Loving the Turntable at Tried and True

When the music matches the digs, NHS's latest is a great bar.

While other chefs in trendy restaurants spend weeks preparing charcuterie that often lacks refinement, Badovinus relies on the old country pros. Where else can you get Allan Benton's smoky, salty ham, shaved thin like a finely cured prosciutto?

Whiskey chicken livers, on the other hand, are expertly made in-house. The velvet-smooth puree hides beneath a clarified butter fat cap that keeps the pâté from oxidizing. Spread it on bread that's perfectly toasted and inundated with even more butter.

Oysters from Barnstable, Massachusetts, are a real gem. Most I ate were neatly shucked and full of oyster liquor, but my waitress might work on her sales pitch. "Fishy" is a term best used to describe 3-day-old mackerel or tuna from a can. A sinister plot smells fishy. These oysters were clean, bright and full of brine, with a dense and meaty texture. Six will set you back $16 dollars: A fair price, but I firmly refuse to admit how many orders were required to effectively evaluate the bivalves.

Burgers, sandwiches and whiskey: the makings of a fine bar.
Lori Bandi
Burgers, sandwiches and whiskey: the makings of a fine bar.

Location Info

Map

Tried and True

2405 N. Henderson Ave.
Dallas, TX 75206

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: East Dallas & Lakewood

Details

Tried and True

2405 N. Henderson Ave., 214-827-2405, neighborhoodservicesdallas.wordpress.com.

4 p.m.-midnight Tuesday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday-Saturday, 4 p.m.-midnight Sunday. $$

Brisket taco $11

Oysters $16

Pâté $6

Burger $10

Pecan pie $5

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There's more seafood on the menu, including fish and chips that featured hake when I visited, but cod and other fish are used as well. Peel-and-eat shrimp are boring, but the fried version boasts a crunchy, flaky batter. Eat it quickly before the shrimp lose their crispness.

A decent burger that loosely copies the casual burgers you can get at Off-Site Kitchen, and a handful of sandwiches and salads round out the rest of the menu. All of these dishes are well-executed, and most are heavy and fatty.

Desserts are less inventive than what was offered in the old NHS Tavern, but they're still toothache-sweet. I prefer the chocolate-heavy pecan pie to the fudgy mudslide brownie, but they'll both scratch the itch. Or maybe you'd prefer another glass from Tried and True's impressive whiskey menu and a card game for dessert instead.

Every table sports a deck of playing cards, either sitting out in the open or hidden behind a cardboard carrier of condiments like mustard, malt vinegar and hot sauce. A welcome mat of sorts, they urge you linger here a while. The stiffness of the plastic-coated cardboard says not many have accepted the invitation yet. They haven't been shuffled much.

It's most likely that the decks are all brand new, but as another dollar bill slides into the jukebox I wonder if something else urges people to move along. Tried and True seems trapped between modern convenience and the romance of the past. While I really like this bar, I'd prefer my whiskey with vinyl.

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3 comments
LDR4
LDR4

Scott, it sounds like you are craving Ships' jukebox. Go nuzzle up to their bar, order a Schlitz and relax.

julipo
julipo

Maybe I'm a purist, but I do prefer that a restaurant concept be consistent - if you are going retro honky-tonk, then let's play it. And better still - play the vinyl. Hopefully the owner will hear and implement your suggestions. Atmosphere is an important part of the appeal for me in any restaurant, and it is too often lacking in Dallas eateries who seem to have abandoned the concept entirely.

 
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