Getting out of town doesn’t always mean hoping on a plane. Sometimes you just need a getaway that feels far away without the matching price tag. So grab a few friends and make your way to a little town called Denton.
Primarily known for cheap shots and college kids sporting Mean Green attire, one could easily dismiss Denton as being a party town for students. And while that’s true, this place still has more to offer than just Jell-O shots and freshman angst. To that avail, a few foodie pals and myself decided to descend upon the town and grub and sip our way through it.
Before beginning our rendezvous we made our way to a gorgeously rustic and comfortable home in Argyle, Texas. If you’re looking for a quick escape, Argyle is ideal. The small but charming city sits just outside of Denton, so it’s not too far away from restaurants and bars it’s just far away enough that you can appreciate its tranquil quaintness.
It’s peaceful here. It’s charming here. There are plenty of areas throughout the home that can be used for a little quiet reflection or giggling with your girls. Driving down the rocky road to this property, stepping out your vehicle and seeping in the space for the first time is a little bit of magic. I was personally greeted by a few turkeys that roamed over from the little farm next door. After a few quick introductions from my fine feathered friends, my eyes met the long and welcoming porch of this stunning house. Orange cushioned and wooden rocking chairs sat against two large and open windows. Inside was a stunning brick fireplace, several chairs and a scenic wallpaper displaying the woods. A large piano and guitars create an excellent quaint acoustic entertainment section. The kitchen is big enough to amuse plenty, and small enough to create a feeling of intimacy. Each bedroom offers its own version of comfort. The spacious master bedroom is perfect for two, and is accompanied by a beautiful bathroom and generous closet. Meanwhile the guest rooms include a picturesque single full bed surrounded by windows, and a cozy bedroom that features two twin beds.
Beyond the guitars and piano, fun can be had upstairs playing a little pool, or winning at the old fashioned arcade game. Or hanging out in the studio and guest house next door (Another bedroom and bathroom are here along with a kitchenette). On warmer days, you’ll want to spend plenty of time enjoying the patio that’s accompanied by an outdoor fireplace. Definitely not a bad place to have an epic barbeque.
After settling inside this captivating house, it was time for a cocktail. I wet my whistle with a sippage of smooth American Whiskey: Title 21, over ice. It’s smooth enough to drink with a few cubes of ice and the perfect cocktail to begin a night of grubbing.
As our appetites made their appearance for the evening, we hightailed it over to LSA Burger Co. One of the liveliest spots in Denton, they are known for their rooftop patio bar, bands and burgers. We decided to kick things off with the brisket queso. Tender, sweet barbequed brisket combines with cheesiness to create an addictive flavor likely to linger in your memory bank. I have quite the affinity for barbeque sauce on my burger. So, I ordered the Ready Freddie, and was in no way disappointed. This barbequed patty is topped with cheddar, bacon, grilled onions and pickles. Fries are served standard style or garlic parmesan. Make sure you go for the garlic parm.
Full of beef and ready to hit the streets, we decided to skedaddle and seek some sips. We found an upstairs watering hall called Paschall Bsr. This isn’t exactly what you would expect to see in Denton. It’s a true cocktail bar, where one can lose their wits a bit with absinthe, or feel the hair growing on their chest with a tightly made old fashion. The vibe is slightly upscale and loungey with a hint of vintage cool, making it ideal for the start or ending of your evening. To finalize our night of burgers and booze, we decided to wrap up with a little dancing. Because, you can’t go to Denton without dancing and goofing around with college kids.
The next morning, happily hangover free, it was time to fill our bellies once more. For brunch we headed to Barley & Board. Located in downtown Denton, this place has a very open feel, pouring loads of sunlight throughout the restaurant, it seems to beckon for your appetite to pull up a chair and sit for a spell. Start your brunch with their fresh French press coffee, then graduate into the mimosas. Here, you’ll want to experience the mimosa flight, which consists of a carafe of champagne and various syrups including Strawberry Mint, Hibiscus, Peach and Blood Orange. Though we visited for brunch, many of the brunch options include eggs, so, if you’re like me, the eggless diva, you’ll want to choose something from the regular menu which thankfully you can during brunch. We started with the Blue Cheese Potato Chips covered in maytag blue cheese and chives, an absolutely addictive plate of Truffled Portobello Fries served with mustard aioli and Bacon Wrapped Medjool Dates with chorizo and piquillo sauce. All great, but, those Portobello fries made me a believer in the goodness of the Portobello mushrooms.
For entrees we decided on a variety of things including the Hangtown Frittata made with smoked bacon, shallots, peppadew, cheddar and fried oysters. The Smoked Salmon Scramble, according to Erin of the FindingDallasBlog, was tasty with its fluffy eggs, spinach, tomato relish, smoked salmon, tators and toast. I went for a half slab of the baby back ribs which are served with matchstick aka shoestring fries. Ribs here aren’t bad and will make you reconsider the rather getting a slab outside of a barbeque joint is absolutely essential. If you can’t decide between the ribs and the Brazen Two Faced Quail, because you have to get the Brazen Two Faced Quail, then order the Sweet Pig and Angry Bird. A half rack of the baby backs comes with juicy, spicy and plenty crispy fried quail. The entrée is served with a side of slaw and bread and butter pickles. The burger here deserves a special place in the land of burger brilliance. The Barley & Board Burger is a mature union of seasoned double meat patties, sweet onions, bread and butter pickles, house sauce, and a generous helping of American cheese. It oozes with everything that makes happiness, happiness.
Even after feeding your face to exhaustion, save at least an inch and a half for dessert. Technically the brunch option Aunt Mary Ellen’s Sweet Potato Bread topped with cream cheese, dried cherries and sweet and spicy nuts could be dessert, but the real sugary delight is in the cookie board. The board includes salted chocolate chip, molasses and an unforgivably needed snickerdoodle. Served fresh and hot, you just have to do this.
After waddling out of brunch, the girls and I headed back to the house, where we got comfy and played a few games of Cards Against Humanity. Having never played this despicably wonderful game before, it really lets you know just how horrible human beings are. We are all crazy, hilariously imperfect creatures. Once we’d had a few rounds, before we knew it, it was time for more grub.
To complete our Denton Takeover, we went to Bumbershoot Barbecue and Earl’s 377 Pizza. The two eateries are located across from each other in the same parking lot and could not be more different. Bumbershoot is a food truck with a family feel. The outdoor seating is surrounded by a white fence that kiddos have the option of painting on. While waiting on our food, we decided it was as good a time as any for a wee bit of shameless promotion, and painted our social media handles on our personal corners of the fences. Once again, we ordered a number of things, including smoked turkey, sausage, pulled pork and tots loaded with brisket, cheese and chives. If you can, get here early enough to partake in one of their overloaded big stuffed bacon wrapped grilled jalapenos. Wash all your barbecued blessings down with a bottle of beer.
Across the way at Earl’s 377, one can get their pizza needs met and that’s just lovely. But, it was the pasta that stole the show during my visit. From their version of spaghetti and meatballs, to the fairly thin, cheesy homemade tasting lasagna, the pasta dishes shall not be ignored. And if you really want to be good to yourself, try one of their salads which include arugula, cobb and Caesar.
In what felt like seconds, TheEatsBlog, LeisurelyLeah, thefindingdallasblog and myself completely devoured Denton. During our stay in an incredible home, we had the opportunity to really connect, eat, sip, laugh, and eat and sip some more. Denton really isn’t just a college town, but a foodie’s home away from home. TxMb