blessing as locals in the community rallied together, donating a stove and deep fryer as well as funds. This display of kindness fueled the owners to follow through with their dream restaurant, which now serves affordable and authentic southern cousine.
Retaining an atmosphere reminiscent of “Big Momma’s kitchen,” both of Memphis Catfish’s restaurants allow diners to slow down and unwind as they dig into hearty Southern eats that range from house-made hush puppies and candied yams to US-bred catfish fried in gluten-free oil. Though catfish and butterfly shrimp are the stars of the menu—served in everything from po’ boys and tacos to baskets filled with fries—the chefs also grill hot links and sausages shipped from Memphis.
Chef Nordeen Bennai believes in the value of homemade food. During his childhood growing up in a traditional bakery, the chef learned that people will come when the food is good and the price is right. From the kitchen at the Korner Cafe, Chef Bennai whips up breakfasts, lunches, and dinners in savory and sweet permutations, such as homemade rum raisin bread pudding, coconut shrimp, and grits with gruyere cheese stirred right in. In the café, guests can gaze through the windows and across the street to the high school in Lewisville, or make room under their tables to harbor fugitives from English class.
Whoever said everything was bigger in Texas must have been referring to Fred and Dianne McDonald's company vision. As Fred says, they “put a lot of L-U-V” into barbecue that they hope will one day reign as the best in the state. It's on its way—the barbecue is so painstakingly produced that many customers don't need to sauce it, and instead sop up the eatery's tangy, housemade marinade with bread or use it to paint the faces of children sleeping at nearby tables. Aside from the ribs, pulled pork, and preservative-free sausage the McDonalds smoke over Texas wood, Fred ignites palates with tamales his grandfather taught him to make while growing up in the southern part of the state. On Friday nights, live blues musicians—featuring house band Kenny Strauther and Second Hand Smoke— take to a stage that has been graced by Jimmy “Preacher” Ellis and a former member of The Gap Band, both of whom, according to NBC DFW 5, also stuck around to nosh on the restaurant's eats.
A lengthy lineup of traditional game-day fare and a sports atmosphere captivate fans at Fox and Hound - Bailey's, where the kitchen remains open as late as its neighboring fully stocked bar. Chefs cook until the wee hours of the morning and always until the bar closes, baking Bavarian pretzel starters, crafting towers of onion rings, and preparing hand-battered chicken tenders that are cooked until they are golden brown. They blend their own seasonings to sprinkle over grilled-to-order burgers, and draw from a diverse roster of cheeses and toppings to crown their wood-oven-inspired flatbreads.
While manning the bars, bartenders tap into a stash of libations, such as UV Whipped vodka and Patron Silver tequila, to mix their specialty cocktails. To further foster a sporting ambiance, high-definition TVs glow with sports games and custom music-video playlists, and guests partake in pastimes of ump bashing, billiards, or competitive people watching.