Food is an integral part of our past time. Fortunately, there are numerous food venues (restaurants) that can be the stage sets for Dentoning. Some have been around for decades, some are new and some have yet to appear. I think my favorite Denton restaurant of all time WAS La Casita. Anyone who has lived in Denton most of their lives remembers the exquisite (I didn’t know that word back then) little Mexican food place just south of the new condos Jack Bell is building on the site of the old Wells Fargo drive thru, just south of downtown. It was a place my family went regularly after church on Sunday, with half of Denton there with us. This is possibly the site of the genesis of Dentoning, but right now, I disremember the exact locale. That may or may not be important some day, so I’ll keep thinking about it……. I usually got the “Pony Dinner”. I forget what was on it, I think I just liked the name. My brothers usually got the same, but occasionally, we’d splurge and get the Mexican Steak for $2.25. Another deceased restaurant I remember, but never dined at was, “Gude and Iola’s”. If I remember correctly, this hole in the wall culinary joint was on E. Hickory, somewhere in the vicinity of the Denton Record-Chronicle (NOTICE: nowhere in my 200 + page contract with the DRC am I required to mention it’s name). I am sorry that I never ate there, because I’d really like to have bragging rights of having done so.
Many Denton restaurants of days gone by are legendary. Lane’s, on Congress, next door to new restaurant Loco Cafe was a Denton hub for decades. It was a quintessential (that’s the first time I have ever used that word) malt shop with awesome malts/milkshakes, burgers and such. Jane and Duane Lane and siblings worked there along with their father, working their magic. This was a trans-generational food venue for my family, because my mother used to frequent said malt shop when she was in high school at Denton High (a bragging side note: she was Homecoming Queen at DHS before I met her). Come to think of it, Jane Lane was Miss DHS in 1975 and I have to assume that Phyllis George and Shirley Cothran Barrett ate at Lane’s at one time or another, so………… the only logical conclusion we can make is that there was something in the fries or burgers which eventually led to the making of beautiful women! I love science and logistics!!!….. Diagonally across Locust from Lane’s was the Juicy Pig……another place of Denton legend. The Juicy Pig was very forward looking. They had a projector on the roof which shot Denton pictures to a screen on top of Brook’s Dairy next door to it. Were Dentoning around back then, La Casita, Lane’s and the Juicy Pig would be part of the rounds, Brooks would not. It’s not that Brook’s was not a fine establishment, it’s just that a dairy does not properly lend itself to Dentoning. (Another side note: During a 2nd grade field trip to Brook’s Dairy, my class got to see how milk was bottled and rats the size of cats!). We can’t review all the restaurants of old in one blog, so we’ll address this subject further in future posts, but one final dining joint that deserves mention, in the first talk of old Denton food haunts, is Three Sister’s diner on the south side of the square. They had HUGE, incredible breakfasts and surly waitresses! You just can’t beat a good, surly waitress…….
Enough about yesteryear for now, let’s talk briefly about restaurants of today and their role in Dentoning, and then call it a blog…… Just so you know, this blogger is not a fan of chains. I much prefer mom and pop places than chains. Fortunately, we have many non-chain restaurants in our great city. One of the newest is the Love Shack, opened by renowned chef and Dentonite, Tim Love. Love Shack is in the fast lane of Dentoning more because of it’s location than the food, though the food is good. It’s unique design and layout is a preview, I think, of things to come. Mellow Mushroom, though a chain, is different and cool enough to make the Dentoning cut. It’s also smack dab in the middle of the “Entertainment District”, where much D’ing occurs. Food will be a recurring topic here, so we have to save some for later. Enjoy the weekend, the rain and our city!!!!
[NOTICE: Brooks Dairy was a fine, clean, and wholesome dairy. Ginormous rats are just an ancillary byproduct of the dairy business]