There are thousands of restaurants in Dallas. Make sure The Rustic is on your list. Great atmosphere, fantastic food, and a killer backyard for weekend fun.
During my first seven years of working at Oklahoma State, I traveled with the football team to every away game. Long story short, that abruptly ended 2 years ago. At home games I work the whole time, so I only get to see bits and pieces. So I really enjoyed traveling to away games, where I could be a fan and enjoy the experience. But my friends rarely travel to away games, so even if I went I spent most of the trip by myself. That happened my first year at OSU when I hardly knew anyone, and that’s just not fun. I decided to make the most of the free weekends, and either visit friends/family or just relax at home. Last week I went to Dallas to visit friends.
Before I moved to Oklahoma I had only visited Dallas a couple of times, but it quickly became one of my favorite cities. It’s large but not overwhelming, the people are friendly, the weather is great, and there is so much to see and do. Once I made friends who live in Dallas, I started to visit as often as I could. I always joke that if they would just move OSU to Dallas, I would never have to leave.
I drove down on Thursday, and had an appointment near downtown. Joni works nearby, so we decided to meet for lunch. There are so many restaurants in Dallas that it would take me years of visiting new restaurants every week to hit all of them. I’m not that familiar with downtown, so I went online to see what was near my appointment and came across The Rustic. Neither of us had ever been, and it was near my appointment.
The Rustic is in the heart of Dallas, just North of downtown. They use locally sourced steak and produce, and seafood from the Gulf to scratch-make their food daily. I love that they offer 25% off every day to members of the military, as well as uniformed police, fire, and paramedics. What a great way to give back to the community, and those who risk their lives every day for others.
The interior is very casual, with wood paneling on the walls, wooden tables, animal heads on the wall above the semi-open kitchen, and a large outdoor patio. It’s a very open concept restaurant, with huge garage doors that can open from the main dining room to the patio.
The bar features 40 beers on tap, including 35 local craft beers. Of course, The Rustic also offers a full cocktail bar as well.
As you enter The Rustic, there is an entire wall of different types of firewood with an explanation of each type of wood and the flavors it provides to food. I’ve never seen anything like that, but it’s so much more unique than a plain wall.
During the day The Rustic a restaurant, and we saw many people who were clearly workers from nearby office buildings. After work, The Rustic is a most certainly a hot-spot. The huge backyard features a stage on the far right, a beer station next to the stage, a regular bar at the other end, and lots of open grass. They host
The Rustic hosts concerts daily, featuring both local and national artists. What’s even better, is that nearly all of the concerts are free.
We are big fans of The Truck Yard for their great patio, but this place is a very close second, if not tied. And besides, the crowd seems closer to our age. It didn’t take Joni and I long to decide we’ll have to check it out on a weekend.
The Rustic menu features openers, salads, headliners, lunch, sides and desserts. We were both starving, so decided to start with 2 appetizers. Our server said if we liked fried okra we would really enjoy the cactus fritters
Unfortunately, our server was wrong. Both of us expected traditional fritters, the little balls coated in batter. So the large strips caught us totally off guard. Neither of us cared for the flavor, and agreed that bite-sized pieces was a better idea. Our server very kindly offered to swap them out for something else, but we declined.
We got deviled eggs for our second appetizer
Oh my, these are absolutely outstanding and completely made up for the cactus fritters. The light and fluffy yolk has a wonderful flavor. The sea salt and paprika seasoning adds a subtle kick and gorgeous color. The pork rinds on top are a very unique twist, and add great crunch and contrast in texture to the egg. I could have easily devoured them all myself.
We decided to split the special, which was brisket quesadilla and and avocado salad
Again, oh my. The avocado salad has huge chunks of creamy avocado, crunchy jicama, and fresh cucumbers. It’s a very interesting combination, one I’ve never had before, but it is delicious. Jicama doesn’t have much flavor, but does have a very nice peppery bite. Joni got full before me, so I got to enjoy about 2/3 of the salad. The quesadillas are phenomenal. The tender and juicy brisket bursts with flavor. The jalapenos provide a kick, but it’s not overpowering. I would say the only slight negative is that it doesn’t come with a side of guacamole. But I guess that could be avocado overload. Then again, does such a thing really exist?! I think not.
We raved to our server that the brisket quesadillas need a place on the permanent menu, and he confirmed that they are indeed going on there.
I don’t think I have to say it, but I will most certainly be back to The Rustic. It would be awesome to see a free concert, go to a Dallas Cowboys watch party, or just hang out on the patio on a Saturday afternoon.
For reviews of more restaurants in the Dallas area, click on the photos below!