Neighborhood Services

I’m in love and I didn’t even have to consult Match.com.

When I first moved to Dallas I read quite about Neighborhood Services Tavern on Henderson but now that I am totally pretend to be in the know, I realize Neighborhood Services, the original is where true Dallas-ties go.

“The original” as it’s known to true fans opened in 2008 on Lovers Lane and boasts a hidden facade. I drove past this place three times before actually realizing that it wasn’t the antique store next to it that had a valet service after all.

After walking in I was really taken aback. I’m not sure what I expected but it surely wasn’t a dark room filled with servers decked out in the preppiest attire to be spotted outside of a polo match. It’s  114 degrees outside, are the cable knit sweater vests really necessary? Yes, yes they are because the staff looks adorable. Shout out to Kurt! (call me.)

Once seated I immediately noticed the great wine list. It was both unexpected and awesome. It gave me butterflies but, alas, I went with the Bees Knees cocktail because it seemed to have similar ingredients to the love of my life, the 87 ways from Tillman’s Roadhouse.  It was NOTHING like my precious.  I should have known ordering a cocktail was a terrible decision with a wine list like that.

Everything on Neighborhood Services menu looked delicious, especially the appetizers which I could have easily ordered one five of each of. Seeing the plates whiz by our table and gawking at the enormous portion size I was near black out and started to have the obligatory internal battle of starter vs. entrée.  Our sexy beast waiter told us that the “1015 Onion Rings” are made from onions planted only on October 15th of every year and they have a very distinct taste so if we were to get any appetizer we should go with them.  If by distinct you  mean fucking awesome then I’ll give them a whirl.

My party decided we probably didn’t need an appetizer. Well OF COURSE we didn’t need it, but we just had to try the “1015 Onion Rings.”  Fine, twist my arm. I love me some onion rings and use the hash tag #ineedonionringsinmymouth on Twitter all too often (not kidding).  When these babies came out I knew they were going to be good-they had a delicately thin crust and weren’t dripping with grease.  Even though the batter on the “1015 Onion Rings” was surprisingly flavorful on their own, two delicious dipping sauces accompanied them.  A rich thousand island-ish sauce as well as a lemon dill sauce added to the surprising delight.

We also started the meal off with “The Beet Salad” which was such a unique combination of ingredients, only a culinary magician could create this masterpiece.  The portion was a little small but with entrée sizes that I kept playing I spy with as they passed by, the light portion of salad was welcomed.  Fresh beets mixed with toasted pistachios, feta, field greens, carrots and citrus wedges made this salad more than crave-worthy.  It’s a delicious treat during this never-ending summer of ours, that I highly suggest to help you get out of your swamp ass slump.

At this point, my taste buds were already seizing but I knew had to power on and order up dinner.  What to get..what to get..I asked McSteamy Kurt if he had to decide between the lamb shoulder flat-bread and the seared ahi which he would choose and ahi was the winner.  Welp, win it did.  Let’s be honest, he could recommend a hot dog and I would have said yes but I was thankful to be eating real meat.  Alas, a ruby-red piece of seared Ahi showed up in front of me on a bed of wheat soba noodles and colorful slaw.  The fish was perfectly cooked and the slaw was made with fresh cabbage, bell peppers, cucumbers, juicy peaches and other tasty delights.  Everything was topped with a light Asian vinaigrette which completed the dish.  Thank you baby Jesus.

Something I love and hate about Neighborhood Services is the fact that they have a special “nightly plate.”  I love this idea because I’m always one for exclusivity and I feel like I am getting away with something naughty eating a dish that isn’t regularly on the menu.  However, I hate this idea because I went on a Wednesday and on Thursday they serve pot pie.  The good news is, Wednesday means “4th quarter Patty Melt” and luckily Marie Callender’s can hook a sista up with a frozen pot pie any day of the week.  My husband Our waiter, Kurt, explained to my table that the patty melt had been on vacation for some time but that there was such a high demand for it that they decided to bring it back.  Made famous by loyal patrons who happen to be Mavs season ticket holders who would always leave at the 4th quarter and head over to Neighborhood Services for a patty melt, this sandwich is out of control.  Piled high and ready for battle, the patty melt is loaded with onions and dripping with Swiss cheese.  Paired with deliciously seasoned crispy fries, its most definitely a blessing that this dish was brought out of retirement.  No wonder the “4th quarter Patty Melt” is only served once a week though, pretty sure there isn’t enough marble rye in Dallas county to supply the demand.

Last but not least, the Cleaver & Block Burger.  I have finally found some competition for my beloved In-N-Out and it came to me in a little room on Lover’s Lane.  Perhaps the reason I like this burger so much is that it tastes like a gourmet version of the burger I grew up on, secret sauce and all.  The flavors were on point and again the amazing fries accompanied this dish.  I would roll out of Uptown and more importantly, out of bed, just to have this burger in my presence. Magnifico!

As if life couldn’t get better at this point, in comes the “Butterscotch Pot De Crème.”  For being such, and I quote, ‘nice people,’ (words I don’t hear every day) Kurt pranced on over with this after dinner treat fo’ free.  He totally wants me.  Perhaps I was mesmerized with the creative presentation of this dessert – a jar placed on cut up Neighborhood Services menus from past seasons and wooden ice cream sticks that would help me destroy this thing; or, maybe it was the sugar coma the fluffy mousse-like creme gave induced me into?  Either way it was fantastic!  For those of you who have experienced See’s candy, it tastes like a melted down butterscotch lolli.  Although I despise this word there is only one way I can describe the “Butterscotch Pot De Crème,” and that is nom nom nom.

I can’t wait to try the Tavern and Grill but something tells me that there is no match for the original.  That is, unless Kurt is a triplet…

Peace, Love, Calories

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