What started out as a little old food truck is going big-time: Called The Dock, it's a new seafood restaurant opening in Uptown Dallas. It'll go into the space 3839 McKinney Ave that was previously home to Mamoun's Falafel, which closed in 2018.
As its name implies, The Dock specializes in seafood, but coming with an East-Coast perspective that's rare in Dallas-Fort Worth, where most of the seafood restaurants have their roots in Southern and Louisiana-style seafood like fried catfish. The Dock, on the other hand, specializes in Northeast items such as crab and New England clam chowder.
Owner Brett Curtis says they hope to be open within the next few weeks.
Curtis, who owns The Dock with his wife Denise, is a native of Maryland who has lived in several coastal areas, and has 30 years' of experience in the restaurant industry. They launched the food truck in 2016, and then opened a stand at the Food Hall at Crockett Row in Fort Worth in 2018.
The menus at the food truck and the food hall stand differ slightly but both feature starters, sandwiches, tacos, and salads centered primarily on seafood and in particular, lobster.
"We first launched the food truck on a part time basis while I juggled a corporate job," Curtis says. "I'd worked in the food and beverage and resort industries for 30 years for companies like Ruby Tuesdays and Nestle, but I always had a dream of opening my own place."
He wisely did it one step at a time, dipping his toe in first with the food truck. When he saw success with that, he moved to the next step: the food hall in Fort Worth.
From there, he started looking for the right location for a permanent spot, when the Mamoun's space became available.
"There's no seafood right in that in that area, especially with what we're doing, which is original," he says. "We're not a fried catfish place. We do quality East coast-style seafood. I'm a crab guy at heart, and when I was young, I'd go up to Cape Cod where I really fell in love with lobster."
Lobster rolls have become a trend, and The Dock definitely has those — but also a lobster grilled cheese sandwich, garlic lobster fries, and lobster mac and cheese, with cavatappi pasta and Gouda cheese.
Other unique items include his spicy crab queso — just like it sounds, a spicy queso with chunks of crabmeat — and a "deep-fried pork belly." He'll do Maryland crab cakes, Baja fish tacos, healthy bowls — because you pretty much have to these days — and house-made potato chips with "crab seasoning."
"We 'Old Bay' everything," Curtis says.