First Look: Hurdy Gurdy in Dallas Farmers Market

Hurdy Gurdy, the newest addition to the Dallas Farmers Market neighborhood, serves food, but it’s not a real restaurant. It serves coffee and alcohol, but it’s not a café or bar either. The owners frame Hurdy Gurdy as a salon – “a space mainly used for chatting or receiving guests,” the website says.

The concept of a salon (also known as a salon) was originally a space used by members of the working class for formal receptions or sometimes as business premises – hence a beauty salon. With the rise of the telephone and the automobile in the 20th century, it eventually went out of fashion in domestic architecture. Today, in North America, the equivalent might be thought of as a living room – a spacious, comfortable place at home to entertain guests.

Spacious and calming are the first words that describe Hurdy Gurdy. Inside and out, it feels like a home away from home, which is still strangely comforting in a time when so many of us spend so much time at home.


A sight that we appreciate even more these days: lots of space on a terrace

Steven Monacelli

Four different rooms – two indoor and two outdoor areas – offer a range of ambiences. Outside, two large patio areas provide plenty of breathing space at a time when outdoor interactions are considered the safest. Inside, sofas and coffee tables are distributed between four and long high tables in two salon rooms with high ceilings. The walls are adorned with an eclectic mix of decorations that create a homely, inviting atmosphere.

The general atmosphere is informal. What holds the rooms together is their common purpose: the common gathering.

“We want this to feel like an extension of your home,” says co-owner Charles Nelson.

In fact, much of the furniture inside would not be out of place in a living room or backyard patio.

The food is hearty and consistent, the drinks refreshing and unpretentious. With WI-FI, board games and great views of the downtown skyline, the area is ideal for remote working, casual gatherings or a weekend brunch.

Hurdy Gurdy is a place where you can easily stay for long periods of time. Think of this as sort of a Mediterranean twist on a Parisian cafe on the Left Bank. Whether you want caffeine in the morning, alcohol in the evening, or a bite to eat at any time of the day, it’s less a place to eat than a place to be. You won’t find anything fussy or particularly French on the menu, but the food hits the spot. Plus, they add a dash of alcohol to your coffee if you want (this author did).

The general menu is not broken down into breakfast, lunch and dinner, but starters and flatbreads that can be shared are complemented by more individual salads and sandwiches. Except for the weekend brunch menu, which has decadent options like chicken and waffles ($ 14) and breakfast routine ($ 11), there are no set time frames for menu items.

Buffalo Wings (and more Parmesan)EXPAND

Buffalo Wings (and more Parmesan)

Steven Monacelli

For an afternoon meal, the BLT candied bacon ($ 12.50) was incredibly flavorful and went well with the parmesan and garlic fries. A spiked latte ($ 4.25) helped overcome the haze after a meal. For dinner, we recommend Buffalo Chicken Wings (USD 8 for USD 6) and a deliciously smoky pepper paloma (USD 11) as well as Parmesan fries (USD 2.50) in seconds.

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Of course, it’s hard to imagine that Hurdy Gurdy could achieve his goal of being a community hangout for the time being, because that’s not a food or environmental fault.

With coronavirus cases hit a new high, local government officials have begun urging the Dallasites to restrict indoor gatherings with people outside their household. This author finds it difficult to disagree. If you want to try it out, be sure to socialize on the outside deck with your family or go for takeout.

Hurdy Gurdy, 900 S. Harwood St. (Dallas Farmers Market). Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. for eating and taking away.

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