Editor's note: TheaterJones has a new bi-weekly featsre, Dinner and a Show, in which we will pair a performing arts event in North Texas with a nearby restaurant, so you can make a night of your arts going. The restaurant reviews are written by Kelly Kirkendoll, a longtime North Texas public relations guru and food blogger who has the Kitchen Gone Rogue blog, where she writes about the local dining scene and shares recipes and other tips. The "show" part of this feature will be written by a TheaterJones arts writer. Look for this column every other Thursday.
Buddy — The Buddy Holly Story
Presented by Garland Civic Theatre
Directed by Dennis Canright; music direction by Scott Eckert
Granville Arts Center, 300 N. Fifth St., Garland
January 25-Feb. 10
For tickets, click here
Ian Mead Moore plays the title role in the musical about the Lubbock rocker. You can read more about him and the show in our interview, here.
Address: 310 Town Center Blvd in Garland
Hours: Sun- Thursday 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Parking: Parking lot beside and behind Wildwood
Distance from the show venue: a 10-15 minute-drive from the Granville Arts Center in Garland
What dining establishment pairs well with The Buddy Holly Story? I turned to Google for some help, and learned that Buddy Holly’s favorite foods included steak, pizza and peanut butter sandwiches. To honor his legacy, steak seemed the most fitting, so I turned to Google again to research restaurants in Garland that serve a good steak.
The Wildwood in Garland, which opened last spring, jumped out at me. I ate at the original one in Southlake several years ago and enjoyed it. Opened in 2009 and family-owned, the Southlake Wildwood was their only location until they opened the new one in Garland. The restaurants share a menu, which features several steak options.
When I first walked through the doors, I was surprised that the interior didn't feel as upscale as the original. However, it was inviting and comfortable, and I’ve since learned that the Southlake Wildwood underwent a redesign in 2016 to make it more modern and casual, and they carried that new design over to Garland. At the same time, the menu was also updated and a new tagline was added—"smoke, craft, whiskey"—to reflect their signature wood-fired grill cuisine, craft beers and specialty cocktails featuring bourbons and ryes from American small-batch distilleries.
For this review, I enlisted the help of a fellow foodie to be my dining partner in crime. He ordered an appetizer, The Dragon Dip, that I could only drool over, thanks to my dairy allergy. It's a mustard seed-infused Cheddar cheese beer dip, served with two small loaves of toasted pretzel bread. The dip was a tad greasy, but it was creamy, comforting and delicious; the bread was soft and fresh. Would he order it again? Definitely.
Meanwhile, I ate a salad. Although any salad pales in comparison to a cheese beer dip with pretzel bread, my artisan salad was tasty. Made with mixed greens, mission figs, jicama, grape tomatoes and toasted pepita seeds, the ingredients were fresh and a nice combination in terms of taste and texture.
For my entree, I ordered the hanger steak, with a few alterations because I was eating Whole30 at the time. I have to give a shout out to our server here! She went back to the kitchen several times on my behalf, to inquire about ingredients and how things are prepared (on my list of Whole30 "no-nos" were sugar, soy, alcohol, grains and more). With her help, I ordered the Hanger Steak, without the red wine reduction sauce, and seasonal vegetables instead of the mashed potatoes.
My steak was the star of the meal! It was perfectly cooked (medium rare), tender and flavorful, with a hint of hickory smoke on the outer char. I am a big fan of sauces and condiments, so I was worried about eating the steak plain, with just pepper on it. There was no need to worry! I enjoyed my steak immensely and ate every single bite, except for the little bit I painfully gave up to share.
The seasonal vegetables were surprisingly good. A mix of roasted butternut squash, brussels sprouts, squash and red onions, the unique combo paired well with the steak.
My dining partner ordered the hickory smoked fried chicken with Napa slaw. He subbed out the parmesan fries for their green beans. The chicken was prepared "hot Nashville-style," and it was seasoned well. He enjoyed the flavor, but it was not as crispy as he would have preferred.
The green beans, on the other hand, were perfect—seasoned well and not overcooked. The Napa slaw provided a nice blend of flavors, although it was unexpectedly spicy, thanks to some jalapenos. That’s not a complaint—just a warning.
What would we go back for? Hands down, the hanger steak! The vegetables we ordered were standouts as well. Next time, we’ll also check out Wildwood’s cocktails, preferably during a warm month when we can enjoy their indoor/outdoor bar feature, where we’ll be sure to make a toast to Buddy Holly…and good steak.
» View more pictures from Wildwood Garland by clicking the slideshow icon in the floating menu at the lower left of your screen
» You can also read Kelly's review of Wildwood Garland on her blog, Kitchen Gone Rogue, which has additional photos.