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Cock & Bull Continues to Push the Bar Food Envelope with New Menu

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Cock & Bull's rocking a fancy new menu.
Cock & Bull's rocking a fancy new menu.
Photo credit: Caren Rodriguez


Beloved Lakewood pub Cock & Bull introduced a whopping 17 new menu items recently. Although the 16-year-old bar may not look too remarkable at first glance, take one step inside and you'll be pleased to find an impressive menu boasting fare not typical of bar food.

Executive chef Asher Stevens works 12 to 15-hour shifts practically seven days a week to serve his patrons uniquely fresh cuisine. "I'm pretty much a one-man show, and I'm here pretty much 90 percent of my life," Stevens says. "I work out of a tiny kitchen with home refrigerators [and] home freezers, and everything is made-to-order."

Stevens gave us the details on the new menu items and revealed why Cock & Bull isn't your average neighborhood pub.

Why did you decide to change the menu? Just to bring in new ideas, go with the seasons. We'll change it again when it starts to cool down. There are some staples that just stay, that have always been here, that were items that were here before I came here. It's just the regulars demand them, like the asparagus salad and the burgers.

What inspired the new dishes? I guess growing up, my grandmother. There's a particular salad on here (Southwest Salad, $7) that was influenced by my grandmother. She made a Southwest salad that was actually, that's a take off of a dish my grandmother used to do for us when we were kids. It was kinda my favorite. [laughs] I'm very influenced by Middle Eastern [cuisine]; some Asian [cuisine], to an extent. I like all the wide range of ingredients in Asian cooking. A lot of it all goes back to my French background. There's several dishes, as you can tell, that were influenced by French [cuisine]. Which has always been one of my favorites, it's not quite the healthiest, but it's always been my favorite.

Tell me about some interesting ingredients featured in the new dishes. The country chicken (country style chicken, $16) comes with natural carrots, purple and yellow carrots, as well as purple potatoes. As weird as it seems, I guess, we've had several people that come in and eat it and we see the plate come back and the carrots and potatoes haven't been touched. When the waitress asked them [why they didn't eat the carrots or potatoes], they [said they] didn't know what they were. They had never seen a purple carrot. [We also feature] salsify, which is a unique [ingredient]. You don't see a lot of places use that, especially not a place like this. That's something you'll see in more of, like, a higher-end restaurant, but it's always been one of my favorites. It's kind of similar to a carrot, it's a root vegetable. It's kind of a neutral, it takes on the flavor of what you cook it with. It's crisp, crunchy, when it's cut up it looks just like a piece of white carrot. Right now I had to get them from Belgium. Certain things like that, I think people should try them. There's a lot of wonderful ingredients out there, vegetable-wise, herb-wise and stuff. With the venison, I brought a classic epazote, which you don't see a lot now. Even with the Hispanic community, it seems like it's one of those things that's dying. It's going away. It's the older people that still use it. I think it's a wonderful herb. I try and bring a little bit of new [ingredients] to them, to get them to try it. I don't want to get too crazy.

You've had the new menu for two weeks, what are the standout dishes so far? The buffalo dish (buffalo & barley, $27) has been a big seller. The venison (venison & TX peaches, $22) is one of the biggest ones, too. I assumed it would be the chicken or the buffalo, [but] it seems the venison has been taking off really well. I would have to say the scallop gratin (bay scallop gratin, $8) has to be the other best-selling item.

What is your favorite new dish? I really like the quail dish (stuffed quail, $20). It has a peach and pecan cornbread stuffing that we make in-house with fresh peaches. It's oven-roasted and served with white bean [and] yellow carrot cassoulet. It kind of [has] a fresh taste with the cassoulet, [and] it's got a bit of a smoky flavor. The whole thing is drizzled with a Spanish smoked paprika oil that I have brought in by my import lady, Amy.

Do you have any complaints or feedback from customers? I do get some complaints about the prices. It comes down to the ingredients I'm buying. Like the venison, it's New Zealand venison. I'm not buying some East Texas crappy venison, you know. [laughs] Or like the tuna, I'm having that shipped here from Honolulu, you know. I'm paying good money for it.

— Caren Rodriguez

Note: As this is an early copy of the new menu, all prices may not be accurate.

Cock & Bull Menu page 1

Cock & Bull Menu page 2

Cock & Bull

6330 Gaston Ave. Dallas, TX 75214

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