Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cisco Grill: A Mother Daughter Tradition

Cisco Grill holds a very special place in my heart. This Dallas staple is located in Snider Plaza, the "downtown" of the Park Cities. Snider Plaza is perhaps the most quaint shopping district I have ever had the pleasure of shopping in, and many of the stores and restaurants located along the plaza have been there since I can remember. Walking around Snider Plaza, you feel as though you have stepped back in time to 1950, a comforting and calming feeling. Some of my favorites include: Amore, Peggy Sue's BBQ, JD's Chippery, Mustang Doughnuts, A Peek in the Attic, Bubbas, Cotton Island, Kuby's, and Suzanne Roberts Gifts. My very favorite is Cisco Grill, for many reasons, the most important of which is my mom. My mom and I love Cisco Grill, and we go together for lunch at least once a month. We have been doing this since I was in high school, and goodness, I graduated 10 years ago! We almost always have the same waiter, who already knows our order before we sit down. He still asks what we want, and then chuckles when I order the same salad for both my mom and myself, as I have for the past 10 years, with the exact same stipulations every time. We have laughed, cried, shared joys and sadness at almost every table in this small neighborhood restaurant, and always over a delectable meal with friendly service. I do not know what we would do without Cisco Grill! I don't have any pictures of us at Cisco Grill....so please enjoy some of my favorites!

Cisco Grill, Amore and Peggy Sue's BBQ are all owned by the same lovely family, the Hall family. I grew up with their daughter and was always so jealous of her! I assumed they got to eat every meal at these three restaurants. I couldn't imagine anything better! Each restaurant is completely unique from the others, with the decor in each perfectly fit to each unique menu.

Cicso Grill is Southwestern in feel and taste. The front step is warm and inviting with large windows and a small patio to the side, a delightful place to sit and chat when the weather complies. The inside is warm and comforting, and really feels as though you might be in Santa Fe. There are two best seats: the two booths that jut out onto the front patio enclosed with windows, so you are very private within the restaurant but can also spy out onto the hustle and bustle of the plaza. One thing that I think is very unique and special about Cisco Grill is the loyalty of the wait staff. Waiters and waitresses are there for years upon years, and they are clearly happy and comfortable in the restaurant. This leads to an easy and casual feel, almost as though you are at your dear friend's house for lunch or dinner, as though you were an invited guest, not a paying customer.

I have only one negative, and it is external to the restaurant. Parking! Parking is just horrendous in Snider Plaza. I cross my fingers and toes hoping for a parking spot, and generally end up circling three times and then parking down the street. I love going to Snider Plaza in the Fall and Spring, as I can walk there from my house. I would far rather walk to a restaurant than drive, but Dallas is not the most walking friendly city due to the general distance between places, and the ridiculous temperatures...110 today. Anyways, I hope the parking situation will be addressed someday.

I must confess, this is not the most well rounded of reviews in regards to the food, as I have only had two things on the menu in the past 20 some odd years. Until high school, I always ordered the cheese toasts, and probably would still be ordering these if I hadn't tried my new "regular" order. I keep trying to order new and different things, but every time I go to Cisco, I go because I am craving this delicious dish! My "regular" order with my mom is the Southwestern Chopped Salad with grilled chicken rather than the fried as stipulated on the menu (and mom always gets my guacamole). This salad is perfect. I have tried to recreate it many times, and I just cannot! It is the freshest combination of perfectly grilled chicken, cold and crisp lettuce, tiny diced tomatoes to match the bright corn kernels, crunchy tortilla strips and creamy BBQ ranch dressing. It is served with a warm cornbread muffin. This is not just a muffin, but a golden sweet fluffy muffin that melts in your mouth and tastes like freshly picked corn. I could eat a whole basket full of these muffins, so it might be a good thing that they just give you one.

I have been with people other than my mom, and they have broader horizons than I, as they order a variety of dishes! However, no matter who I go to Cisco Grill with and what we order, we always end the meal with full tummies, happy taste buds, and we are always a little better off than we were when we sat down to eat. Thank you Cisco Grill!

Trip down memory lane....puppy Cort!

Cort at one year! She looks pretty much the same today...perhaps a pound or two heavier...

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