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Parker Barrow's Takes Aim at Creating Classic Sandwiches in Bishop Arts

At the corner of Davis Street and Bishop Avenue was once a botanica that sold herbs and roots, magical oils, religious candles and other items to ward off evil spirits. The vintage 1930s building is now a new neighborhood joint where you can devour a sandwich, guzzle beer and knock back some hard spirits, and it's named for murderous outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.

It would seem that botanica's wards against evil spirits didn't work too well, then. On the other hand, the sandwiches at  Parker Barrow's Drafthouse and Deli are pretty tasty, and it's hard to think of a place serving craft beer as evil — more like heavenly.

The deli's interior mimics the years of the "public enemy era" during the Great Depression, though without too much kitsch. General manager Adrian Abeyta says they wanted the decor to capture the feeling of when Parker and Barrow haunted Dallas. Kitty-corner to the entrance is a black and white tile covered bar with dimly lit antique lights hanging low over it. Adorning the wall behind the bar are heads of whiskey barrels stacked one upon another as a salute to the days of Prohibition hooch, though now they hold 24 taps for legally crafted beer. Adjacent to the bar is a wall bearing framed black and white photos of the trigger-happy gangsters.

The bar program keeps with the retro theme, using the proper glassware and technique to concoct the best classic cocktails. Hand-crafted cocktails like the old fashioned and last word are two of the six mainstays while another six drinks will change seasonally.

The bar menu skips the standard pub food. That means no tacos or chicken and waffles, but instead six hearty sandwiches from chef Kevin MacClaren. Since the kitchen is limited in equipment and space, they rely on neighboring Cretia's Bakery for bread needs and keep a smoker behind Cretia's for the meat. The majority of ingredients are locally sourced with the exception being the meat for Barrow's Gang, which is shipped from Chicago. The Barrow’s Gang is their ginormous take on a New York-style Italian sub. Eating the salami, prosciutto, pistachio mortadella and spicy capicola feels like devouring a charcuterie board stuffed between a fresh bolillo roll with vinegar and oregano.

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The Texas pastrami holsters pastrami smoked for 10 hours on thick-cut rye with house-made spicy mustard. For a sandwich of only three ingredients, it doesn't hold back on flavor. Another notable item is the V8 (named for Clyde's favorite Ford sedan), which is a twist on the BLT with cornmeal-crusted fried green tomatoes, smoked bacon, lettuce and lemon aioli, accompanied by sweet tomato jam and delivered between spinach bread.

You can choose between two salads, the Parker House Chop and the Citrus Sorghum Glazed Salmon, and a limited sides menu of house-made potato chips, Bonnie’s red beans and rice and creamy coleslaw. If you want to catch a nostalgic buzz, share the 1930s Date Shake. Make sure to add rum, then go make out on Lovers Lane where most of our parents were conceived. 

Parker Barrow's is open 11 a.m.-2 a.m. in Bishop Arts at 334 W. Davis St.

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