A new restaurant in Garland has scored one of the valuable lakefront berths facing Lake Ray Hubbard. Called TLC On The Lake, it's now open at 4881 Bass Pro Dr., and is all about scratch made food, cocktails, wine, cold beer, and the treasured patio overlooking the lake.
The restaurant is in the space that was home to one of the last locations of the Texas, Land & Cattle steakhouse chain. (There's only one left, and it's in Austin.)
TLC On The Lake is a partnership between Garland native Mike Downing and chef Aaron Brown, who likes to say he graduated from the "University of Grandma's Kitchen." On his menu, he says puts creative twists on Grandma's classics.
It's a hearty, appealing lineup of dishes that includes dozen burgers and sandwiches, plus pastas, salads, and steaks. No veggie burgers here. "I'm a meat and potatoes guy," Brown says.
There's a big selection of creative appetizers including wings, nachos, truffle fries, spinach-artichoke dip, crab cakes, pretzel bread sticks with queso, and smoked jalapeno deviled eggs.
Sandwiches include Cuban, avocado club on Texas toast, meatball sandwich on a toasted hoagie bun, grilled cheese with pulled pork, and Philly cheesesteak.
Burgers are a half-pound patty that Brown says are made from a custom blend of ground chuck and brisket, and served on Hawaiian sweet roll buns.
They include a mushroom-Swiss burger, bacon cheese burger, and a sweet-and-spicy chipotle blue cheese burger. There's also a decadent one with peanut butter and cheddar cheese. "That's our go-to flagship burger that everyone is jumping on," he says.
One unique appetizer called Carnival Curds consists of Wisconsin cheddar cheese curds fried in corn dog batter.
"It's not your traditional cheese curds," Brown says. "They come out looking like a corn dog but are filled with melting cheese."
Entrees include chicken-fried steak, chicken-fried gravy, salmon, grilled chicken, shrimp & grits, snapper, and pork chop. There's also a whole lineup of steaks including rib eye, sirloin, and filet. On Saturdays and Sundays, they feature prime rib, and they also host brunch on Sunday.
"There are people who come here still expecting to find steak," he says. "Sometimes they ask, 'Why aren't you putting bread on the table?' But we're not a steakhouse, we're a grill and bar."
Brown previously worked for Texas, Land & Cattle, but says there is no association, despite TLC's "smokin' sirloin" appetizer; smoked sirloin was a Texas, Land & Cattle signature. Not to mention the TLC name.
"The fact that we ended up in a building where Texas, Land & Cattle used to exist is kind of a weird thing," he says. "We birthed this whole concept on a bev nap at the bar. TLC stands for Tender Loving Care, and it comes from my passion for food."