It is round 2 of the Dallas eatery takeovers for Momma Bodden and myself as we check out a neighborhood beer garden with a flare for the healthy side: Sundown At Granada. Teaming up with our two favorite partners in crime, Kenzie and her mom Diane, we are looking for a place that can sweet talk our stomachs and provide a fun atmosphere to hangout on a late Friday night. The checklist for tonight’s dining experience include: lighter food options, social vibe, comfortable attire, and a good time.
Sundown At Granada is a local sourcing, farm-to-table establishment linked to the historic Granada Theatre on Greenville Avenue. Praised by my friends Jessica and Renae Bartol (who happen to be some of the finest foodies out there), I was anxious to take the gang to this fairly new restaurant that opened about a year ago. In addition to that, Renae just so happens to work at the bar, so another perk is getting to see her beautiful face upon our arrival.
With a location in one Dallas’s hottest weekend spots, parking was by valet (you could chance it down one of the neighborhood side streets, but I’ve risked it before and it didn’t end so sweet). The weather was cool outside, which was perfect for the inviting patio located both upstairs and downstairs, but with a possible oncoming rainstorm we decided to take advantage of the funky interior dining area. Inside is lined with warm, dark woods, vintage rugs, and rustic accents that have you envisioning a homey library that just happens to house a full functioning bar and serve food. The circle of big, comfy chairs make you want to plop down with a book and cocktail. The waitress sat us at a table in the center of the popping atmosphere on what seemed to be a raised floor, which we later learned to be the stage for that night’s band.
I love eating clean, but usually when I hear of a healthy, vegan, or vegetarian establishment I think small plates, lettuce, and a growling stomach. Sundown At Granada definitely slapped my wrist for those prejudice remarks. Glancing over the menu made me giddy inside to see all combination of flavors, ingredients, and innovations. The first thing to catch my eye was the stuffed avocados. Avocados on their own have me fist pumping for more, but these avocados come in three different versions: SouthWest, Italian or Waldorf. SouthWest includes tomato, feta, black bean, sweet corn, and hemp-seed agave. Italian includes sun-dried tomato, toasted almond, basil, and shaved parmesan. Lastly, the Waldorf includes chilled grilled chicken, candied pecans, and blueberries. Essentially the plate comes with 3 avocado halves where you can choose any combination of ingredients that are then paired with cucumber slices and endives (lettuce cups). Ummmm YES PLEASE!!!
Each avocado was so different from the last, hitting a different note on my tastebuds. I scraped each halve completely clean not because I was fighting satisfy my hunger, but because they were just THAT GOOD. The plate is actually quite filling even after sharing it with the rest of my table (though I did hog most of it).
Coming off a rather large lunch my mom and I decided to split the Kale Cesar Flatbread for our main course. Kenzie went with the Spicy Berry-BBQ Atlantic Salmon with spiced pecan roasted sweet potato and seasonal vegetables. Mrs. Scovill decided on the Rosemary Glazed Meatballs made of kobe beef and accompanied with blue cheese, fig, cranberry, and rosemary fig au jus.
Recommended by our waitress, the Kale Cesar Flatbread will seriously rock your world. Usually I stray from anything Cesar at restaurants because they make it heavy and thick with fat, but this place does it just like my mom’s version. You can tell it’s homemade because it is more acidic with lemon and garlic, light, and lacking any kind of cream. The thin crust is evenly coated with melted parmesan and then topped with the tossed salad. None of the components overpowers the others. Packed with plenty of nutrients, the Kale Cesar Flatbread is a refreshing plate that tricks you into thinking you’re eating more calories than you are. The option of chicken or gulf shrimp are offered as toppings as well if you want a little more substance.
I didn’t try the salmon, but just look at the picture and you can tell it’s top notch. Blending the tangy BBQ with the sweetness of the blueberries and spicy salmon, the chef allows all the ingredients to flow together. The salmon was cooked perfectly to keep it moist and not chewy.
You can really tell the quality of beef the kitchen uses when you eat the Rosemary Meatballs. Coated with generous helpings of the rosemary au jus, the sauce didn’t drown out the meat nor were the meatballs dry or crumbly. The dish was evenly balanced with the sweetness of the fig and cranberry to the sharp notes of rosemary and blue cheese. The different textures keep you curious for more.
At the end of our going-on 3 hour dinner, everything on the checklist was met with high remarks. The food left us completely satisfied, but without that feeling that we needed to be rolled out. The atmosphere promotes the constant flow of conversation and makes you want to stay all night. My only complaint was that our waitress was not attentive at all. Though she was quite helpful when it came to the menu, she would leave us hanging for half an hour at a time. I think we sat for almost 45 minutes after placing our appetizers and drinks before she took our main order. Compared to the rest of our experience this was a minor detail for me and I will definitely be bringing plenty of my friends back for more.
The Low Down On Brunch
In addition, I stopped by for brunch about a month ago and was just as blown away. We sat at a high-top table on the patio and enjoyed the cool breeze of the start of spring. Most the group ordered the Sundown Benedict, a delightful plate of shiner brisket, BBQ hollandaise, poached eggs, whole wheat molasses toast, and a sweet potato hash. Being my first eggs benedict, it definitely convinced me it will not be my last. The meat was tender, hollandaise was tangy yet sweet, and the sweet potatoes were baked to a perfect crunch. However, I left with a rather large portion of my stomach left unsatisfied and I do not like leaving a restaurant still hungry. The other two diners at our table had no issue with portion sizes as they devoured their Buddha Wraps, leaving behind unfinished bites that I eyed with envy. The Buddha Wraps includes quinoa, avocado, eggs (which can be substituted for whites), feta, drunken mushrooms, chipotle cream (can be substituted for extra avocado), basil, and a side of sweet potato hash. A hardy meal that even filled the SMU football player joining us.
A Little Extra Detail
Sundown At Granada offers over 60 selections of beer and hand-crafted cocktails. The meat is grass-fed and the kitchen doesn’t house one freezer, meaning everything is FRESH. Entrees can come gluten-free and avocado can be substituted for cheese. It’s a place for music lovers to eat pre or post-show for the Granada Theatre. The restaurant even features live music from a wide variety of bands every night starting at 11 pm, so if you don’t feel like buying tickets or waiting in long lines grab a seat at the bar with your friends and let the music flow as you nourish your body with some good eats. The prices are pretty moderate ranging from fairly cheap to a little pricier, but for the quality you are receiving I think they are reasonable.