Had family in from out of town last night: aunts and uncles, the kind who prefer martinis and gimlets and Scotch to wine and bacon-wrapped scallops. This was their first visit to Dallas since the mid-1970s. And what was their lasting impression of the Big D? Was it the JFK memorial or the former Texas School Book Depository? Was it 10-gallon toppers or America's Team? No, it was Baby Doe's Matchless Mine, the enduring restaurant that closed a year ago after a 32-year run. (It's undergoing renovations and is scheduled to reopen late this year, with a grand reopening timed to borrow thunder from the Victory Project launch.) And just why did Baby Doe's instill such a lasting impression after three decades? Because while hungrily forking around her entree, my aunt pulled out a Brillo pad. It was OK, though. They comped her meal. Still, they made her pay for the gimlet, which kind of sticks in her craw. --Mark Stuertz
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