Some days, in this city, it feels like there's no such thing as a restaurant without a hook — or, for that matter, a restaurant that doesn't have an open kitchen, white subway tile and edison bulbs hanging from the ceiling.
Sometimes, you just want to go somewhere ... normal, somewhere with no "concept," other than a commitment to doing what they do well. No selfie stations, no bottle service, just good food and drink. These are five such places.
2624 Commerce St.
At this point, it seems almost impossible that there could be a true-blue dive bar in Deep Ellum. But Adair's is definitely that place, and it has been for more than 30 years. Get a burger and a cold beer and enjoy a breed of bar that seems to be dying out.
New York Sub
3411 Asbury St.
An institution since 1976, New York Sub may have a new owner, but it's still a refreshingly regular spot to grab a sub and support local business owners.
4822 Bryan St.
If you want a stiff cocktail served from a bartender who has no designs on being a "mixologist," The Dallasite is your place. Throw in comforting, straight-forward food like BLTs and raucous karaoke and you've got a winner, no pretense.
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Poor Richard’s Cafe
442 K Ave., Plano
No avocado toast, no $14 brunch cocktails, no fighting a woman in Lululemon leggings for the last patio table — Poor Richard's Cafe is a classic, stuff-yourself-silly diner, and sometimes that's all you really need.
Nate’s BBQ To-Go
2009 W. Hebron Pkwy #100, Carrollton
It doesn't get much more straightforward than this Carrollton barbecue trailer, which only has a couple seats in its tiny dining room. Do as most people do and grab a two-meat plate with brisket and whatever else strikes your fancy, then enjoy it from the comfort of your own home.