Celebration – Dallas, Texas

To adventurous restaurant patrons, the term “foodie” is often used with derision to connote someone who won’t eat somewhere unless Zagat’s has proclaimed it fork worthy. In theory foodies won’t boldly go where Zagat’s (or in the absence thereof, the local fishwrap) hasn’t gone before.

Chowhounds, on the other hand, are (at least by definition) adventure eaters who blaze new trails and traverse the deepest, darkest regions under America’s spacious skies for undiscovered treasures. Sometimes the twain does meet and there’s consensus among foodies and chowhounds about a restaurant which both can agree is something special.

Such is the case with Celebration which for 30 years has prepared good home cooked meals fresh daily. The restaurant’s walls are adorned with recognition from Zagat’s, but there are also people’s choice awards, recognition from the Food Network as one of the top ten home cooking restaurants in the country and even a 1996 Gourmet magazine article by Michael and Jane Stern touting it as a place for cheap eats in Dallas.

In 2009, Southern Living magazine named Celebration one of the South’s best diners.  “Long-time residents come to this laid-back eatery for “the city’s tastiest pot roast.”  “Other classic Southern dishes include “spiced-just-right meatloaf and homemade mashed potatoes.”

Wood paneled walls ornamented with geometrically designed Native American rugs and evocative black and white photographs celebrating Texas help make Celebration a gracious yet homey dining establishment in which the high-brow and working class mingle comfortably. The menu features classic home cooking–all the comfort foods with which many Americans grew up: pot roast, fried chicken, meat loaf and much more. Best of all, you can have seconds on both entrees and the accompanying vegetables (which alternate daily).

Unfortunately, fried chicken isn’t on the menu every night and wasn’t on the night of our inaugural visit. Chicken fried chicken, while good in its own right, is usually a poor substitute for fried chicken, a true American standard. Not so at Celebration. A lightly-breaded chicken cutlet served with white gravy, the chicken fried chicken entree was indeed something special and even though I rue the fact chicken wasn’t on the menu, this “first runner-up” was delicious in its own right.

Vegetables of the day include mashed potatoes and green beans almandine, both of which were quite good. For dessert, the coconut cream pie is good enough to keep Gilligan and his castaway mates on the island.

Celebration
4503 West Lovers Lane
Dallas, Texas
214-358-0612
LATEST VISIT: 28 May 2004
# OF VISITS: 1
RATING: 20
COST: $$$
BEST BET: Chicken Fried Chicken, Seafood Gumbo

About Gil Garduno

Since 2008, the tagline on Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog has invited you to “Follow the Culinary Ruminations of New Mexico’s Sesquipedalian Sybarite.” To date, nearly 1 million visitors have trusted (or at least visited) my recommendations on nearly 1,100 restaurant reviews. Please take a few minutes to tell me what you think. Whether you agree or disagree with me, I'd love to hear about it.

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