Sunday, June 8, 2008

Quickie Review #23: Avalons Casual Fine Dining

In classical British mythology, Avalon is known as "the isle of apples," the place where the body of King Arthur came to rest when floated down the river after he was mortally wounded in battle. There, he was cared for by mysterious maidens, including the beautifully bewitching Morgan Le Fay, where he supposedly lies in wait if Britain should ever need him and his Knights of the Round Table again. Arthur may be no longer with us, but Avalon has been resurrected and brought to the North Texas neighborhood of Castle Hills, as a casual fine dining restaurant. In search of a magical experience, my lovely wife the Rock Star and I puttered on over there one recent Saturday evening.

Upon arrival, we discovered that most of the place had been reserved for a wedding reception, and only the outdoor patio was still available. After a brief discussion, we decided to stay and were soon escorted to a lovely spot overlooking a small pond. (I looked, but I could discern no Lady of the Lake prowling its waters.) Soon, the wonderful Mandy discovered us and thereafter attended to our needs. (Service is indeed one of the high points of the Avalon dining experience.)
We started with chips and salsa and they were quite marvelous; we were given a generous boat of the salsa and it had quite the peppery kick. Since it is now (almost officially) summer, my bride was in a salad mood and selected the Fried Chicken Salad: nice, fresh mixed greens tossed with very crispy chicken, diced tomatos, and cheddar cheese, served with ranch dressing. Nice and uncomplicated. I was also in my comfort food mode and selected the Chicken Fried Steak. In due course, I was presented with a large slab of meat with (again) very crispy breading, topped with cream gravy that held just a touch of spice. (I added to said spice by also topping it with salsa.) Mashed potatoes were just OK, but the cream gravy atop them rode to the assistance like Sir Galahad in seach of the Holy Grail. My wife accompanied her repast with Woodbridge Chardonnay; I ordered Ziegenbock beer on draft, which paired very well with everything. We would loved to have lingered, but as the day was quite hot and humid we were in danger of getting sunstroke on the patio and so boxed leftovers and departed. Website is, and yes they do have an internet dining club. Start your own legend soon, and as always:



Donna said...

What a coincidence, I was at Avalon's last Friday eating exactly that, chicken fried steak. Mine didn't turn out as great as yours though, it was overfried and the steak was tough to cut through. Markup on the wines were a little high, too, IMO (more than 3.5x on our bottle of Red Zin). But... I like that Avalon's prices are kept reasonable despite the fact that they can easily be inflated due to location. It also has quite the lively bar scene on weekends it seems!

Should note that my dining companion tried the gyro which was surprising good for a non-Greek restaurant.

Food Czar said...

Thanks for the notes, Donna, particularly about the gyro. I love gyros and will have to try it next time. I also agree about the wine markup, that's why I stuck with beer. Did you see their Saturday lunch special? Buy one entree, get one at half price. Will have to take them up on it!

michelle said...

great review... thank you!

also, i wanted to thank you for your tips on the races. it was really helpful and we had a great time! :)


Margie said...

I think you're very brave for staying around when there was a wedding party on the premisis!