In Richardson, a suburb of Dallas, Texas, they have a seafood spot called Big Shucks.

This isn’t a place to eat and watch football, unless your game is fútbol. But it does offer some Latin influenced dishes. This shrimp cocktail, rich in cilantro and tasting more like a juiced up salsa, is one of them.

Big Shucks
103 S Coit Rd
Richardson, TX 75080
(972) 231-8202

Big Shucks on Urbanspoon

Going to this place was like stepping into my past. I recall a time when I was in grad school in Houston, in the 1980s, where, if someone really wanted to treat you, they would take you to this chain. The one we knew of was in the River Oaks district, near a Chili’s and not that far from the River Oaks theater. It was fantastic. And when we moved later to Orlando FL, the local Black Eyed Pea was one of the hardest restaurants to get into.

Move forward some years and in Atlanta, Black Eyed Peas weren’t all that good. Service was terrible. Food might be good, but who could tolerate the lousy waiters of the time? It wasn’t too long before all of these in the ATL were converted to Folks restaurants.

Evidently there was a bankruptcy in the chain at one point, and staff at this Black Eyed Pea said that there had been some staff loss to Denny’s, that the improvements in the Denny’s you guys have seen came at the expense of BEP. Hey, I can’t confirm it, but merely can report it.

decent fried pickles.

Chicken fried chicken was excellent. Good green beans. Fried okra weren’t crisp at all.

So, was it as good as we rememberd? Well, entrees, yes. Sides ranged from very good to a very ordinary serving of fried okra. Service was excellent, and the chicken fried chicken my wife got was transporting.

Maybe this chain will grow again. We’ll see.

Black Eyed Pea
7979 Belt Line Rd
Dallas, TX 75254
(972) 490-1932

Black Eyed Pea on Urbanspoon

These are two restaurants with a common name, largely compatible menu, and yet in many ways, these restaurants are markedly different. The Addison Original Pancake House is in a large modern building on the edge of a divided highway and when we went, it was packed. We had a thirty minute wait, in overstuffed chairs and sofas. This eatery were used to their crowds. Once seated, we were offered a choice of rolls and they were good ones. The kitchen area was well separated from the dining areas. There was plenty of staff, and the feeling of substance, abundance, luxury was ever present.

Addison Original Pancake House

Rolls are served in Addison.

The Stone Mountain Original Pancake House is in a modest round building that reminds me of the “mushroom cap” buildings that many older Mellow Mushrooms are found in. There is limited seating, due to the size of the building, and no waiting area. There was a modest staff. The menus were much lighter weight than the Texas menus. No rolls were offered when we sat. If we wanted, we could see some of the goings on in the kitchen. The feel, if I had to compare it, was closer to that of a Waffle House than the Addison restaurant.

Stone Mountain location.

The menus are different not only in look and feel, but also the Texas restaurant has additions that suit the Texas breakfast eater. For example, there are migas in Texas, a selection not found in Georgia. That said, the food delivered to the table in both eateries was of high quality.

Bacon pancakes, from Dallas.

Pumpkin pancakes (Dallas).

Migas. Usually you wrap these in tortillas.

Corned beef hash.

Dutch baby, no dusting of sugar. My wife was curious about this.

Western omelette. Good and enormous. Like the hash, came with a side of pancakes.

We had pancakes and migas in Texas, pancakes, corned beef hash, a dutch baby, and an omelette in Georgia. Serving sizes were ample. There was more food than we could eat at both locations. Service to the table was excellent in Texas, and quite good in Georgia.

Original Pancake House
5220 Belt Line Rd
Dallas, TX 75254
(972) 385-6468

Original Pancake House on Urbanspoon

Original Pancake House
5099 Memorial Dr
Stone Mountain, GA 30083
(404) 292-6914

Original Pancake House on Urbanspoon