After my amazing epicurean adventure at Neighborhood Services a few weeks ago, I promised all one million five of you who actually read my blog that I was on a mission to review the entire NS family.
Seeing as I got a special birthday surprise of pneumonia I wanted to lay semi-low but, naturally, still wanted a delicious meal. I decided to check out Neighborhood Services Tavern as I had heard it was “like, totally different and laid back,” perfect for my state of dead woman walking.
The tavern is what you would expect, complete with dart board, booths and high tables. It is a completely different feel than “the original” and I was somewhere between depressed and relieved to see that the servers weren’t prancing around in cable knit sweaters again. White polos? Not exactly what I would call tavern wear but this is Dallas after-all so I’ll take it.
I vowed not to drink but of course was overly enticed by the cocktail menu. Pimms cup? Ok, fine. Basic Instinct? I’ll take two. It’s just really hot outside!
Being the vultures we are, my table started off with the “Double Deviled Eggs.” Now, I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, I don’t eat anything that had the face of Babe at one point so the deviled eggs scared me with their bacon chutney piled high on top. I’ll admit, I scraped that shit off while singing “la, la, la” in my head but finally got to dig into this glorious egg after inspecting it one more time for good measure. Delish! I can’t say that they beat out R+D Kitchen’s but I can undoubtedly give them the silver medal. As far as presentation goes, they get the gold by a long shot.
We also decided on the “My Standard Dips” to start off with since Neighborhood Services Tavern doesn’t seem to think it’s necessary to sell the onion rings that the original does. Those little shits are good enough to sell my soul to the devil (as if I haven’t already). The chips were standard and the salsa just like these Texans seem to enjoy, seemingly on the verge of pureed tomatoes to me but tasty nonetheless. The crab dip had a crispy bubbling crust with huge chunks of crab meat mixed in, although it was served a little cold. For my main I chose the “Chicken Fried Chicken & Buttermilk Waffles.” Comfort food always makes life better, right? This plate is not for the faint of heart, as the batter as well as the sauce that drizzles the plate is spicy. Personally I thought it was great, but just fair warning as the menu doesn’t allude to it being spicy whatsoever. The chicken fried chicken had been pounded down to be delicately thin, making it extra crunchy for every bite-the way FRIED chicken should be. The waffles were great too and managed to not get the least bit soggy. Magic? What topped this dish off was the cup of fresh diced peaches on the side. The sweet tender peaches balanced out the spicy chicken and smooth waffles perfectly.
The “Low Country Shrimp & Grits” also made it’s big debut at our table. This dish was absolutely fantastic and one that I will definitely order tomorrow the next time I visit Neighborhood Services Tavern. The grits weren’t too, for lack of a better word, gritty (badum bpshhh) at all and had an almost velvety texture. The shrimp was perfectly cooked and the seasoning had managed to make it’s way through the entirety of the meat and not just stay surface level, a feat for pesky bottom feeders! My guest declared the shrimp “the best” she had ever had after taking just one bite. The “Low Country Shrimp & Grits” is such a cock tease with it’s delicious drool-all-over-yourself taste but surprisingly small portion size.
We also got “Willy’s Call Fish & Chips,” however on this particular day we were lucky enough to have the fish actually be soft shell crab. My heart immediately started fluttering when this plate came out and no, it was the palpitations of an early-warning heart attack. There is something about a whole being…fried, that gets me all riled up. As for the taste? Succulent. The crab was melt in your mouth tender and it was accompanied with the signature BBQ sliced fries that never seem to disappoint.
The other dish that graced our table was the daily special..well two of them actually that we had combined so we could try more. Closet fat kid? Maybe. Genius? Absolutely. One half of the special plate was a BBQ grilled piece of mahi mahi which was, again, cooked perfectly and flaked off without any resistance. Not too much to say about this as it was probably the least favored item that we ordered (although, by NO means bad). The other special on our plate was the fried chicken taco. Wrapped in a fresh tortilla and topped with bacon, it left two of my table mates (clearly, myself not included – please refer to the above comment about Babe) speechless. The taco was categorized as a “top 5” my friend has ever tasted Now, this speaks volumes seeing as he is the only person I know who actually ventures to those roach-infested, bars on the windows kinda Mexican restaurants in search of the perfect taco.
For dessert, it was my birthday after all, we enjoyed the homemade rice crispy treats stuffed with chocolate ice cream. That is my version of the perfect sandwich and it left me questioning why the fuck I had wasted my time with crustless pb&j’s my whole childhood.
One thing I must say about the Neighborhood Services family is they have exceptional service. From tastes of wine to make sure that we enjoyed it prior to ordering an entire glass, to an extra piece of dessert so our entire party could have their own, the extra things go a long way. I enjoy a great meal as much as anyone but give me great service and I’ll be eating dog shit out of the palm of your hand, I can only assume the grill will be the same and I can’t wait to go.
Peace, Love, Calories.