There’s a new kitchen in town, and yes I’m talking about a renovation, but not the home renovation kind, though the before/after is quite shocking. In a space that used to house Coconuts Island Grill in Pavilion Center near Inwood Village, full of fun, colorful, fishy flavor, stands the wooded, sexy and much quieter Texas Scratch Kitchen. Poised to offer Highland Park a nice, calmer space to have dinner, beer and very reasonably-priced wine by the bottle.
Don’t let your eyes deceive you, though. Not everything has changed. Texas Scratch Kitchen is still family owned and very quality conscious. There’s an asian spin on some dishes, just like there was at Coconuts. The place is family-friendly, too; just ask for a high chair or a kids’ menu when you are greeted by the hostess at the door. But most of Texas Scratch Kitchen’s patrons will likely be ordering off the main menu, as it’s very much a grown up’s type of place. Designed for conversation, the booths lend themselves to privacy and comfort. The casual menu allows for sharing, though they’re still tweaking it a bit, according to owner Tim Brasher. Notably higher end in execution, without too steep of a price tag, the food at Texas Scratch Kitchen feels more HP/UP than Coconuts’ ever was. Here’s a tour of our meal:
We started with some seared tuna, which was classic, a large portion, and tasty.
The chopped Asian salad was packed with flavor and would not be ignored! I had to try it.
Tim Brasher suggested the fried okra, which were cut lengthwise at TSK and served with a jalapeño aioli. Not your usual popcorn stuff.
These Brussels sprouts fell a bit flat, but we can’t win ’em all, can we?
Points for beautiful chicken, people! Plus a crispy skin bonus. If you’re a chicken-on-the-bone person like I am (which, if you’re not, then get with it!), you’ll like this dish.
Finally, an elegant, classic chocolate molten cake a la mode for dessert. It needed a bit more moltenness. Moltenocity?! But I’m sure that was merely a fluke.
Disclaimer: This visit was upon request by the PR hired by the restaurant, but in no way are my kind words bought by free food. I tell it like it is. Approx. value of the meal: $60 before gratuity, which was left as always.
Foodbitch is an expert eater and published food writer who lives in Dallas, Texas with her exceptionally well-fed twin daughters, husband and their dogs. She’ll tell you what to eat and you’ll like it.