No Home Like Dalton’s

I’ve been going to Dalton’s Grill on Highway 70 South in Bellevue for several years now. Regularly for the past two. According to the plaque on the far left wall, they opened just prior to my moving to Nashville in 1999. Business is good. Dalton’s is a casual family restaurant with a fine long bar. I think of it more as a bar than I do a restaurant, but most people do not. We tend to see things in the light of what is most personally appealing I think. I like a bar. Therefore, Dalton’s is a bar. They have only Miller Lite on tap, but it is always cold and is my standard choice anyway. They offer many other bottle beers and decent house wine. Also, they serve most liquor you could think of (and some you couldn’t). You can get a cruise-ship, girlie shooter or a real shot of what works for you. For me the order is a draught and Woodford Reserve neat. The two work together and make an enviable team. Occasionally, the Woodford will get a touch obstinate and demand center stage. This is to be overlooked at all times as it is quite deserving.

The food is almost always outstanding. And though I rarely order anything besides the Frisbee-sized cheeseburger and hot wet wings to go, the Boy swears by the spaghetti and chicken fingers. Also, the ribs, catfish, and steak and biscuits are, apparently, worth the drive from wherever you may be. Not once in all my visits have I seen or heard anyone complain about the quality of the food. But I’ve heard many sing its praises. The lone oddity–menu-wise–is that Dalton’s tends to run out of certain items on any given night. It is common to overhear bartenders E. or J. or any of a number of waitresses telling patrons, “We’re out of [sweet potatoes…baked potatoes…green bean casserole…etc].” I’ve never understood how a restaurant runs out of food–especially when Kroger is a brief walk down the sidewalk. But, they do. And the customers, although disappointed, seem to accept this without question and move down the menu with little more than a sigh, finding something equally desirable and in stock.

The servers are always friendly but the service itself is inconsistent at best. The dazed look of a patron with an empty tea glass looking to and fro for any sign of life is to be expected. As someone who frequents the place, I must admit there is something a little satisfying about seeing some guy or a gal accustomed to having their rear ends kissed waiting at the bar to cash out for dinner because his or her waitress has forgotten them entirely. I’m not sure why it is satisfying, but it is. And then there is the occasional awkwardness of seeing first-timers standing clueless just inside the front door trying to figure out whether they should seat themselves or remain perfectly still and confused. Once you find your zone though, this becomes part of the Dalton’s charm. When you eventually realize that you are part of a well-orchestrated whole and no different from anyone else in the place, you begin to make your own comfort. At that point, you have become a regular. Everyone is treated just the same–with friendly disregard.

Good food, good drinks, often good people. It’s quite like home.

And who doesn’t like the idea of going home again?

3 Comments so far

  1. Busy Mom (unregistered) on April 25th, 2006 @ 4:08 pm

    My friend did all the art work in there.

  2. jag (unregistered) on April 25th, 2006 @ 6:24 pm

    Dalton’s also has a kick ass French Dip. I’ll have to stop in and get one tomorrow. Mmmmmmm.

  3. Jackson Miller (unregistered) on April 25th, 2006 @ 11:40 pm

    I just took my grandma there for lunch last week. It was pretty good. I have never been there prior to that, but I will be back.

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