Saturday, March 2, 2013
J. Black's Feel Good Kitchen & Lounge (Dallas, TX)
Today was Texas Independence Day, and J. Black's was having a small shindig to celebrate the occasion.
The artwork inside J. Black's is a little odd, but definitely not stuffy or boring. Their leather, backed barstools are surprisingly comfy, and there are also booths if you prefer. Outside, you'll find picnic table seating on the pet-friendly patio. It was a little too cold to be sitting outside today, but I made sure to make a mental note for the future.
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. Their Texas flag dress shirts were a nice touch too.
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.
I started with the pulled pork, while my wife chowed down on the burgers. The Pulled Pork Sliders are loaded with slow-roasted pork, barbecue sauce, and coleslaw.
The pulled pork was 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 pulled pork certainly wasn't smoked, but it was flavorful nonetheless.
Pulled pork thoroughly sampled, I moved on to the Texas Sliders. The menu lists these as "Texas Wagyu beef, white cheddar, pickles, dijon, and ketchup".
The 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. The acidity from the pickles and the dijon mustard was a nice contrast from the sweetness in the pulled pork.
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. I appreciate their concern for my sodium intake, but I'm more concerned with my flavor intake.
When I checked into J. Black's on Yelp, I got an offer for a free bumper sticker. Much as it embarrassed my wife, I was determined to get my free gift. Our waiter wasn't very attentive, which was surprising since there were only 7 tables of customers in the entire place. I showed him my coupon right when we ordered, and he said he would have to ask someone about it. We didn't hear anything more about the elusive bumper sticker after that. 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.
J. Black's Feel Good Kitchen & Lounge
2409 N. Henderson Ave.
Dallas, TX 75206