In honor of Classics Week, it's time for a fond look back at long-gone Dallas restaurants, beginning with a visual tour of vintage Dallas restaurant menus. Behold, the gloriously fruity tiki drinks and $3 T-bone steaks of yesteryear, courtesy of the Ephemera Collection at the Dallas Public Library:
A franchise of the iconic California-born Big Boy burger chain, Kip's at one time had locations all over Dallas. In addition to classic burgers and fried fish sandwiches, Kip's also served weird retro fare like a cottage cheese and pineapple salad and "Spanish style" spaghetti and chili. (Bonus: They even served complimentary baby food from "a nationally known brand." What restaurants do that today?)
According to OakCliff.org, Pappy's Showland was a hot Oak Cliff nightlife spot in the post-World War II era that "hosted numerous B-grade entertainers, some Big Band groups, and a scattering of larger acts, among them Bob Hope and Chubby Checker." T-bone steak with salad, fries, and coffee or milk (you know, back before everyone became lactose intolerant) was a mere $3.
Ports O'Call was a tiki restaurant that was located on the 37th floor of the Sheraton Hotel's Southland Life Tower. It opened in 1960 and had four different themed dining rooms (Macao, Saigon, Papeete, and Singapore). There were fruity cocktails galore and oh-so-exotic "Polynesian" fare like curried meatballs and egg rolls.
Here's a place many will probably remember: A hot spot in the neighborhood's 1980's heyday, Deep Ellum Cafe was briefly resurrected in the mid-aughts. (It's not clear which iteration this menu is from, but judging from the lack of area code in the phone number, it's probably from the first go-round.) At any rate, dishes like herb-marinated game hen with aioli and a grilled banana pecan-bread sundae wouldn't be out of place in the current dining scene, although that "scallop pie" sounds a little fishy.
Located in the McKinney Avenue space at Hall Street that's now occupied by Breadwinners, Andrew's was a vaguely New Orleans-influenced restaurant owned by two brothers that boasted a seriously fun cocktail menu.
All menus courtesy of the Dallas Public Library.