An Open (and Helpful!) Letter to Sad People Wandering Bishop Arts on Monday Nights
Bolsa's burger never fails -- not even on Mondays.
Dear People Wandering Sadly Around the Bishop Arts District on a Monday Night,
I see you. It's Monday night, and you are at the Bishop Arts District. I can tell you don't live around here because of that confused and disappointed look on your face.
I feel sorry for you, because I know you drove all the way down here from your alternate version of Dallas to eat dinner. First, you thought the parking lot seemed a little empty. Then the door to Eno's didn't open when you pulled on it. By the time the tumbleweed blew past you started to panic because you realized there isn't going to be any pie at the end of your evening.
And you are very right, there isn't going to be pie, because Emporium Pies is closed on Mondays. So are a lot of other places in this part of Oak Cliff. Because people that own and work in restaurants have lives to lead, with errands to run, family to text message, Netflix to watch.
At this point it looks like you are moving through the five stages of grief, which is totally normal and appropriate for a person in your situation. But you need to move through your feelings of anger and depression and understand that this has happened to many people many times before. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You might even spot other displaced persons peering into a window by Hattie's or crying quietly as they slide down the door in front of Dude, Sweet Chocolate.
But all is not lost. There are many restaurants that have decided to neglect their families and Netflix accounts in order to put food in your mouth seven days a week. Are you going to have the full-blown shopping/eating/walking Bishop Arts experience? No. But you can still save your girls night out/date night/dinner with your parents and leave with food in your stomach, which is the most critical part, biologically speaking anyway.
This is not an exhaustive list. There are places on Jefferson Boulevard like El Ranchito that are open, but I know a lot of you are already outside your comfort zone so I won't push you any further south. Maybe next time. Also you won't find Zen Sushi on this list, though it is open on Mondays and the reason I'm in the Bishop Arts District at this very moment. You and your SUVs get the entire Bishop Arts District and surrounding area Wednesday through Sunday, so if you could let us have this one restaurant this one day a week I would appreciate it. Thank you.
Ten Bells Tavern This bar and restaurant is east of the Bishop Arts District, just past that one house that has somehow not been sold to a developer yet. It's got a rustic patio with picnic tables, not to mention local beer on tap, fish and chips, great sandwiches and rotating seasonal specials. If you aren't wearing high heels, this place should have been your first choice all along.
Gloria's Even though there are lots of Gloria's around Dallas, this one is worth your time because it is the original. In this case original means they moved to a bigger, different building a while back and have since torn down the old one because no one wanted to move into it. But there is a patio and margaritas, which will turn your botched night out around in two drinks flat.
Hunky's Get your dessert fix here with a milkshake. I know you wanted that pie, but the milkshake is a classic dessert that gets overlooked by its more popular cousins pie and cupcake. Plus milkshakes are actually available, which is helpful.
El Corazon de Tejas Time to move just outside the gravitational pull of the Bishop Arts District. At El Corazon de Tejas you will find a lot of neighborhood people and good Tex-Mex, including several vegetarian options. This would be a good option if you have kids with you.
Bolsa Moving even farther away from Bishop Arts to the west you will find Bolsa, which you have probably thought was actually in the Bishop Arts District. Let's get this straight: it isn't. Not every restaurant in Oak Cliff is in the Bishop Arts District. And that is okay. You might feel like Bolsa is too fancy for a Monday, but you can buy a cocktail with the money would have spent on a candle or adorable succulent at one of the shops that isn't open.
Nova If you had your heart set on pizza and nothing else will do, venturing even further west down Davis is worth your time. Yes, past Bolsa. And the Kessler Theater. Just keep going. Nova is very much a neighborhood restaurant, and you will find the (unofficially) best hummus in Oak Cliff accompanied by soft pillows of pita bread and a tomato cucumber salad. Throw in some beer or a drink off their cocktail menu and your evening is official redeemed. Even Reitz thinks it's worth your time.
Good luck out there, and remember you can always come back any other day of the week and eat wherever you please, assuming you can find parking.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.