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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Barley & Board

Oh Barley & Board... I'm so happy I have found you. Or actually it found me.

I had never heard of this place until I reposted a picture on the MyFab5 @bestfooddallas IG account back in February. It was an epic looking S'mores oatmeal cookie. Little did I know that one little action was going to change my life. They saw the repost and reached out to me. I connected them with the founders of MyFab5 and we (the other 2 community leaders @thediningdino & @phileats_ and I, @chompdallas) were invited out to dine at their restaurant. Cool! The only thing was... it's all the way in Denton! I think I've only been to Denton once in my life. It's far... and now that I'm in Rockwall, it's REALLY far! I think the total drive time is around 70-75 minutes, ONE WAY! Eeeks. But since I was the one that made the connection and they were so excited for us to come out, we all found a Sunday afternoon and headed out there.

Barley & Board
100 W Oak St.
Denton, TX 76201
(940) 566-3900
Price: $$-$$$

It's located in downtown Denton and it's quite cute! It reminded me of downtown McKinney, but bigger. I wish it was closer so I could go explore there more often.

It was a grey and rainy afternoon, but turned out to be the best lighting for taking photos. I arrived first, and Narciso, the head of PR for the restaurant, greeted me. He was super nice and told us we could sit anywhere we'd like. The restaurant was super cool. It was a renovated old building. The decor was amazing. Big open windows, high ceilings, and you can see the history in the building. They had re-purposed a lot of old bricks and other materials found around Denton. There was one long table in the middle of the dining room that was one single slab of wood. Things like that... really cool. We found a booth by one of the large windows. The lighting was perfect.

Narciso got us situated, then he told us he would get out of our hair and let us order and photograph as we please. He checked on us from time to time but pretty much left us to our own devices. We had gotten some recommendations from him and our waiter and we started ordering! And just so you know, the 3 of us can eat! Plus we always want to try everything so once we started ordering, you can't stop us. haha.

When we were first seated they brought out some Toasted Barley for the table and took our drink orders. At first I thought it was just decor? But you can eat it. Don't think I've ever had toasted barley like this before. It's very nutty!

Since it was quite chilly that day, I got an Earl Grey Tea $4.50~ Served in a French press. Nice!

We got a round of appetizers.
Blistered Shishito Peppers (sriracha, radish, cilantro, mso salt) $9~ These were the biggest peppers we have ever seen! All the other peppers have been like a third of the size, maybe half. Wow. Nicely blistered. I liked the addition of the radish slices and that aioli was bomb. I dipped everything in that sauce.

Bacon Wrapped Medjool Dates (chorizo, piquillo sauce) $14~ Highly recommended and I just have to say now... not one single recommendation was bad. Actually no single dish was bad. These dates were huge. The pairing with the chorizo and bacon was fantastic. And that piquillo sauce!!!! I had to cut mine in half in eat 2 bites.

Wicked Gulf Oysters (grilled with garlic parmesan butter) $12~ I've never been a huge fan of oysters. I mean, I'll eat them, but I would never order them on my own. These had really great flavor. If you love oysters, you'll love these. Again, they were large.

Roasted Bone Marrow (parsley pesto, smoked salt, grilled bread) $12~ I also never really order bone marrow, but I'll eat it. I loved the parsley pesto plus the bit of smoked salt. But I always feel like eating bone marrow is just slathering fat on a piece of bread. haha. If that's your thing, do it!!

Hen of the Woods Flatbread (roasted garlic, ricotta, mushroom, parmesan, truffle) $12~ This was one of my choices. You don't see Hen of the Woods mushrooms in many places so I had to have it. I love all types of mushrooms. It was a good flatbread, just felt like it needed some sriracha or sauce. So I dipped it in the aioli from the shishito peppers and it was amazing. :D

We ordered a bunch of different entrees.
Crisped Mechada (aji panca, organic egg, lime) $18~ This was highly recommended. It was so pretty. All the dishes were so pretty. The vibrant colors, the plating, on point! This was all about the sauce. It was so bold. A little too sour for my preference, but my tolerance for sourness is quite low. It definitely packs a punch!

Brazen Two-Faced Quail (b&b pickles, slaw) $23~ On of my favorites. The quail was so juicy! Which is rare... most place tend to overcook quail. And that batter was my favorite part. It was crispy and spicy. Sooo sooo good. Along with the pickles and the slaw were the perfect combination.

Parisian Gnocchi (market vegetables, broth, soft herbs, parmesan) $15~ Another beautiful plate with all the colors. I loved all the different types of vegetables in there: brussels sprouts, carrots, sweet potatoes, and onions. It was a very filling dish.

Slow Roasted Pork Tenderloin (mexican street corn, crispy onions, chipotle honey) $19~ Almost didn't get this but the waiter recommended it so we added it at the end. So glad we did. Again, so pretty. The pork was cooked perfectly, not dry at all. I really liked the corn. The chipotle honey was quite sweet, so you have to be into the sweet and savory combo to enjoy this.

B&B Burger (sweet onion, b&b pickle, house sauce, american cheese) $12~ 
This burger.... O.M.G. It changed our lives. Seriously. It's the only burger on the menu, and it really is the only burger they'll ever need. It is amazing. By far my favorite thing of the day, and that's saying a lot since everything was good. No idea what they do to this but it seems like a simple burger, no extra ingredients, no frills, but it's so good!!!!!!!! It's like the onions and cheese melts into the beef patty and the whole thing is just super juicy. And their pickles are awesome, so that was the cherry on top. I dream about this burger. I will drive an hour to have this burger. (...and I did...stay tuned to my next post!) One of the best burgers of my life, and definitely in DFW. The shoe string fries were good too, but at this point we had to focus on the more important things. haha.


Wow... good thing we didn't order more! But wait, there's always dessert. haha. Can't leave without at least trying the S'mores cookie that had started this whole experience!

I don't know the exact names of these desserts since they don't have a printed dessert menu.

Bread Pudding. Not sure what all is in it. But it reminded us of the whiskey cake at Whiskey Cake. Kind of toffee like. Dense, and that cream sauce underneath is just everything.

Oatmeal S'mores Cookie. This is such a beautiful dessert. Just flawless. But guess what, the Bread Pudding stole the show in terms of taste. I really liked the dark chocolate on top of the marshmallow. But I feel like the marshmallow to cookie ratio was a little skewed. Need more cookie, less marshmallow. But then maybe it won't look as epic? The dilemma! :P Still yummy tho.

This has been such an amazing experience. The food speaks for itself. Quality ingredients, wonderfully prepared, and beautifully presented. They brought "brewpub" style food to a whole new level. The service was amazing. Checked on us frequently and catered to whatever we needed. After, we got a brief tour of the space with one of the managers. The whole history and concept behind the restaurant is just fantastic. I want to hang out there all the time. And I just want to include a note that this was all comped, but we did leave a large tip. Gotta take care of your wait staff! All of us would've gladly paid for the meal.

Like I said, so happy I found this place. Just sad that it's so far away. Please open another location more Southeast in the future please! :P What an amazing experience. It is definitely my new favorite restaurant of the year. I will continue to support them as much as I can!

Quality of Food:



Value: *comped*

Overall Experience:


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