Uptown News

New Uptown Cajun sports bar makes it official: Dallas digs turkey legs

New Uptown Cajun sports bar makes it official: Dallas digs turkey legs

Turkey DAM
Pssst: There's a turkey leg buried under there. Photo by Turkey DAM

When last we visited 2523 McKinney Ave., it was to lament the sad passing of Nickel & Rye, the likable Uptown bar which closed in December.

Now we return to the scene to mark the arrival of the coming-soon Turkey DAM, a new sports bar with a Cajun-themed menu starring turkey legs.

The restaurant-bar is a collaboration between friends and family, and will feature the food stylings of "Chef James," a Louisiana native who previously had a North Dallas restaurant called Flave2Crave and who also worked at the Omni Dallas Hotel.

The cuisine at Turkey DAM will be a creative fusion of Cajun and comfort food, with a few stars on the menu:

  • Crawfish mac & cheese, a mac & cheese with large elbow noodles topped with boiled crawfish, a match made in heaven (or at the very least in Natchitoches)
  • Stuffed turkey legs, a la Turkey Hut in Houston, dubbed home of the so-called world-famous stuffed turkey leg

There's a turkey leg trend in its nascent stage in Dallas. To wit:

  1. A few restaurants have recently offered turkey legs as a limited-edition item to fill the nostalgia for State Fair food.
  2. A turkey leg place called Turkey Leg Paradise opened in Dallas in late 2019, specializing in turkey legs that are ultra-tender.
  3. Another Uptown sports bar, Harris' House of Heroes, which opened at the beginning of 2020 and is also owned by someone with Louisiana roots, former New Orleans Saints player De'Vante Harris, serves turkey legs.
  4. Fancy restaurant Encina, which just opened in Oak Cliff where Bolsa used to be, has turkey leg confit on its menu.

The official rule is that "three makes a trend." This list has four. Turkey leg trend is on.

The turkey legs at Turkey DAM are stuffed. Stuffed turkey legs are not really so much "stuffed" as they are butterflied and piled high with "fillings." If it's a Louisiana-style restaurant, "fillings" could mean boudin, etouffee, or mac & cheese, with or without crawfish.

But Chef James, who likes to keep his ID to "Chef James," says that the food is about more than the dishes themselves.

"It goes deeper," he says. "I'm from Monroe, Louisiana, and if you know Louisiana, you know that the food is going to be good. We cook with love. We take pride in our food."

Chef James and his partners hoped to be open by mid-October but construction on the space is still being finished.

One final important thing is what the letters DAM stand for: Daiquiris and Margaritas. #Winning.