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It’s a common issue. You want to go to a show but you gotta eat first. For some it’s an energy issue and for others it’s all about the drink base. Whatever the reason, you’re sure as hell not going to pack a sandwich (not that it’s uncool or anything, but let’s face it, nobody has that kind of forethought). So, we here at DC-9 figured we should offer you peeps a guide to venues with food—you know, places you can go score a good spot for the show and eat (this helps with parking as well, we assure you). We’ll be serving up (ha!) casual reviews of bar food ranging from stellar entrees to solid chip selections and the best in bar nuts. And suggestions are welcome. Send us your ideas for places you like to nosh before you rock and we’ll see just how the chomp goes down for future reviews.
For the first installment, we’ve chosen venerable Barley House (5612 Yale Blvd.). With shows like Keith and Chad (Killoren and Stockslager, respectively, of the Drams) on Wednesdays, and other acts like Pleasant Grove, Sweet Grubes of the Ticket’s Pepper Theft and, aw hell, every Dallas musician poppin’ up left and right, it’s good to find a table to chill at before the bar gets crazy crowded.
Order up those crazy awesome cheesy tater tots. Do it. They’re so freaking good. Don’t worry about the chili, because honestly, it’s really unnecessary—just takes away from those golden morsels to which the cheese clings to like a newborn to it’s mama. Then hunker down with a chicken sandwich (grilled or fried, both solid options). If you’re more of a beef-eater, the burger is an outstanding choice—all one half-pound of it. It’s greasy in the best way, soaking into that bun with a glorious salty seasoning perfect for battling the smoky bar atmosphere.
There’s one recommendation that might insight debate between the spears vs. chips community: the fried pickle basket. The Barley House goes the way of the spear, so you chip people have been warned. I like them because they stay crispy through the deep-fry and I find the honey-mustard dip an interesting alternative to the ubiquitous ranch. Sorority girls, I’m sure you can order the required side of ranch without too much trouble. -- Merritt Martin