Pokerati’s first ever restaurant review

by , Oct 13, 2006 | 7:12 am

The first thing certain readers might notice upon stepping inside Merkow’s are the two flat-screen TV’s hanging over the bar. No, this isn’t a sports bar, and in fact the HDTV’s are only a minor part of the decor. But they sure do look familiar … ah, right … these used to hang in The Lounge (2005-2006). In fact, when the TVs were yanked out in the spring of this year, it was a sign of things to come in the underground poker scene.

Without going into too many details, Gregg Merkow — the most successful Dallas pro at the 2006 WSOP (save for maybe TJ Cloutier and expat David Williams) — at some point decided that he was gonna stick to trying to make his money on the table; and he was gonna hedge his bets by moving those TVs into a business with a less predictable but more reliable rake. And considering he already had found great success with the Hurricane Grill, why not just step that up a notch … next door, at the site of the old Greenville Bar & Grill?

All that begat Merkow’s — a casual upscale steak and seafood joint. Former Scrolldowner Mark Stuertz has a review in the current Observer. Kinda funny, because Mark says the place has great seafood, and only so-so steaks. I found it to be the opposite. I loved my steak … and the lamb I had on a second visit was also magnifique. The Bahamian conch fritters were a welcome addition to the appetizer menu … but not quite as good as what I remember nibbling in the seaside slums of Nassau. The lobster was, well, lobster — awesome — but the sideways cut made it hard to eat. But hey … the seared tuna sashimi appetizer … I challenge you to find one better anywhere within a 500-mile radius.

Perhaps we had different experiences because when Stuertz goes into a restaurant, he does so undercover and without bias. When I went to Merkow’s, I kept muttering “poker-poker- [cough]-Pokerati(!)-poker” under my breath whenever staff walked by. For a while I thought I was getting the special treatment I deserve crave. But later I would learn the half-price bottles of wine under $100 were merely a special offered to all customers on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Likewise, when I dropped my fork and the waiter brought me a new one, I’m not sure if I was disapointed or pleased to learn that such premium service is simply standard at pretty much all three-dollar-sign ($$$) establishments.

But regardless, still a really good restaurant … and particularly loved the wine list, with so many high-quality but reasonably priced bottles — but not so many that a non-oenophile poker geek would be overwhelmed by the selection. Great place to take a date (I went twice — once with Jen, once with Sang) … and a generally impressive operation set up by a guy who regularly does Dallas poker proud.

Merkow’s Seafood and Steak
2821 Greenville Ave
Dallas, TX 75206

Google Map

Pokerati Restaurant Ratings
Food: A-Q
Atmosphere: A-J suited
Price: $2/$5 NL
Service: Q-Q

5 Comments to “Pokerati’s first ever restaurant review”

  1. jeh

    So are you finally admitting that you and Sang are dating?

  2. Ed

    And which one gave you a little loving after the date?

    My bet is on Sang.


  3. DanM

    I will happily take those wagers and lay odds. As for Sang and I, you can’t call it a date, really, particularly when The Freeze showed up out of the blue.

  4. Pokerati | Texas hold’em blog » Blog Archive » Go Merkow’s Poker!

    […] Ahh, the Suckout & Taunt … well-played! Dallas poker at its finest! Eat at Merkow’s! […]

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