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Friday, October 25, 2013
Dixie House (Dallas, TX)
There is no backstory here. I was hungry, and Dixie House has ribs on their menu. It's also fairly close to my apartment. After the miserably long day at work I'd just had, those were the only qualifications that needed to be met tonight.
Although once an independent restaurant, Dixie House has been acquired by Black Eyed Pea. It's still a quaint little neighborhood spot, but I think the atmosphere here is actually better than the rest of the chain. Dated and homely, but better.
Eating dinner alone is always a bit awkward for me, so I took a seat at the bar. The delightful octogenarian sitting next to me kept smiling at me in a really uncomfortable and flirtatious way, but her perm just didn't rev my engine. The bartender was very friendly and welcoming. She wrote my order down on a drink napkin, so I just had to cross my fingers and see what the end result would be.
I decided to start with a Southern-style appetizer of Fried Green Tomatoes. For my entree, there was only one thing on my mind: a half-rack of Baby Back Ribs. The ribs come with two sides, and I picked Onion Rings and Mac and Cheese.
Serving food on a bed of lettuce is so old school that it should be illegal. That being said, the tomatoes came out piping hot and straight from the fryer. The batter was crisp and had a good seasoning blend. My order came with both ranch dressing and a "spicy remoulade." The remoulade tasted like a basic tartar sauce with some extra spice mixed in, but it was decent enough.
I hadn't spent more than 5 minutes with my appetizer before the ribs arrived. I wasn't expecting five-star food from Dixie House, but I also wasn't expecting it to look quite this unappetizing either.
The onion rings weren't nearly as hot as the fried green tomatoes had been, but at least the batter was decently crisp. There wasn't really much flavor from the onions. Worst of all, they tasted a little like old grease. The mac and cheese was nothing more than an amorphous, flavorless glob of elbow macaroni and Velveeta. My wife made herself some Kraft mac and cheese for dinner earlier, and I guess I should have just stayed home and eaten that instead.
As for the ribs, they looked brown and lifeless on the plate, and I was quite certain they'd taste as bad as they looked. The menu listed the ribs as "fall off the bone" pork ribs. As promised, the overcooked meat took virtually no effort to separate from the rack. I didn't even need the serrated knife I'd been provided. The meat near the edges was extremely dry. There was no crust, no seasoning, and no smoke. In fact, the only flavors I found were from the sauce, and even that was most likely store-bought. I could have made better ribs at home using nothing more than an oven, a grill pan, and some salt and pepper.
The fried green tomatoes were the only thing about this meal I enjoyed. Well, that and the free cornbread. At least checking in on Yelp scored me a coupon for 20% off my order. I think my grandma would really like Dixie House, and I mean that in the most sincere way possible.
6400 Gaston Ave.
Dallas, TX 75214