Where have all the restaurants gone? Long time passing…


by Lorraine Cherry

I began writing this column 6 years ago in February 2011. There’s been so much change in Timbergrove that we now have a lot of residents who didn’t live here back then. For your benefit, as well as anyone else who might be interested, I thought I would take this opportunity to get in Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine and revisit the 10 restaurants we reviewed in 2011 and 2012.

Restaurants we reviewed in 2011


Fratelli’s Authentic Italian Cuisine (Highway 290 near 34th). This was the original Fratelli’s and it was wonderful. House-made pasta and gnocchi, wonderful seafood dishes. It broke my heart when they ran into a lease dispute with their landlord and had to close down after 13 years.

Louisiana Foods (12th St. west of the 610 loop). This was a great place for Cajun lunches as well as a limited-inventory seafood market. But their main business was always wholesale trade to restaurants, and last year they went into that full-time.

Triple A (Airline near Canino’s Farmers Market). An old-timey diner-style place that was run by a local family for 3 generations. Another of the dreaded landlord disputes closed them down last year.

Still open and well worth a visit

El Rey Taqueria (Washington east of N. Shepherd; Yale at the North Loop). Fabulous Cuban food, spit-roasted chicken, tortilla soup, Cuban coffee, fresh-squeezed orange juice. The Yale Street location is brand new and replaces the old location across from Waltrip High School.

Heights Asian Café (22nd and Yale). Still some of the best Chinese food in this area. Super-fresh ingredients, house-made dumplings, all dishes made to order. Go early (or order as take-out) or else be ready to wait in line.

Restaurants we reviewed in 2012

Still open and well worth a visit

Belissimo (Airline north of 20th Street). A wonder of a menu for a family-run Italian place. Some very high-end items on the regular menu, along with great pasta dishes. When tomato season starts, ask if they have the burrata/sliced tomato salad. Impossibly creamy and decadent and totally exceptional!

Domino’s (West 18th street east of Ella). A cut above the standard take-out pizza place, with good crusts and plentiful toppings. The 3-topping large pizzas are now available for only $7.98, 7 days a week. Plus, they’ve started serving salads which we have found to be very fresh and a good side for the cheap pizza.

Lola (Yale at West 11th). Don’t go if you’re not hungry—the portions are huge. People go for the breakfasts and the world-class sandwiches. I go for the best goat cheese salad in town.

Rainbow Lodge (Ella at E. T.C. Jester). The neighborhood special occasion restaurant, with an emphasis on wild game. A beautiful setting with wonderful food.   Happy hour prices weeknights until 7:00 p.m.

Stalla’s Deli (North side of 290 at Mangum). This great little Greek/South African deli is fighting it out with the freeway expansion, but is still holding its own as we go to press. Currently open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A take-away lesson here is that some really good restaurants suddenly shut their doors when you’re not looking. So try that new restaurant tonight!