Sunday, January 9, 2011
Restaurants near Cowboys Stadium that don’t charge Super Bowl prices
We troll the Stadium vicinity for good, cheap vittles.
ARLINGTON Super Bowl attendees in search of a bite to eat can pay top dollar for the overpriced concession food inside Cowboys Stadium. Or, they can seek alternatives in the neighborhood. Lincoln Square to the West has chains like TGI Friday's as well as independent restaurants like Olenjack's Grille. The area to the south, near the University of Texas at Arlington, is a foodie paradise with dozens of ethnic mom-and-pops.
But this list considers the cluster of restaurants located on Collins Street, directly across from the Stadium itself -- theoretically within walking distance, or at the very least, in the stadium's sightlines.
Starting north and inching south:
- New Yorker Pizza, 1301 North Collins Street. Old-fashioned pizzeria sells broad, flat, thin-crust pizzas, including by-the-slice for $2.50. Crust is a little pale but it's a decent New York-style pie, and being able to get it by the slice makes it worth mentioning, stadium or not.
- Airways Burger, 1106 North Collins Street. Quaint little burger joint has an airplane theme, with a propeller tied to the front porch. The burgers are char-grilled -- a sign by the door advises that a charcoal grilled hamburger has "less fat" and "less cholesterol." Burger options were many, including hickory, chili, bacon, mushroom, green chile, even a veggie burger. Hot dogs come from Rudolph's Meat Market.
- Taco Loco, 930 North Collins Street. Sweet family spot has chipper staffers and a large menu with soft tacos, burritos, tortas, and good-looking gorditas. "We don't make it till you order it," proclaims the menu, and that's a fact. Air ordered a $1.25 lengua (tongue) taco; as if to prove it, the server, who wore glasses with very hip frames, warned it would take a few minutes to prepare. The tongue was chopped into cubes and sauteed until their edges were brown; they tasted like they'd been seasoned with garlic powder. A squeeze from the accompanying bottle of thin, pale orange hot sauce gave the meat a sweet, hot kick.
- Marquez Restaurant, 928 North Collins Street. Honduran-Salvadoran-Mexican restaurant has bright, fresh-scrubbed interior, excellent pupusas, and Regia beer from El Salvador. Air remarked that the blue walls with white contrasting white stripe looked like a Honduran flag. A flat-screen TV aired unobtrusively on one wall, while '80s pop songs like "Bette Davis Eyes" played at a volume that wasn't deafening but could not be ignored. A glass case beneath the cash register had jewelry and perfumes. There were plastic-coated photos of interesting combo plates, but we settled for a moist pupusa filled with bean and cheese, served with fermented cole slaw that was nice and zippy.
- Pitt Grill, 912 North Collins Street. Old-time coffee-shop has been there since the '60s, and it's possible that nothing has changed since. An older waitress with her bangs perfectly curled who's worked there since 1991 said that, while this Pitt Grill may have at one time been part of the Pitt Grill chain, it was no longer. It didn't matter; it had the classic 24-hour-diner vibe, with a bar and high stools, and a well-used hot grill backed by a wall of spic-n-span stainless steel. For $2.59, you could get a house-made cinnamon roll topped with lots of glaze, and a cup of coffee that was good, strong, and hot.
- Fish Bone Grill, 816 North Collins Street. Gulf seafood spot with cheery atmosphere and deep-fried fish platters. From the outside, it looks dark and possibly intimidating, but once you open the door, it's an oasis of light and bustling energy. The entryway is ringed with strings of white Christmas lights, and the walls are filled with framed photos, plastic fish sculptures, horse shoes, neon beer signs, ship's wheels, and porthole openings. Fried fish plates were loaded; the fish had a thick, shaggy crust, the fries were golden, and the beer was served in thick, frosted mugs.
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