Sunday, September 9, 2007

Restaurant Review - The Blue Danube, Arlington, Texas


Years ago it was "La Margarita".

This restaurant was the place for my celebration dinner after my Confirmation at Saint Maria's.

But now and for the past year and a half, it has been transformed into The Blue Danube, an Eastern European restaurant.

When you walk in, there are dark low ceilings and a large bar along the wall to the right. Neon signs of Czech and German beers light the area. To the left, white table cloths cover booths and tables. The chairs are still old Spanish style, left over from La Margarita days. There are large stemed water glasses arranged on the table and nice heavy white napkins folded to reveal a full set of flatware: soup spoon, tea spoon, dinner fork, salad fork and knife.

In the middle of the place is a wooden dance floor and stage. Up until this past August, they had live jazz every Friday night on stage. I think they are looking for a new act.

But Mommy and I went there to have Sunday brunch. I have been there before with my parents on a "scoping out" mission.

The food is excellent. On today's menu were scrambled eggs, very crisp bacon, sole filets - rolled, spiced and baked to perfection although Mama said it was "a bit dry" -- I didn't think so. Also, rice, cabbage rolls filled with meat and covered in a tomato juice sauce, Yukon potatoes with onions cut into wedges and very buttery and wonderful, homemade bread cut into slices, pork schnitzel served with warm baked peaches. Creps, salad, and fruit... cereal, orange juice, coffee and milk. Somewhere I have read that the pastry chef at The Blue Danube was one and the same as the Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, but I don't have any confirmation on that.

As we walked in, we were greeted by Mrs. Badonsky who immediately asked us if we would like a mimosa or a poinsettia. Miroslav Badonsky, the owner and chef, was making the rounds and making sure we knew what everything in the buffet line was and recommending that the peaches be eaten WITH the pork schnitzel if we really wanted to taste something wonderful.

The Badonsky child was in the corner on a leather couch watching cartoons... although you hardly noticed. Classical music was playing loud enough to drown out kitchen noises and chatter but not so loud you couldn't hear at the table.

My favorite was the schnitzel and he was right.... the peaches made it. For dessert, I had his bread pudding which was the absolute best that I have ever tasted.

Miroslav is really nice and really wants to know what you think of his food and will come around refilling water glasses and asking what you think and having conversation about politics, food and jazz.

It's really quite nice.

If you would like a break from the chain restaurant scene... check out the Blue Danube.

The Blue Danube European Restaurant and Café
2230-A W Park Row Dr, Pantego, Texas 76013 (a.k.a. Arlington, Texas)
817-861-5900.
Mon-Thu 11am-9pm, Fri 11am-10pm,
Sat 5-10pm, Sunday buffet brunch 11am-2:30pm.


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