18th and Vine (Dallas, TX)

As part of a work team-building, getting-to-know-the-crew-type meal a while ago, I ended up at 18th and Vine. I thought the suggestion that the place was fancy for a BBQ place was a joke, wearing a baseball cap – that was a mistake. It is actually pretty fancy (for a BBQ place: Actual plates! Clean tables! Silverware!), but it is still BBQ, so they’ll forgive you if you show up in a baseball cap ready to chow down.

Emoji review: 🐂🐖🍲🍺…💰😃

Fortunately, my boss was covering the food for the evening, leaving us to pay for drinks. I had one beer, a Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA, and that cost me $10.38 (plus tip) – yikes! Suffice to say, I’m unlikely to take the whole family down. Our group of six split a big meal with a lot of sides. I put just a little of everything on my plate, not wanting to have “OMG this guy just ate all the food and didn’t leave any for me” as my co-workers’ first impression of me (not pictured: fried okra, which got added later, I didn’t know I liked before this, and was amazing).

It’s places like 18th and Vine that give fine dining a good name – while you might not get as much food and it might cost more, it’s served beautifully, the restaurant is well-kept, the staff is helpful, and the food is mighty delicious.

I can’t even really point out my favorite parts (except the mashed potatoes, which were the best I remember eating – sorry, honey) because everything was equal parts delicious and something that I haven’t tasted quite that way before.

All in all, I give 18th and Vine the highest honor I can give an expensive-to-eat place: It’s so delicious, it’s actually worth the money to eat there (I just wish I had more money).