Hash Over

Jensen goes barley
Mark Jensen--onetime chef of the Thomas Avenue Beverage Company and the Green Elephant, and chef-owner of the now defunct Mark's on Henderson--has a new Dallas gig.
He's the new chef of The Barley House on Henderson, and he's methodically tweaking its pubby fodder. "I don't come in like a bull and change everything all at once," he says. "We'll keep the pub grub, but I'm going to take it to the next level." And where is the next level in the pub-grub canon? Jensen says it inhabits a level where fresh pizzas, several hamburger renditions, a true New Orleans-style po boy, plus beef, chicken, vegetarian, and seafood specials a la Mark's converge. He adds that the most expensive entree will be $12. This is quite a rapid recovery for a chef whose 1998 proved a pot of bitter pottage. After losing all of Mark's operating capital in a painful divorce, Jensen saw his revenue plunge 40 percent once Central Expressway construction choked off the Henderson Street exit (roughly the same snarl that smothered Savino's Ristorante, Yegua Creek Brewing Co., and Doody's RoadHouse). After his mother died, Jensen decided to pull the plug on Mark's and move to Asheville, North Carolina, to be with his father. He had no plans of ever returning, but Big D's tug is stronger than we think.

Angels on Cedar Springs
For those with a yen for the angelic set, Angels in the Park is set to open on Cedar Springs next to Hunky's March 15 in spaces that once housed The Wok and a bar next door. The upscale rotisserie deli with full evening service will be outfitted to resemble an authentic 1940s-style city park with lifelike tree fakery, photographically treated tile flooring to facilitate visions of a stroll in the grass, and fiber-optic lighting to create the illusion of a starlit evening. The restaurant will also have a gazebo and fountain. Oh, and the centerpiece of Angels in the Park is a life-size angel carving a heart into an artificial oak. A coffee and tea room, furnished like a living room, will adjoin the restaurant. The ambitious project comes from the minds of Southland Corp. alumni Garry Lyon, his twin brother Barry Lyon, and Mary Ann Thompson, daughter of former Southland executive John Thompson. Angels will also feature a Sunday gospel brunch with a Southern-style buffet. Oh, thank heaven for 7-11.

--Mark Stuertz

E-mail Dish at markstz@juno.com.

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