By Bev Garvin, Foodable Contributor
Corporate chain restaurants have been on the decline, as consumer demand for transparency in food sourcing and more health-conscious ingredients is dramatically reshaping the culinary landscape. It’s no longer enough to just serve food that tastes good. Today’s savvy consumers expect high-quality ingredients and options to accommodate an assortment of dietary restrictions, in addition to great food and service.
Founders Brian Bennett and Paul Fleming recognized this opportunity back in 2007, before the local health movement had gone mainstream. When they opened the first location of Paul Martin’s American Grill in Roseville, California, they paid careful attention to giving people what they want in a restaurant they’d like to dine at in their own neighborhood.
To accomplish this goal, it was important that everything be made in-house, from-scratch every day, using only the freshest raw ingredients they could find, right down to the bread, sauces and even the desserts. Everything would be made in-house. Freshness was a priority, so the ingredients needed to shine, and nothing could be frozen. They worked closely with purveyors to source 100% natural meats, sustainable seafood, as well as seasonal local produce and artisanal cheeses to ensure they delivered the very best quality and taste to back their “Seasonal & Delicious” vision. This meticulous attention to sourcing and details paid off, and today, Paul Martin’s has nine locations throughout California, Arizona and their newest location that opened in July in Dallas, Texas.
Welcome to Paul Martin’s American Grill
From the moment you cross the threshold, you’ll immediately see they do things differently. Gone is the traditional hostess stand. Instead, guests are greeted in a homey lounge space, where patrons may relax and wait for their party or venture toward the bar for refreshments.
This friendly neighborhood hot spot features an oversized horseshoe bar that’s designed for socializing. The center of the bar has additional storage, refrigeration, and workspace, including a butcher board station for charcuterie and sliced meats.
A happy hour menu is served daily, from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This streamlined menu offers great value, with hand-crafted cocktails using house-infused spirits for $5 or $9, wines by the glass at $5, $9, or $13, and craft beers for just $5. Small bites are $5 and $9. The menu also offers three entrees, for $13, which includes a craft beer. A lengthy communal table provides overflow seating, and facilitates the modern social neighborhood vibe. The ample wine list offers 100 wines, primarily from the west coast, with 80 of them available by the glass.
Paul Martin’s interior is sprawling and spacious, warm and cozy with rich woods, swanky booths, vibrant modern art, exposed brick, an open kitchen, a large patio that’s great for private events, and custom lighting throughout. You can see the entire dining room from almost any seat in the house.
What’s on the Menu?
Paul Martin’s American Grill serves elevated American food. They cook in a way that allows the ingredients to speak for themselves, with big and bold delicious flavors. As the name implies, many dishes are cooked over a mesquite wood grill or are smoked in-house, but nothing they serve is done in a way that’s over-stylized or is too complicated.
House classics include the “Brick” Chicken, Braised Short Ribs and a Prime New York Steak. Entrees are ample enough to share and are priced between $22 and $37. There are also lighter options like the Steak Cobb Salad, Vegetable Pasta, and Burgers from $14 to $18, and there are plenty of appetizers, soups, salads, sides and desserts.
Foodable sat down with Paul Martin’s Director of Culinary, Anthony Endy, who said, “We serve honest food because we like to know where our food comes from. We take great pride in quality sourcing throughout. We work hard to maintain the integrity of our ingredients, because we agree with how they’re raised and grown, and we think it tastes better, too. We demand high-quality standards from all of our sources because that’s the food we like to eat, so that’s what we want for our guests as well.”
Where Do We Go From Here?
Nestled in the south end of the newly renovated Turtle Creek Village shopping center, Paul Martin’s Dallas location is located at 3848 Oak Lawn Ave. (at Blackburn St.). They’re open seven days a week: Monday through Thursday, from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., and on Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Reservations can be made through their website and are recommended during peak times, but are not required. Valet parking is available for $5, or guests may self-park in the shopping center.
Plans for the next location in Pasadena, California are underway. That location is slated for November 2015, followed by another location in Austin in 2016. Additional future locations will be announced at a later date.