Friday, May 15, 2015

Two Sides of Southlake and Restaurant Review

Large house in Southlake
When I think of the Southlake area I generally think of grand homes and upscale shopping complexes. However, there is another side to this fashionable community. Although not incorporated until 1956, Southlake was first settled in the 1840s. It was part of a group of small settlements that included Dove, Jellico, Union Church and Whites Chapel.

Known for the growing of cotton and melons, the Dove Community began in the 1870s. The addition of a store, post office and Lonesome Dove School helped solidify the town, as did the Lonesome Dove Baptist Church and Cemetery. The construction of Lake Grapevine caused some families to relocate and the annexation by Southlake put an end to the Dove Community, but remnants of it still exist. Another small town, Jellico, was established in the late 1880s. It consisted of a post office, a cotton gin,
Top: Log house
Bottom: Barn at Bob Jones Environmental Center
blacksmith shop, grist mill, syrup press, and school. With the waning of cotton prices, the town failed. Union Church probably had the same history as these other tiny towns, but it seems to have faded into history ~ or at least I can’t find anything about it. White's Chapel was actually not a town but a Methodist Church with its community that grew up around it. It began as a log meetinghouse and was the first Methodist church in this area. Eventually a school and a cemetery were built. While Dove, Jellico, Union, and White’s Chapel schools all served this area, the school that led to the development of the Southlake-Carroll school system was the Carroll school. In 1919 the school had three teachers to instruct 97 students in nine grades in a wooden building. It continued to serve as an elementary school until 1970.

The Southlake area continued as a rural community even after Lake Grapevine was
Left: Southlake Town Center
Bottom: Southlake Art Fest
completed. However when DFW International Airport was built in the 1970s, Southlake’s population exploded and it’s complexion changed. It became an enclave for people with above average income and expensive shopping areas. We actually were in Southlake for Art Fest and to have a bite of lunch. Many of the artists showed spectacular works that were outside out spending comfort zone or were much too large for our walls. As to lunch, that seemed to be everyone’s idea and even though there are lots of places to eat, all were crowded so we opted to run into nearby Grapevine. For information about my rating system, see Reading the Reviews.

What we ate…
Three and one-half carrots
Big Fish Seafood Grill and Bar (414 S Main St, Grapevine, TX, 817-481-2010) is actually not a chain although there are several other restaurants that have similar names. Two of the
Top: Fish and Chips
Bottom: Coconut Shrimp Salad, Crawfish
Near-Normal Travelers were looking for crawfish and they were not disappointed. In fact, they’ve been back for more of those mud bugs. They said that the crawfish were large and well spiced; the garlic butter got an excellent rating. They were a bit disappointed with the corn on the cob and the potatoes, saying that they shared none of the spices with the crawfish. Dave had fish and chips that he said were okay. The fish was white and firm, but the breading didn’t seem to have any pizzazz. I had coconut shrimp that were a bit over cooked, on a bed of lettuce with a lovely dressing. Dave and I would go back to sample other offerings. The service was mediocre bordering on inefficient on this visit; however, on their return trip, the other Travelers said that service was much better.