In Downtown Dallas, Pegasus and Reunion Tower are the reigning icons. In Fort Worth, it's the Stockyards. Plano residents dote on their lovely restored downtown. The Colony has a lake. No, make that The Lake, as in Lake Lewisville, which dominates the vistas for miles around.
In perfect spring weather, patios across the Dallas region beckon, and people in The Colony flock to Stan's Lakeside Taphouse & Grill and sit on the humongous patio for filling, backyard-style grilled fare. Recently, my wife and I were contemplating whether to return to a cheery neighborhood pub for dinner or to join the throngs at Stan's to watch the sun setting over the lake. Stan's won easily.
Stan's patio can accommodate more than 150 people at one time, and a pile of metal folding chairs stands ready to be employed during the monthly live music events. There's lots of rough, unpainted wood and metal signage. Inside, tables radiate around a large central bar, but we rarely come here and dine inside. The view of Lake Lewisville is spectacular, and we always try to come around sunset. We took a table as near the edge as possible, and were promptly brought menus and drink lists.
Guys, if you bemoan the fact that beer is seldom sold in pitchers anymore, then you will love the fact that Stan's sells some of the more common brews in that form, especially Ziegenbock. If you like to sample new quaffs with every round, Stan's has more than 100 beers to choose from, plus a complete menu of shots and specialty drinks.
Stan's boasts an extensive food menu as well, everything from tilapia to tenderloin medallions, but we really enjoy their backyard fare. My wife heard the bacon cheeseburger calling her name and felt compelled to respond. Flame-kissed and medium grilled (I thought it was closer to medium well, but my companion loved it), the 8-ounce patty was served on a sesame seed bun with cheddar, pickles, lettuce, red onion, mustard and two large strips of bacon -- the classic creation of any weekend cookout with Dadl. Accompanying fries were fresh cut and tasty, but not as crispy as I would prefer.
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I noticed that the World Class Chili had won the 21st Annual World Chili Cook-Off, so I chose it. Definitely Texas-style chili, it could have used tomatoes and a little more zing. Not world class, despite its pedigree, but still quite good.
Afterward, we poured the last of the Ziegenbock and watched the sun melt gently into the lake.
Service was quite personable on this occasion, and we noted with pleasure the numerous happy hour specials and the fact that Stan's is open until 2 a.m. daily, with kitchen service until 1 a.m. Our only quibble is that live music is presented only once a month or so. We wish it were every weekend, so we could spend more time enjoying Stan's backyard fare, drink specials, and most of all, The Lake.
Stan's Lakeview Taphouse & Grill
4847 Main St.