Most of the time, when a restaurant has been voted the best local eatery in town, the food served is pretty good. This time however, we could not figure out why Tony’s Main Street Cafe had earned this award in 2009. Maybe that had been a better year for the cafe?
Tony’s is located in downtown Denison Texas, which is still the heart of town. Although downtown areas strive to be quaint, having to pass the kitchen to get to the restrooms is not my idea of quaint. And the seating was cramped, too many tables in the dining area, which had a cashier counter for some reason. The staff seemed disinterested, like we were disrupting their day.
The menu looked promising – prime rib sandwich, Reuben, pastrami on rye, French dip, burgers, etc. – all offered with homemade potato chips.
We ordered the prime rib sandwich and the pastrami on rye. After what seemed like an unusually long wait, considering there was only three other tables; one was leaving, one was eating, and the others got their order just before we did; the result was disappointing.
Both sandwiches had meat that was very overcooked. The slab of meat that passed for prime rib looked like it came off of a shoe. One thick slice, that was all. Prime rib should have a pink center, medium to medium rare, and this was well done. And it was on a plain hoagie roll with no lettuce or tomato, not even a pickle for garnish. As for the pastrami, both the meat and the bread were greasy, like it had been grilled on the flattop with too much butter, or oleo. There was only a slice or two of pastrami, I could barely find it. The flavor of the pastrami was good, let’s hope that Tony decides to cut back on the grease and increase the amount of meat on the sandwich.
The homemade potato chips were cold, greasy and a little overdone. They had the taste of being cooked in old oil at too low of temperature, so the oil soaked in to the chips. And no salt. One thing that does need salt is any potato based food, especially when fried.
On a better note, the neighboring table had ordered the Cobb salad, and it looked great. It covered the huge platter it was on, seemed to be fresh, and the guest had to ask for a take-home container.
We hate to kill a restaurant with just one visit so if you are in Dennison you might try it and let us know. Downtown Denison has so many choices for food that it might be a while before Tastes Like Travel ventures back to Tony’s Main Street Café. There has to be a reason that Tony’s won best new restaurant in 2009, let’s hope they get the mojo back soon.