Urbano Cafe: The Only Problem for a Lunch Date is That Eventually It Ends

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Urbano Café on Fitzhugh Avenue is a great place for dates and day drinking, especially on a lazy Saturday. Before Thanksgiving, I met a date there for lunch. I drove around the East Dallas restaurant awhile before I found parking on a side street. Cars occupied all of the parking spots in front of Urbano -- probably by Jimmy's Food Store customers, which is next door. But it's not a big a deal to lose out on choice parking if you're dining at Urbano for lunch, because it allows you to stop into Jimmy's and buy a $2 cannoli for dessert before you walk back to your car (which of course I did).

My date greeted me with a smile and a peek at the wine he'd brought as his B.Y.O.B. selection (he made a good choice with the wine). The waitress poured our wine right away. Three other couples filled the comfy restaurant with the same idea as us -- to have entertaining conversations and yummy food while relaxing with their bottles of wine along with the satisfaction of not having to rush off for an errand or work at any time in the near future. My date decided to go off menu and order a salad special listed on the chalkboard. He ordered the fennel and baby spinach salad that came with apples, grapes and oranges. The chef topped this salad with grilled shrimp and a spicy citrus vinaigrette. I chose the Louisiana crab cakes salad. It came with two crab cakes, tomato, avocado, papaya and mint over mixed greens, and was also served with spicy citrus vinaigrette.

We both enjoyed our salads and our wine. The mint and mango made mine, along with the slightly spicy crab cakes, which tasted noticeably better than any I've tried in my recent dining outings. I noticed a man at another table ordered a pasta dish -- it looked like the spaghetti Bolognese with Parmesan cheese or maybe the fettuccine with marinated shrimp, sweet onions, lump crab, parsley and white wine butter sauce. Either way the dish looked delicious and the portion of pasta was heaping out of the top of the bowl.

The restaurant wasn't too crowded as I hear it gets for dinner and no one tried to turn our table quickly to seat another party. We could hear ourselves talk, which may not be the case during dinner because of the small size of the restaurant and how all nine tables are usually occupied. And the fact that the one waitress waiting tables that Saturday didn't force herself in our faces the whole time yet found a way to still be attentive made our lunch date even better. I definitely recommend Urbano Café. I'd suggest a lunch there rather than dinner if you don't want to deal with waiting to get a table but want time to finish your bottle of wine after your food's long gone.

The only problem with Urbano is that restaurant is open for lunch on Saturdays only from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and we could have stayed the rest of the afternoon.

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