Each year we dust off our mitts and head over to great temple in Arlington to stuff our faces with two-yard hot dogs and the like. At this time, we also like to look at what's going on in the Arlington food scene for pre- or post-game eating. There've been some comings and goings.
Three new-ish restaurants at UTA College Park have already closed: Digg's Taco Shop, GRIP Mediterranean Grill and Pho Express. The college kids and other passerbys just couldn't sustain all three restaurants (despite record enrollment). Also, last summer, we lost an old Arlington haunt, J.R. Bentley's English Pub, to a fire. However, their Facebook page reports that they're aiming for a mid-April reopening. The Capital, which was a music venue and bar, originally out of Fort Worth, has already closed.
Following are some places to carb-load before the game:
R Bar and Grill is a new chef-driven restaurant inside the Hilton on Lamar north of Interstate 30. It's got local beers on tap (Saint Arnolds, Revolver Blood and Honey and Bock, Franconia Wheat and Devil's Backbone from Real Ale) and an "evolving menu that changes with the season," which we hope has something to do with baseball.
If tacos are a part of your plan, take Pioneer west from 360 and you'll see a big yellow place with a lot of painted words on the window. Don't try to read them, just pull in to La Banqueta (1201 E. Pioneer Pkwy). This is one of the best taquerías in North Texas (there are several) and it's also one of the cheapest meals you can get. Scott Reitz included these tacos on his list of DFW's 50 most interesting restaurants.
If you haven't grabbed huge sandwiches from Dino's, (photo at top) well for shame. Which is exactly what I felt after I just discovered this place last fall. It's an old-school New York-ish deli with all-business sandwich-makers. When ordering, there's no time for lollygagging: Know what you're going to order before you approach the counter. Here are two key things to remember if all else in the world fails: 1. Order you sandwich with "the works" and 2. "Dino dressed."
A second, more grown-up version of the old hangout Hooligan's (310 E. Abram St.) is tucked behind Twisted Root. It's dark and cave-like. They offer a lot of local beer and local whiskey as well. Plus you can order a burger from Twisted Root next door.
The Prince Lebanese Grill (502 Randol Mill Rd.) just west of Glove Life Park expanded a little since last season. There are a few more tables and everything is pushed together. It's cozy. And BYOB. The spicy chicken schwarma plate is awesome, but don't be afraid to venture into other areas. It's all great.
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Grease Monkey's (1253 Main St.) has a big patio, a bar that spills out onto the sidewalk and greasy burgers to go with. They are running a shuttle on Opening Day, but always call in advance to confirm (817-665-5454) for other games.
Old School Pizza and Suds (603 W. Abram St.) serves thick gooey pizza and craft beer in a charming old house. There are 35 different flavors on the tap wall and a cool patio in back, which draws in a mix of college kids and folks from the neighborhood.
Freebirds, Fuzzy's, Hooligan's, Twisted Root and Flying Fish (300 E. Abram St.), are all lined up like little ducks in a row along Abram. There's a lot of parking in the back (it's not necessary to frogger across Abram).
Fish Bone Grill (816 N. Collins) is a small, easy-to-miss spot in the shadow of Jerry's World. The Mexican-influenced seafood is usually fresh, spicy and pretty affordable. Service is quick and friendly, as well. It's so easy to miss, most of the crowd does, which makes it great for a good pre-game bite.