While the Lakewood Landing won best Bar Food in the Observer back in 2010, I've had mixed experiences at the bar when it comes to snacking. The nachos seemed a little soggy, the burgers were definitely dry and then there was that corn dog incident that really got me down about the place.
This January though, I moved within walking distance to the bar and I've been dropping in now and then since. The shift was subtle, so I didn't notice it right away, but over time it became apparent. The bar food has definitely gotten better there.
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I first noticed it with a basket of wings that previously had never been quite crispy enough. They'd firmed up a touch and I devoured them completely on a recent visit. Then some nachos I ordered seemed a little better too. The chips were crisp and neatly decorated with beans, cheese, tomatoes and bright green onions. They disappeared in a flash -- more quickly than those wings, for sure. And finally last weekend I ordered another burger, which was undoubtedly more juicy than the previous versions I've had.
I called the manager Roger Nelson out on my hunch and he confirmed my suspicion. Their previous cook had left to work at Daddy Jack's in Fort Worth late last year. They'd nabbed Antonio Guevara, who previously worked at Victor Tangos, to replace him.
Guevara hasn't changed much on the menu, but he's handling everything with a little more finesse. That burger for instance, arrived charred nearly black on the outside, and while well-done, still had some moisture. It was salty, but good salty -- especially alongside the Guinness drafts Nelson pours so carefully himself. The fries are seasoned more simply too. If you're a fan of Keller's, Club Schmitz and similar places that sell humble bar burgers, you're going to like what's happening at the Landing as of late.
Come to think of it, it's Friday, no? You may have stumbled on this post just before your weekend starts. If you've not been in a bit, it's time you check out this East Dallas dive again soon. Save me a stool? I'm right behind you.