Good to Go: St. Pete’s Dancing Marlin Provides Solid Comfort Food

The burger to go from St. Pete's Dancing Marlin in Deep Ellum.
The burger to go from St. Pete's Dancing Marlin in Deep Ellum. Soraya Colli
Good to Go is a column where our food writers explore Dallas' restaurant scene through takeout orders, delivery boxes and reheated leftovers.

As we’ve watched Deep Ellum evolve over the years, there are some spots we see lovingly hold on, and one of those is St. Pete’s Dancing Marlin.

St. Pete’s has decided to open up its patio and interior for limited dine-in, but curbside pickup is still a solid option.

Not long ago — but long enough that it was before dining in was allowed, so feels like months ago — some friends joined in on a Zoom call. We were all getting food from St. Pete’s and getting in on a dinner “together” over computer screens.

We take what we can get these days.

But we’re thankful we can still get goods from St. Pete’s. Sometime earlier this year, a visit included a solid BLT with crisp bacon and just enough mayo.

The visit called for comfort food: It was a Friday night and after a week alone in an apartment (no offense to a dog that shares the house), I was yearning for it. And you can find that comfort food in the lasagna.

click to enlarge The photographer apologizes for this horrible photo of perfectly fine lasagna; a canning project was going on while dinner was consumed. - TAYLOR ADAMS
The photographer apologizes for this horrible photo of perfectly fine lasagna; a canning project was going on while dinner was consumed.
Taylor Adams
It’s meaty, saucy and dense enough to fill you in the belly of both your body and soul. They're not afraid of salt here: there's plenty, maybe just a touch too much throughout, but it doesn't overwhelm your palate.

There’s enough for two servings, too, if you need that satisfying warmth to carry over to another day. (Or, you can share it, if you’re one of those types.)

click to enlarge Looks like chicken. It's tuna. - MARK WOOTTON
Looks like chicken. It's tuna.
Mark Wootton
There’s also, believe it or not, a fried tuna sandwich. A friend thought it sounded awful and had to order it out of curiosity. When he ordered, the staff member recommended getting it with cheddar and mustard.

Chicken-fried tuna. On a sandwich. With cheddar. And mustard. “None of this makes sense,” he said.

There’s really no need for paraphrasing him:

“Mustard and unmelted cheddar on a half-ass breaded massive tuna steak turned into a damn sandwich. I simply do not understand. What's more? It was actually pretty good. Like a piece of modern abstract art that makes you unnecessarily angry when you find out it exists and costs that much but you’re still OK with it being in your living room ‘cause it kinda fits for some fucking reason.”

Well, fine. But, he said, he still wouldn’t get it again.

click to enlarge Simple and sweet: Just what we need these days. - TAYLOR ADAMS
Simple and sweet: Just what we need these days.
Taylor Adams
If you really want to go over and beyond in making yourself feel better via food, dessert here is worthy, too. They have sheet cake — yes, that wonderful Texas tradition our mothers and grandmothers grew up making (at least, that's the case for this writer). The sheet cake is fine, though it's super sweet and not quite as good as Mom's. Go for the homemade baklava; it's the best $2 you'll spend this week.

The burger’s just OK. The fries from St. Pete’s suffer the same consequence nearly all do in Styrofoam: Cold, limp potatoes are your side. We harm the integrity of french fries so much with this, we should really just opt for something else until we’re eating in dining rooms again.

And that’s one reason to order from St. Pete’s. The Deep Ellum spot has been there since 1994, serving beers in fantastically perfect, cold mugs. And we’d like it to stay that way.

St. Pete's Dancing Marlin, 2730 Commerce St. (Deep Ellum). 214-698-1511. Open for curbside pickup, delivery and limited in-house dining.
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Taylor Adams has written about the restaurant industry for the Dallas Observer since 2016. Now the Observer's food editor, she attended Southern Methodist University before covering local news at The Dallas Morning News.