Saturday, November 20, 2010
Photo gallery: Crossroads Diner, from chef Tom Fleming, opened Saturday on Walnut Hill
Signature item is the cinnamon sticky bun topped with chopped pecans.
DALLAS Crossroads Diner, the new not-so-fine-dining restaurant from chef Tom Fleming, opened on Saturday, serving breakfast and lunch and spotlighting its signature cinnamon bun.
Located in what was most previously a Chinese buffet but was once a Cantina Laredo, the restaurant is the new solo venture from Fleming, former chef at Central 214, Old Hickory Steak House, and The Riviera, among other places.
Fleming, who peeked out from the kitchen on Saturday morning to greet the steady trickle of diners, said that he'd wanted to do his own place for years but wasn't interested in doing another fine-dining place.
For now the restaurant is serving breakfast and lunch, with dinner hours planned for later in the month.
For lunch, there were sandwiches, soups, and salads. The table next to mine all got sandwiches -- corned beef & Swiss, curried chicken salad, "My Mom's" egg salad -- served on good-looking bread from Empire Baking Co. with house-made potato chips.
For breakfast, there were two kinds of hash -- beef and smoked pork -- plus eggs benedict, steel-cut oatmeal, house-made granola, Greek yogurt, and a whole section of frittatas.
The cinnamon sticky bun is definitely the talker; Fleming's wife said it was inspired by the one served at Ann Sather, a breakfast place they frequented when they lived in Chicago. This one was almost too much for one person, with plenty of good buttery cinnamon glaze drizzled over the top and a sprinkling of chopped pecans.
The smoked pork hash consisted of pork mixed with hash-brown potatoes; it's served with eggs, choice of toast or pancakes, and a side of enjoyably incendiary green chile salsa.
Prices seemed a teensy bit high, with the cinnamon bun coming in at $4.25 and a cup of coffee for $2.75. However, the coffee was served in a handsome Illy cup; it was very good, strong coffee, possibly artisanal coffee; and you got refills. Still, $2.75, a bit steep. $2.25 might make a better impression. Or $2.05.
Fleming has done a nice job remodeling the place with spic-and-span white tile, nifty kitchen-utensil wall sconces, and a colorful mural of the Dallas skyline by artist Randy Stark. On Saturday morning, Stark could be seen adding the finishing touches to another painting on the restaurant's exterior, one that touted the above-mentioned sticky bun.
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