Brooklyn in Dallas
I had an interesting conversation in Houston on Monday. A sister approached me to sign a petition that was floating for the Children's Defense Fund. When she saw that I was from Dallas, she mentioned that she had visited our city a few weeks prior. The young lady went on to tell me how much she enjoyed her visit, but identified one particular destination as the highlight of the trip. "My sister took me to Brooklyn," the young lady exclaimed, "and I loved it." Brooklyn Jazz Cafe is not only a nice place for locals, but has solved a dilemma I have faced for a number of years: Where do I take my friends when they visit from out of town? With this being a black owned business, the decision is now much easier when deciding on a dinner spot. In our conversation, the young lady in Houston outlined 3 qualities that she enjoyed and that I feel have made Brooklyn so popular, even through its transition from Bishop Arts District to the Cedars (Southside). Those attributes can be summed up by the following: Atmosphere I began visiting Brooklyn soon after they moved into Oak Cliff. It did not take long to realize that this was unlike anything Dallas had ever seen. This spot was not as commercial as Sambuca, nor as stuffy as Strictly Tabu from years past. The intimate setting in the Bishop Arts area has made way for a much larger, more inviting space on Lamar. When you walk in the door, you know immediately what is going on and there's a feeling that you are amongst friends. And did I mention that it is black owned? Music What good would a jazz cafe be without jazz? The sounds are always enjoyable, whether it be recorded music at lunch or live music in the evenings. There were times when the live music was intrusive at the previous location, but with more places for the sound to travel, it now envelops you. My favorite featured performer is Martha Burks and the band; I will never forget the rendition of Happy Birthday that she sang at a party held for my wife at Brooklyn. Food This is the difference between Brooklyn and a lot of other places that have come and gone: not only is it a cool place to hang out, not only do you hear nice tunes, but the kitchen stands on its own two feet. The menu is very extensive for a spot noted more for its music. Whether it be brunch, lunch, or dinner, there is something for everyone, and IT'S (literally) ALL GOOD. My favorite items are the Jamaican Beef Patties, and Spicy Crab Cakes. So check out Brooklyn if you haven't already; but get there early because the secret is out. There's a long story behind why they moved, but Bishop Arts' loss was truly Southside's gain. And by the way: Brooklyn is Black Owned.