​Sometimes, a jumbled concept really works. Take Top Golf, for instance. It's one-part driving range, one-part sports bar and one-part all-American eatery (Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad sliders...yum.) However, when a tea room opens a satellite location that ditches the dainty crumb cakes and instead infuses the environment with live music and a full bar--things get a little confusing. Unfortunately, Cretia's on McKinney is such a place.

Cretia's on McKinney in the Throes of an Identity Crisis

On paper--the restaurant sounds like a success. It boasts upscale-casual cuisine created from global ingredients. But the Rotisserie Prime Rib of Beef with pear horseradish doesn't fit the discrepant décor--playing as both a parlor room, stage, dance floor, bar and bistro. 

Before the sun sets--a healthy portion of the clientele are well into their third round, which is ideal for an Uptown bar--but a far stretch from the "neighborhood eatery" label the restaurant prescribes for itself. Since the venue is open until 2 a.m. daily, it's a little difficult to belly up the buttermilk fried chicken and ditch the thought of what debauchery may have occurred the night before.

​The restaurant moved from down the street--an area that's gone through a few shifts of its own. Since 2008, this little strip on McKinney welcomed La Cubanita, waved goodbye to Sushi on McKinney, said hello to Chipotle, re-welcomed Sushi on McKinney, bid farewell to La Cubanita and has since accepted Burger Girl as the new kid on the block. 

Cretia's in Duncanville is definitely its country cousin. It's a combination florist, bakery and tea room, set in the simple garden room surroundings. The hybrid concept here is successful. The same can't be said for the Uptown Cretia's awkward design approach, which at least at first could have first been blamed on the new location. But now, as it recently had its 2-year anniversary, it's clear this isn't a mistake--but it's method. So for those who go expecting a bistro experience--you just may be leaving with a bad taste in your mouth. 

4900 McKinney Ave.

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