Shortly after Lola’s owner Brian Forella announced that his music venue was moving from near West 7th to the TCU area, readers kept asking the same question: What about Dayne’s Craft Barbecue?
The food truck had become synonymous with Lola’s ever since owners Dayne and Ashley Weaver first parked at Lola’s a few years ago. In a Facebook post, Dayne said that the split with Lola’s was amicable and that another location, this one at 9840 Camp Bowie West, offered the award-winning ’cue purveyors the chance for a brick-and-mortar location.
Lola’s new location, on Berry Street, has housed numerous restaurants over the past several years, so Forella took advantage of the built-in kitchen to offer noshes to go along with the bar service and live music. A recent post on Lola’s Instagram page made the news official: Food at Lola’s would be open Thursdays through Sundays only, possibly a cautious move as the kitchen crew gauges demand.
A bright green neon sign reading “FOOD” greets customers heading into the bustling bar. Just past the verdant glow is a bucolic room covered with artificial plants and purple walls. The medium-sized menu includes hot dogs, sandwiches, and a few appetizers, most everything rendered relatively inventively. Order near the kitchen, and you’ll be chowing down in well under 10 minutes.
As an appetizer, Thundercat’s Picklez were piping hot and damn delicious. Every heavily breaded golden nugget was spicy and benefited from the side of cooling ranch, and they all retained a nice tangy bite. The only drawback was the small size: only about 12 pieces per order, and some of them were no bigger than a nickel.
Hard to pronounce but easy to chomp on, the Z’Burger was a large but manageable bad boy that blended salty, sweet, and savory. The caramelized onion aioli was umami nirvana while the diced bacon was smoky without overwhelming the bunned delight. It could have used veggies other than just lettuce, but the overall experience was original and tasty.
Z’Philly Cheeze was a straightforward take on the classic cheesesteak. Every bite of juicy sirloin, melted queso blanco, and grilled onion sent my taste buds into hyperdrive. Compared to the other items I tried, the gargantuan Z’Philly Cheeze wasn’t super-inventive, just delicious.
One of seven Rock Dogz, or gourmet hot dogs, the Mellencamp was a tasty hot mess. Spilling over the long, thick wiener was a small pool of mild queso blanco and hearty chili mercifully sans beans. Like the heartland rock that inspired this sucker, the overall effect hurt so good.
The Beach Boy is highly Instagrammable. Crisscrossing drizzles of mustard atop the jumbo wiener set the visual backdrop for small chunks of bright green avocado and colorful giardiniera. Every bite was a flavor explosion that alternated between tangy, fiery, and creamy.
Rather than settle for expected pub grub, the folks behind Food at Lola’s have created a largely original menu in which the humble hot dog is elevated to scrumptious variations inspired by regional cuisine. And the burger is easily in the Top 10 of the city.
Right now, knowing when the restaurant opens is a bit of a guessing game because the hours of operation are not listed in cyberspace or anywhere inside the restaurant. One staffer said Food at Lola’s is working on “floating hours” that change week to week. With new concepts, it can be hard to gauge customer demand, but regular posted hours would be nice at some point — that’s my only gripe and a small one at that.
Food at Lola’s
Beach Boy $10
Z’Philly Cheeze $12
Thundercats Picklez $8
Food at Lola’s
2000 W Berry St, FW. Thu-Sun.