Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Goodfriend in East Dallas adds new burgers and sandwiches to menu
There's no harm in trying new things when you're with good friends.
DALLAS Tattoo sleeves and burly beards might not be what first comes to mind when one thinks of hotshot Dallas restaurateurs, but Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House’s owners Matt Tobin and Josh Yingling don't fit the mold. The same should be said for Goodfriend, which just celebrated its first anniversary and announced new additions to the highly-praised menu.
The new dishes are a bit brazen and some might say even risky; few casual joints in town offer similar selections. But, that’s the beauty of it. Goodfriend is rustic and industrial, but not without its luxurious charms. It’s a “session beer on the patio” spot as much as it is appropriate for a date with a sexy beer snob. Perhaps when it comes to a “burger house,” you weren’t expecting the Fez Mezza: hummus with escalivada, goat cheese, and pita chips. And, no, you aren't the only one wondering what escalivada is. (Grilled veggies.)
See, Tobin and Yingling are beer guys. They know hops and barley. Aside from sporting two of the best beards in Dallas, they’ve also bolstered the Dallas beer movement and created a rabid cult following at both Goodfriend and Vickery Park – which Tobin also owns, and where Yingling cut his teeth as manager – simply by being nice guys who drink beer. Hence the name.
But, when it comes to the menu, they’ve long-partnered with Good 2 Go Taco’s Jeana Johnson and Colleen O’Hare.
“We absolutely let them go wild,” Tobin said about their involvement with the menu. “They run ideas past us, but that’s about it as far as our involvement goes. That’s why we went into business with them – they are good at what they do, and we completely trust them.”
A few of those new ideas are fried pickles; the Bat Out of Hell sandwich with Sriracha-glazed meatloaf and smashed potatoes on challah; the Bird is the Word sandwich with grilled chicken, glazed pears, brie, and arugula; and the Schnitzengrueben, a beef burger with sauerkraut, house thousand island, and fried pickles.
Some things never change, like the gut-busting The P.L.O.T., a beef burger topped with horseradish pickles, lettuce, onion, and white cheddar; The Coop, a beef burger with lettuce, tomato, grilled bacon, brie, and slathered with a sunny side up egg; or, the Pepper Bomb, a combustible beef burger with harissa, roasted tomatoes, lettuce, and chipotle cheddar. Those items remain on the menu.
While some business owners might fear change, Tobin and Yingling are optimistic that the new dishes will reach out to Goodfriend’s established clientele. “It’s our hope that our regulars latch on to everything,” Tobin said. “We want them to come in multiple days of the week and get something different each time.”
The changes seemingly bring in the new while celebrating the established -- playing up the “low” in a high-brow way. There was nothing wrong with the menu as it was. But it’s exciting to try new things, especially when you’re with good friends.
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