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The shrimp po’ boy is huge at the Dallas Craft Co. photo by Patrick Holden Jr.

Dallas Craft Co., 5120 Hwy 121, Colleyville. 11am-midnight Sun-Thu, 11am-2am Fri-Sat. 682-738-3666. All major credit cards accepted.

 

Last fall, I saw a sign for Craft & Crab alongside Highway 121 near Grapevine. I thought the sports bar would make for an interesting review. I popped in and discovered it to be marred by service issues and overpriced, mediocre seafood, but I never got around to writing anything. Our Eats page was flush with reviews of new places in the fall, and then Craft & Crab fell off my radar as I got swamped with film critic business at the end of the year. When the calendar turned to 2017, I figured I’d missed my chance.

gas-pipe-rectangle-free-layaway

Then a few weeks ago, I saw a new sign at the same location advertising Dallas Craft Co., a relaunched version of the previous restaurant. This new place has the same wide selection of craft beer and the same functional decor with every inch of wall space covered either by TVs or craft brewery logos, but I’m happy to report that this restaurant has improved in every phase.

Rather than seafood, the menu is now concentrated on comforting bar food, many of the dishes incorporating beer into the cooking. Said menu is extensive, and it feels like the kitchen could benefit from a bit more focus — would anyone really miss the short rib sushi? My server told me that the spinach and feta-stuffed pretzels were the restaurant’s most popular appetizer. They sounded tempting, but the two huge, pillowy pretzels were big enough for at least four people, and whatever taste they had was overwhelmed by the marinara dipping sauce that it came with. That sauce was put to much better advantage when paired with the fried cheese appetizer, which can be ordered in either four or six pieces. Those looked humongous as well (each one was the size of a hand pie), but fortunately they had a lot of air in them, reducing this dish to a manageable size. Not only that, it made for a nice, crispy shell and turned each piece into a convenient scoop for the sauce once bitten into.

For lunch, I ordered a fried shrimp po’ boy sandwich, which again suffered from gigantism. I’ve never been a fan of sandwiches that are so huge that you have to eat them with a knife and fork instead of picking them up. The flavor of the thing was no more than mediocre, though it was set off well by the fine, complex HopFusion Feisty Blonde ale that I drank with it, the first vanilla beer I’ve ever had where I could actually taste the vanilla. The beer menu offers extensive tasting notes, but those alone aren’t enough. You need knowledgeable staff guiding you, and I was grateful to the staffer whom the waitress called over to steer me to the right beer pairing.

I had better luck with the fish and chips entrée, two fillets of Atlantic cod in a flaky Revolver Blood & Honey batter, a reasonably sized dish with a reasonable $12 price tag. Meanwhile, the crispy-skinned roasted duck was a nice touch for a bar, with orange sauce containing UFO White, a logical and good marriage. The mashed potatoes on the side could have been a bit smoother, but since I’m a sucker for duck dishes, I was in no mood to complain.

My server talked me into a whiskey cake for dessert, and while neither whiskey cake nor whiskey happen to be my thing, I found the dish quite tasty and myself glad that I could taste the tang of liquor in the caramel sauce drizzled over the cake. Still, if I go back again, I’ll probably order one of the place’s beer milkshakes to end the meal. These adult shakes are vanilla porter or chocolate stout poured over like-flavored Beth Marie’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream. I ordered one with raspberry lambic, an option that appears to have dropped off the menu since my visit. True, you can easily pour craft beer over ice cream at home, but the bartenders swirled chocolate syrup inside my glass and sprayed whipped cream on top, making me feel like I was at the world’s coolest soda fountain.

Of course, if you’ve got kids too young to partake of the brews, there’s board games and a children’s playground next to the restaurant’s outdoor seating. (Thankfully, the playground is fenced off from the access road that runs right by.) Highway 121 is littered with chain restaurants, and Dallas Craft Co. is technically part of the Drunken Donkey chain that started in Lewisville three years ago. Still, this outpost isn’t missing out on the burgeoning craft beer scene in North Texas, and its food shows off the bar well.

Dallas Craft Co.

Fried cheese (4)…………………………………………………. $8

Fried shrimp po’boy……………………………………………. $13

Fish and chips…………………………………………………….. $12

Roasted duck……………………………………………………… $17

Beer shakes……………………………………………………….. $5

Whiskey cake…………………………………………………….. $8.50

2 COMMENTS

  1. Nothing went wrong, and when I ordered beer, the waitress called over a staffer to recommend a beer that would pair with my sandwich. He brought out some sample glasses, too, so I could decide for myself. When the place was Craft & Crab, something went wrong each time I ate there.

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