Short Orders: Gloria's

5100 Belt Line, Addison

Gloria's, if everybody wants you...

The formula for success in the restaurant industry depends upon...well, let's stop there. Several formulas exist, But if a restaurant wants to draw steady crowds and surpass margin of income averages, it seems to hinge on a catchy beat and non-threatening lyric. In other words, there's no reason to be clever, subtle or great. Rather, it's the provision of something above average and attractive to many, in a compelling atmosphere on a consistent basis.

Sounds kinda boring. This, however, is the genius of Gloria's in Addison. Never is the restaurant less than what people expect when they venture out for an average mid-range meal. Well, hardly ever.

Gloria's ceviche provides hints of tart citrus and cilantro, along with generally firm pieces of fish. But it's pedestrian in nature, with some of the meat showing 'over-cooked' texture and the balance of herbs, citrus and heat leaning toward the latter. They even bring out some Tabasco, just in case guests want to cover the sour tang of citrus even more.

It's fine, mind you. You just don't remember the dish afterwards.

Of course, Gloria's doesn't strive to be a special meal kind of place. Instead, it's a vast den of curtains and mood lighting, color and flat screens--a little something for everyone...which perhaps would mark the place as trite if the kitchen didn't perform at such a consistent level. Working with modest ingredients, such as flank steak, they rely on nicely aligned seasoning and a range of textures on one plate to convey the experience. They remain at their best when it comes to the Salvadoran part of the menu. But everything, from salsa to Tex-Mex standards, rise just far enough above mid-level chain norms.

Except for the margaritas.

Sadly, even at the 'top shelf' level, these things appear as watered down, Spritish, almost tequila-free coolers. Of course, a lot of people prefer them weak and sappy. Much of Dallas, in fact, consider pop-like margaritas to be the real deal.

And so Gloria's remains a local success.

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