So, us Dallasites seem to forget about the West End from time to time. Luckily, a friend was in town for work and we decided to take a little jaunt into the historic district to enjoy a couple cocktails and Endless Appetizers at TGI Friday’s with a third buddy. Parking was easy at the meters, which is usually what us non-Downtowners see as the turn off for venturing into the one-way-street nightmare that can be navigating Downtown Dallas. (Just make sure to set your phone’s timer so you don’t get a ticket! That $25 slip of death can really ruin a happy hour.)
During the happy hour (which got even happier after each drink), we got into some Jackberry Smashes, Peach Honey Smashes, Hendrick’s Coolers, regular ole’ Captain and Cokes, and more. (Way more.) Since it was happy hour and Endless Apps were still in full effect, I decided to treat. Three+ cocktails each, appetizers, and the epic Oreo Madness later “baller” status was achieved that evening for just $67. (You’re welcome, Cody and Ben.)
Word on the street is that they’re doing a rib special (stay tuned for the delicious details on that).
I love going to out to eat. It’s an opportunity for my wife and I to relax, talk and eat and drink (obviously). Deciding where to go can, at times, be a point of contention … You see, I’m against fast food (unless it’s Whataburger and I am on the way home from a bar), making reservations assumes we know where we want go prior to us pulling up, and, like most people, we live on a budget. So it may or may not come as a surprise that I value, and, dare say, appreciate the role the big chain restaurants play in the restaurant scene. (To me there is something almost comforting about these places.)
I remember TGI Friday’s from back in the day as more of a restaurant with a sports bar feel than a place I expect to find craft cocktails, artisan appetizers and “hand-crafted” food. I checked out the Addison location down the street for me and realized the Friday’s from my younger days is long gone. (Rest in peace.) They are embracing change, shaking that suburban eatery rap and catering to a younger generation of foodies and more particular cocktail and beer drinkers. The hodge podge of wall decor is gone with cool photos and prints in their place and the waiter’s 37 pieces of flair have been replaced with an impressive level of knowledge on how to make a drink.
We struck gold with (read: devoured) our Ahi Tuni Crisps, a combination one might not expect of blackened Ahi tuna on a tortilla chip with guacamole, jalapeños, Sriracha sauce and Avocado Vinaigrette, topped with a cucumber-wasabi ranch. Followed by an order of Bacon Mac N Cheese Bits. My Friday’s Spike Lemonade (made with Tito’s homemade vodka, lemon and lime juice, agave among other things) washed down the starters I would normally never eat, but couldn’t resist at least trying … and then ended up finishing the plate.
Before night was done we also had gone through a Hendricks Cooler, Best Friday’s Margaritas and a Double Berry Mojito, which made me eager to come back again. It was one of those kind of meals where you end up full before the entrees are even brought out but you can’t help but eat most of it. (Some of our steaks ended up coming home with us to be enjoyed the following day.)
And what is dinner without dessert? Those who know me know I do my best to eat healthy(ish), but I was able to muster the willpower to resist the Oreo Madness. The same can not be said about my wife…
It’s no secret that competition and staying power among restaurants is difficult, especially in a city with a thriving food scene like Dallas. Of note, this TGI Friday’s location happens to be one of the more tenured restaurant establishments in Addison (RIP: Trulucks, Mi Piaci, Sambuca, Bennigans, Mi Piaci, Jake’s, Champps, Duke’s, etc). Having sampled what they’re cookin’ and shakin’ up over there, I’d encourage you to stop in and check out what they have going at their new Addison location!
So what does one do when she misses the check-in threshold for luggage when flying out to a family reunion? She gets a later flight and posts up at a bar … because flying after a couple cocktails is just better.
The staff of the DFW Airport TGI Friday’s is kind of amazing. Rodney and a couple nice ladies greeted me and found me a nice little perch at the bar. Rodney was one of those people that had a line for everything … and he had a few choice ones he dropped during our conversation.
Landon and Chris were the barmen making things happen on this particular Friday afternoon, and they were quite friendly and accommodating. I started with one of my favorites, the Peach Honey Smash (Jack Daniel’s Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, fresh mint, peach purée, citrus juices, peach slice). It’s perfectly sweet, but not too much so. I could easily drink about ten of these, but then I’d end up pulling a David Hasselhoff … and that’s not a good look.
I made friends with the people around me, shot the shit, and ended up buying a round of Fireball for a few of us before ordering a Pick Three-for-All for myself. (Don’t judge … I was on vacation.) I went with the boneless buffalo wings, mozzarella sticks, and the pretzel sticks with cheese dip. While indulgent, it was frickin’ delicious and hit the spot.
Round three was up to Landon. He made me a delicious fruity drink (not on the menu) that was gone in about two sips. (If you aren’t too picky … you should play my game. I tell the bartender to make me something delicious and to stay away from tequila and grapefruit — because, ew. I’ve gotten some really delicious drinks that I’d never think to order thank to this game!)
Anyway … best “layover” I’ve ever had. Make it happen for yourself next time you have a few spare minutes at the airport!
So breakfast for dinner is kind of awesome. But in my book, appetizers as your meal is even better. TGI Friday’s is making appetizers for a meal a thing with their Endless Appetizers for just $10! Pick one of their delicious, handcrafted apps and they’ll keep fresh, warm platters of ’em comin’. They SAY that you can’t share, but a few of my writers, some of their +1s, and I ordered one of each and had at ‘em tonight. A whole meal for 6 people for $60 with plenty of variety? Not bad … not bad at all.
For Endless Appetizers, you can choose from:
Loaded Potato Skins
Pan-Seared Pot Stickers
Garlic & Basil Bruschetta
Tuscan Spinach Dip
Boneless Buffalo Wings
Crispy Green Bean Fries
Hurry in, because this deal won’t be around for long! (And PS … sit at the bar at the West End location and ask for Omar!)