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This recently opened Henderson Avenue hot spot may look a lot like the original Austin location, but the designers of the Dallas branch of the "Feel Good Lounge" went with a more polished, less rock-and-roll feel that’s appropriately Dallas. The interior has the feel of a place to kick back, compatible with enjoying its top-shelf cocktails, like the sangria or the Hemingway, and chef de cuisine Bobby Weddle's casual grub. Customers can retire to either a leather couch inside or a plush banquette on the patio. They do so mostly for brunch, when the menu is long on traditional offerings -- eggs Benedict, migas, Bloody Mary. Fancy tacos, named by year, are also available. The "1993" taco includes scrambled eggs with sautéed portobello mushrooms, arugula, shallots and sun-dried tomatoes with goat cheese. The bar’s happy hour offers $1 off all drinks, 25 percent discounts on bottles of wine and half off select sharing plates, like pitas and hummus or the tasty fried macaroni-and-cheese balls.
Today was Texas Independence Day, and J. Black's was having a small shindig to celebrate the occasion. In celebration of this most holiest of holidays, J. Black's had live Texas country and classic rock music courtesy of the Texas Pearl Band. These guys looked way past their prime, but they could still rock out.
Today only, they had Texas beer specials and reduced-price Texas appetizers. My wife and I decided to share an order of the Texas Sliders, as well as an order of Pulled Pork Sliders. On the side, we got hand-cut fries and homemade chips.
The Pulled Pork Sliders were tender without being overly stringy. Their barbecue sauce was a pleasant combination of sweet and tangy. I was also glad that there was just enough sauce to act as a condiment, but it wasn't dripping down the sides. The coleslaw also added a nice crunch to the tenderness of the pork.
The Texas Sliders had a great char from the grill, which gave them a decent crust on the outside while still remaining tender and moist on the inside. I generally eat my hamburgers sans vegetables, but the pickles worked well here.
As for our sides, they fell a little short. The homemade chips were thin and crispy and had a great taste. However, they had almost no salt whatsoever. The fries were pretty much the same: tasty, no salt.
When I checked into J. Black's on Yelp, I got an offer for a free bumper sticker. Our waiter wasn't very attentive, which was surprising since there were only 7 tables of customers in the entire place. When it was time to pay the check, I showed my Yelp coupon to the manager, and our waiter suddenly started paying more attention to us. Go figure.
All in all, I was pretty pleased with J. Black's. Even though the service was a bit lacking, the food was terrific. This was a great way to celebrate the day. Happy Birthday, Texas. Happy Birthday.
Read my full review, complete with pictures:
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ejack81 - I've noticed you have been posting in quite a few places about "racism" at J. Blacks... please consider this...
Does racist = dress code? If so, I think your comment needs to be reevaluated. Many places in Dallas have a dress code and the fact that J. Blacks is now enforcing one is causing quite the stir. Learn the code and evaluate your compliance with the code and possibly racism isn't the answer. That's a pretty huge card to play and a very sweeping accusation. I'm sure J. Blacks would more than welcome you if you understand the dress code and comply. Generally business don't turn you away in America unless they have a very good reason.
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