October 29, 2008

The Seedy End of University Drive

I’m sure you’re asking, “Which end is that?”
Good point.
And, you’re right: Pretty much ALL of University is seedy, but I love it. From the so-vintage-it’s-time warp Catfish King to the Pizza Patron, raising xenophobic ire by accepting pesos.
If you take a minute to check it out, you can see (and eat) some seriously cool stuff there too. For Example:
  •  S&S Books – Sure everyone knows and loves Recycled Books – our own purple dinosaur on the square – but have you ever been to S&S? Heavy on the trashy romances, but with a shockingly large collection of vinyl. Go on in; see the videos, comics, and kids’ books too. While you’re at it, why not grab an Italian Ice from:
  • The NY Ice King – Truthfully, I think his ices were better last year, but why not? Lighter than ice cream and, let’s be honest, much less white trash than a snow cone. Stick to the lemon. No matter where you are, that’s always the best ice. 
  • Right in the same scary parking lot, is Royal East Asian Cuisine – Normally I steer clear of ‘Pan Asian’ places, believing as I do that that is code for 'generic brown sauce, warm sushi rolls, and MSG headache – to go'! However, both the sushi AND the Korean food (the home land of the chef) came highly recommended.

And, as if one place for sushi wasn’t enough, University Drive also gives you:
  • I (heart) Sushi – Honestly, I don’t think it’s as good as it used to be, when it was Japango; it’s more of a roll place now. But, in fairness, I haven’t gone in to sit down at the bar and let the chef hook me up. Note to self – Do that!
    Fun fact - It is in a converted Taco Bell – one of the teeny, old ones. You’d never know from the lovely inside!
  • A sandwich shop where the employees are 100% guaranteed to be stoned. And not just high, y'all, high as kites! Don’t know which one I mean? Try ‘em all and see.
    Whaaat? You got something against sandwiches?
  • Tuesday Morning – Enough said. My go to place for wrapping paper and cocktail napkins.
  • The scaaariest $.99 cent store in town – Again, feel free to find it on your own.
  • Sally Beauty Supply – I can’t leave there without buying something, and that’s saying something. As you may have guessed, I’m a bit of a greeniac and a bargain-maven, but their juju is just too strong!
  • The Denton Movie Tavern – Big screen movies. Comfy, reclining seats. New Castle Brown Ale (the beer that drinks like a meal) on-tap-and-delivered-to-you-by the pitcher. What more do you need?!
    OK, I’d like them to add fried cheese sticks to their menu (*hint, hint*), but their little pizzas are surprisingly good.
    You know what else is good? Their customer service, and that’s worth a visit on its own. If you still need to be sold, did I mention the beer?
    I did?
    Well good.
    Did I mention their extensive selection of other beers on tap and in the bottle, which, weirdly, they don’t list on their Web site? They even have wine, and not just red, white, and pink.
    Seriously – this is a great place to relax with an adult beverage and a movie.
    Not feeling so adult? Try the milkshakes.
    You SO need to go see a movie here. Tonight!
  • El Matador – Honestly, nothing special as far as Mexican food goes, but good chips, good beer selection, terrific service - oh and soooo tasty margarita swirls. If you’re looking for a big plate of generically tasty Tex-Mex, with the added bonus of a seriously kitsch gift shop (I'm talking majollica iguanas and sparkle-painted clowns...), this is your place. In fact, I may eat there tonight…
  •  The Flagship Pizza Inn – Who knew? Pizza Inn’s corporate HQ is right here in Denton County, so it certainly is right and fitting that we have a flagship store. It’s weird to think we went years without one. Previously, the last remaining Pizza Inn closed several years ago and the building was converted to another University Drive favorite:
  •  Frilly’sA dive-y Cajun food joint. Cold beer. Tilapia. Crawfish. Lots of fried stuff. Surprisingly good salmon salad. The cheaper, older brother of 3 Fins. Definitely eat here soon, if you haven’t already. I can’t think of one thing I wouldn’t eat.

Things I miss from University:
  • The Southern Fried Pie CompanyAnyone know what happened to them?
  • Metzler’s BBQWhere even your beer tasted like BBQ. Think I’m joking? Go buy a sixer (and some ‘que, of course) from their remaining location on Londonderry. Drink from the can or bottle. If you have a cat, beware, it may never stop rubbing up on your beer.
  • The Actual Rayzor Ranch – How great was it to pull off of I-35 onto University Drive (and into Denton) and see actual long horns? I particularly hate the razed, flood-prone landscape that’s left. Wonder what the hold up is? Ask these folks or your council person.
  • Payless Video – The last independent video store in town is closing (and selling off their stock), right now.
    Not only is it within walking distance from YFND’s, its slightly grotty ambiance caused us to refer to it as “Outlaw Video”, and that was just fun to say in conversation around the house.

What's your favorite bit of University?


Maxine from Texas said...

So, when I saw they were putting in a PIZZA INN!!!!!! I screamed so loud Shinerman almost slammed on his breaks. It brings back memories of Friday night dinner out with my parents at either El Chico or Pizaa Inn - no I wasn't spoiled, why do you ask?

I am so freaking excited - Will I be let down by nostalgia? maybe...

Maxine from Texas said...

An update on the Pizza Inn... DO NOT, unless you want to see some of the overflow from Cici's, go to this place on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights. These are their all-you-can-eat buffet nights. We went last week and it was scary - I didn't know if we were going to make it out without a fight at the buffet line.

I'm going to reserve final judgement until after we go on a regular night...

-Your Friendly Neighborhood Dentonista said...

OOOOh!There you have it folks - reporting from the scene. So, consider yourselves warned and armed!

Anonymous said...

How can there be no Payless in Denton? How can there be no independent video store in Denton? How? Keep an eye on the sky, it's sure to start falling soon. And surely Satan is getting out his skates.

-Your Friendly Neighborhood Dentonista said...

Well there you have it - Satan on skates.
Dear readers, I have to tell you, this is one of my FAVORITE comments.
Annonymous, if you have a blog, I hope you'll invite us all to read it.
And, BTW, I totally agree. No indie video store, much less indie theater?!! Enterprising business students - think on it. There is a real market for these!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dentonista,
I have no blog, but thanks for the props on the comment.
There is nothing seedy about either of them, but my favorite parts of University are International Foods and Mita's India Bazaar.
Trandraji at Mita's freezes and sells her own homemade curries (and will help you learn to cook them if you ask).
Ali and family at International Foods can make just about anyone feel at home.
Two of Denton's best resources.