Before fine dining, most Americans were forced to survive entirely on convenience-store fare such as sticks of gum, frozen burritos, and lottery tickets. Treat tummies to substantial eats with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of upscale American fare at Cretia's on McKinney.
Satisfying bellies for more than 20 years, Cretia's dishes up contemporary flavors through its balance of upscale bar bites and classic comfort fare. Snack on handmade dishes such as loaded fries smothered in cheddar, jalapeños, bacon, and sour cream ($8), or elegantly sup on P.E.I. mussels steamed in a jalapeño, white wine, garlic, and mushroom broth ($11). Fresh pastas, such as blackened trout linguine, happily swim within a lemon-crab beurre blanc ($13), and the 9-ounce ground-sirloin burger lounges under a pillowy homemade rosemary bun ($9). Italian accents come standard with the quattro formaggi flatbread pizza delicately dressed in olive oil and a charming quartet of asiago, fontina, parmesan, and ricotta ($9 for a 9", $15 for a 14").
Diners can taunt gourmet-honing birds and passersby by taking advantage of Cretia's ample outdoor patio seating. DJs and live bands serve up late-night beats, eliminating the need for guests to bring along a boom box blaring mash-ups of morning traffic reports.