The sesame-yuzu sauce served with the pulled pork spring rolls had a flavor—sweet—which helpfully disguised the greasy, stringy pork. Neither the spring rolls nor the cornmeal-battered calamari were well-served by frying the night I tried them: The oil tasted old and dirty.

A workmanlike Caesar salad made with browning lettuce was, thankfully, small, although charging $8 for a saucer-sized serving of lettuce and croutons borders on outrageous. The Common Table seems to be adjusting its portions with the alacrity of someone who's just been ordered to slash overhead costs. When my dining companion asked about a Philly steak sandwich, our server gave him a pep talk about leftovers. "Most people can't even finish it," he warned. "They take it home, and that's fine."

In retrospect, maybe those diners were just being kind. The dried beef sandwich—which, paired with a ramekin of jus, couldn't even get points for being canonically correct—measured about six dainty bites long.

The Common Table: good beer, uncommonly bad food
Sara Kerens
The Common Table: good beer, uncommonly bad food

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The Common Table

2917 Fairmount St.
Dallas, TX 75201-1455

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Uptown & Oak Lawn

Details

The Common Table Pulled-pork spring rolls $7 Veal parmigiana sliders $9 Mixed bruschetta $7 Cornmeal-crusted calamari $8 Buffalo meatballs $7 Common Caesar $8 The Common Burger $10 Chefís Rib-Eye Philly $13 Chicken-fried rib-eye $15

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Or maybe our server really hadn't gotten word from the kitchen that the sandwich had been downsized. The restaurant seemed to suffer from a serious disconnect between the front and back of the house: My servers didn't know much about the menu, or—in at least one case—approve of it:

"Now, I think cobbler should always be served with ice cream," the male ego-boosting server told me when I ordered dessert. "But they don't do it here. Do you want to add it? It's like 50 cents or something."

OK, sure. But it turned out the server was wrong: The add-on was $4. (To his credit, the server told me before the bill arrived.)

Another misguided server steered me confidently toward a wretched, industrial-tasting chicken-fried rib-eye, adorned with gluey gravy and served with mashed potatoes studded with unmelted nuggets of chemical-esque smoked cheddar cheese. Still, that dish was a notch better than a burger that arrived with it: While the dull gray patty wasn't the slightest bit juicy, the bun was inexplicably soggy. We ate the cold, limp fries instead.

Yet even with so much really disappointing food on the menu, the place stays busy. There always seems to be a well-dressed, buzzy crowd there; The Common Table is the kind of restaurant you text your friends about. And with good reason: The au courant energy and imaginative beer list make it an excellent place to meet for a drink. Just warn your guests to eat beforehand.

The Common Table 2917 Fairmount St., 214-880-7414, thecommontable.com. Open 11 a.m.-midnight Sunday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday $$
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