Not Exactly Tapas

Deep Ellum sprouts little tapas restaurant next door to sibling Prophet Bar

Prophet Bar in Deep Ellum sprouts little tapas restaurant next door

A Deep Ellum music venue has sprouted a little-buddy tapas restaurant called Texas Tapas, serving burgers, hot dogs and other late-night snacks.

The restaurant address is 2511 Elm St., but its entry is on Main Street just west of Good Latimer. It's right next door to its older sibling the Prophet Bar. The Prophet Bar is the semi-Christian often-under-21 venue in the space that some people (some older people) still refer to as Gypsy Tea Room. Both the Prophet Bar and Texas Tapas are owned by Russell Hobbs, who some even older people will recall was one of the earliest players in Deep Ellum.

As it happens, this isn't Hobbs' first restaurant. "I had a restaurant way back in early 90s and I had a tapas joint above the Prophet Bar in '86," he recalls. "But we just wanted to be able to serve the customers better and give them a place to hang out."

The restaurant occupies a long strip that was at one point part of Gypsy Tea Room. "It was a place called Moon Over Water a long time ago," Hobbs says.

The menu at Texas Tapas stretches the definition of tapas beyond all recognition of what tapas are, and is clearly using the term colloquially. It's an unusual blend of items that includes burgers, tacos, hot dogs, steak and calamari.

An aptly named "killer" burger has cheese, chili, bacon, fried onions and fried egg, and is $9.50. A waffle burger puts a burger patty between two waffles with a fried egg, cheese and honey.

There are chicken and waffles, blackened tuna with soba noodles for $9.50, a tuna tartare tower, Spanish potatoes, hummus and a cheese and fruit plate.

One category called "Deep Ellum fried" has chicken wings, chicken strips, chicken thighs and a sliced rib eye with gravy for $10.50.

Tacos are $2.95, in options that include shredded chicken, beef fajita, veggie and fish. There are burritos and three salads including a Caesar and a Greek, and they also serve alcohol.

But what it spotlights is a stoner-sounding item called the American Dream with a hot dog "slipped into a succulent hot glazed doughnut." Can doughnuts be succulent?

Hobbs helped design the menu which is being executed by chef Jaime Corona.

"I eat at a lot of restaurants, from Velvet Taco to Hillstone, but there are unique things on this menu I like," Hobbs says. "Like the waffle burger, which my son invented. And the deep-fried rib eye is so good. The thing about regular chicken-fried steak is that it's either cube steak or like real steak and it's so chewy. Jaime does it with rib eye and it's so tender."

The restaurant's hours seem designed to serve the needs of the Prophet Bar clientele: Wednesdays through Saturdays, from 6:30-11 pm.

Texas Tapas
Texas Tapas in Deep Ellum will be open on weekend nights. Photo by Teresa Gubbins