By ADAM SCHRADER
Published in The Lewisville Texan Journal on March 15, 2016
Recently, Steve Southwell and I dashed around town taking pictures for Saturday’s edition. We broke our journey for lunch at Old Town’s landmark Easy Street Family Café, 190 W. Main St.—caddy corner to the MCL Grand. I had never been before, despite living in North Texas for 21 years of my life.
I started off unimpressed at the simple presentation of the atmosphere and food but left satisfied and surprised by the restaurant’s complexity.
After some debate, I settled for the French Dip. While I’m not a connoisseur of the sandwich, I’ve been known to order them at La Madeleine. I also ordered French fries and a Coke, which arrived as a glass of ice and a can. The meal and drink cost $10.23 after taxes and before tip.
The waiter was helpful, attentive and friendly and our food came fast. But, the presentation was lacking. The bread looked cheap and meat fell from the sides. There was no cheese, which is not mandatory in a French Dip, but somewhat common. The unseasoned fries looked tasteless.
The only thing that looked impressive was the au jus, a type of gravy which puts the dip in French Dip.
The dish the au jus was served in was large enough to easily dip the sandwich. The au jus was dark in color and not too watery or salty, but still savory. It stayed warm, though I didn’t really give it the excuse to cool.
Overall, the au jus served as a garnish for an already delicious sandwich.
The beef was stacked high between two pieces of butter-toasted bread. The toasted layer of the soft hoagie roll served as a nice barrier—keeping the soft bread from disintegrating after being dipped in the au jus. The bottom bun came soggy from the beef—but that’s okay because it’s dipped in the au jus.
I recommend eating the French dip with the au jus, but it could be eaten without it as the beef was flavorful enough to carry the dish.
The beef was warm and evenly cooked with a touch of pink. The meat was chopped thick and spotted with fat, unlike other French Dips I’ve had—and not something I typically enjoy out of my sandwich meat. I struggled to keep the meat inside of the overly stuffed sandwich.
The fries were fries and unseasoned, so I added seasoning, provided on the table (and apparently made in Lewisville). I have no other thoughts or feelings on them. They’re fries.
The meal was portioned well. I finished my plate without leaving hungry or groaning like after a Thanksgiving dinner.
I like it and would order it again, in fact I did the next day—mainly because I forgot to take a picture of it in the first go. My feelings on the menu item were confirmed in the second attempt to photograph it.
The atmosphere the first time around was quiet and calming. When I returned Friday, three different tables of Football fans were loudly debating who the Jerry Jones, Tony Romo and whom the Dallas Cowboys should acquire. While I personally enjoyed the enthusiasm and cacophony, I’d say the café may be hit and miss if you’re on a lunch break and wanting to enjoy reading a book alone.
The café allowed smoking until as late as 2011 when the city’s smoking ban went into effect. Some people have said that you can tell the restaurant allowed smoking as recently as then, but I could not. The place didn’t smell, the walls weren’t discolored, etc. Others have also complained about dirtiness, but I am not one of them.
While the interior isn’t decorated and spectacular, the tables and chairs look well used and the food wasn’t visually impressive—the food was superb and I left realizing that the atmosphere at Easy Street is a true hometown treasure.