The smashing success of "All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night" tells us that 1) music and football go hand-in-hand and 2) none of Hank Jr's rowdy friends have cable. Now you can feast on a partnership between those worlds, at Free Man Dallas, soft-open today, grand-opening with music on Friday.
Taking its name from the fact that Deep Ellum was built by "freed men", this cozy, wood-walled restaurant, bar, and venue is helmed by Dallas rock veteran John Jay Myers (Huge Peter, Crash Vinyl, Happiness Factor, Max Cady...the inaugural Supreme Court of the United States), who, to create a menu of Cajun classics, turned to the most obvious candidate: chef Ricki Sutton, who once slapped-and-swam as a defensive end for the Steelers. Lunchtime's soundtracked by stereo-channeled standards (Ella, Frank...), while live music kicks of at 7p with jazz (Ricki Derek, Three Tall Trees, The Shelley Carrol Quartet...), then moves on to 10p rock with bands like A Tragic Fake, The Backsliders, Homespun Remedies, and A Tall Order, which in a different restaurant might be Big Country Fried Steak. What you will be eating: fried gator tail, crab-stuffed jalapenos, fried po' boys, Oyster and Pasta Creole Bordelaise, jambalaya, and plenty of crawfish, plus sides like dirty rice and maque choux, described as "super corn, with friends" -- hopefully the Wonder Twins, so you can say "Hey Zan, how's about you form me up a glass of water?".
Beyond beer & wine, they're doing their own twists on classics including Bloodys, Mojitos, Zombies, Rum Runners, and Sazeracs -- your choice if you're looking to get whiskey-bent and Deep Ell'-bound.