Thirsty Lion Gastropub Headed For The Colony, Lombardi Cucina Italiana Comes To The Star In Frisco & A Different “Meshacks ” BBQ Place Opens. 

Okay, what on Earth is going on with Dallas restaurants charging extra for “service fees” — and is there any way to avoid them? According to both the Dallas Morning News and NBCDFW, numerous restaurants are traditionally charging an extra 3% for service and labor (although the percentage can vary based on the restaurant) in addition to the custom food order. The answer is simple: COVID-19, also known as the source of everyone’s problems.

It is no secret that restaurants have been struggling to maintain business since the beginning of March 2020, hence the increased cost for food items and labor for dining spots. Essentially, the upcharge we all keep seeing on our restaurant bills is for the well-being of the restaurant and staff. Service fees mainly go towards kitchen staff or anyone who only makes an hourly wage.

One of the highest percentages Dallas has seen for the new service fee is up to 10% at Oishii, a sushi restaurant. So, although dining out is beginning to become more expensive, it remains imperative to continue tipping bartenders and waiters to maintain the industry standard — it also keeps you from being an asshole.

On the topic of food on the more expensive side of the spectrum, an upscale pub chain is opening its third location in DFW. This anticipated restaurant goes by the name of the Thirsty Lion Gastropub. The pub is coming to The Colony, only this time it’s featuring both a patio and rooftop deck — seems fancy, and we’re here for it!

According to Dallas Culture Map, the newest Thirsty Lion gastropub location will be the largest venue in North Texas in comparison to the Irving and Euless pubs. Although The Colony location will obtain the most amenities, each Thirsty Lion Gastropub is designed to accommodate food and drink lovers while simultaneously enjoying music, sports and community.

Despite how cool the two-story restaurant layout will be at The Colony, the real star of the show here is obviously the food and bar menu. The Thirsty Lion will be serving food items we all love such as fried mac and cheese, Baja fish tacos, smoked pork ramen and more. There are also endless variations of burgers and sandwiches. Not to mention the plant-based burger option for the animal lovers out there.

Keeping the trend of enjoying the finer things in life, there is also a new Italian restaurant, Lombardi Cucina Italiana, opening at The Star in Frisco — yep, the one where the Dallas Cowboys practice.

According to Paper City Magazine, Lombardi Cucina Italiana opened in celebration of the 45th anniversary of the renowned restaurateur, Alberto Lombardi, hence the name of this new upscale Italian restaurant opening. The inspiration behind the place is to keep it modern while remaining authentic to Italian cuisine –by that standard, this eatery greatly succeeds.

Lombardi Cucina Italiana serves up exactly what you would expect: main courses that are difficult to pronounce, so it must taste amazing. Entrees include, Mediterranean Whole Branzino (wood-grilled, served with vegetable bouquetiere), Pollo Al Mattone (charcoal-grilled marinated free-range chicken, truffle mashed potatoes, thyme vegetables), Ora King Salmone Arrosto (salsify, beurre blanc sauce), plus more.

And now for food news that is just as confusing as these Italian dish names for us Americans, there’s a bit of mistaken identity in the BBQ world.  Meshack’s Barbecue is a new family barbecue restaurant coming to Plano, but it is not affiliated with Meshack Bar-B-Que Shack in Garland despite the family correlation according to the Dallas Morning News.

Although it could be difficult to distinguish between the two restaurants, the food is not because the new Meshack’s Bar opening in March is entirely inspired from craft style barbecue with a heavy influence from Trinidad culture because Donna Mayes, wife of owner Travis Mayes, comes from Trinidadian roots.

In order for their new barbecue restaurant to stand out, the Mayes will be serving food such as sandwiches served on a fry bake, fluffy Caribbean fried bread, peas and corn potato salad, plus more.

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