Springtime for Dallas and Plano with Tequila and Chili at Red's Patio Grill
Red's fire-roasted chicken quesadillas.
Photos by Chris Meesey
Spring's awakening. The city returns to life after winter's long slumber. Of course, March means college basketball and St. Patrick's Day, but it also means the start of patio season, the all-too-brief time when we can dine alfresco between snow and scorch. There are plenty of patios to take advantage of perfect weather, but some are simply better than others, offering more space and better views.
When you enter Red's, you would swear you were in New Braunfels: Gorgeous Hill Country stone everywhere. Dark woods. Plenty of room on the patio where, most likely, you will see kids gawking at the swans and other birds and trying to get their attention. My wife and I were seated immediately, and given copies of the menu and extensive list of drinks.
It's patio season at Red's, with one of the largest tequila selections around.
One of the first rules of Red's is that you should take plenty of time studying the drink menu, particularly if you are a fan of tequilas. Red's features one of the largest selections in town, including ten different tequila flights, and lots of specialty margaritas. My companion chose El Don, made with Don Eduardo 100% blue agave anejo tequila, and laced with Cointreau. Bracing, not sweet, which is how we prefer it. My own selection was a tribute to the Red Rocker himself: The Caborita, made with Cabo Wabo (Sammy Hagar's tequila enterprise) blue agave and Cointreau. Also bracing, although this time it was made a little sweeter than usual. Specialty margaritas here are pricey but truly worth it.
Foodwise, Red's seems to have settled on a formula that works: Keep the signature dishes, and periodically test the waters with newcomers like mango quesadillas. My wife loves quesadillas and considered the mango version, but decided to go with fire-roasted chicken instead. Like many places these days, Red's uses a wood-fired rotisserie oven, and I was really able to taste the flame on the hand-seasoned chicken, which blended well with the manchego cheese, tomatoes and chiles. They were served with a good avocado cream sauce, but I would have preferred a chunkier guacamole instead.
Red's chili is old-school Texan, with the DIY Frito pie optional.
Red's Patio Grill
4005 Preston Rd, Ste 512
Plano, TX 75093
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