TRAVEL HERE: DENTON’S ABBEY INN
Gino Dal Cin is a very talented young artist who attends UNT. Thanks to my friendship with his mother, I already have dibs on his watercolor we call The Bicycle Picture. I’ve known Gino’s mother since before she met his father. In fact, I’m Aunt Jane and since Gino and his brother don’t have any other official aunts, I’m pleased to fulfill that role.
Recently I had the pleasure of seeing another piece of his work being shown in the lobby of the UNT Art Building. The visit to Denton was a real family affair, even Gino’s dad, now an ex-husband, was there and we met THE GIRLFRIEND Gino has confessed to having. Then we had the pleasure of a meal at The Abbey Inn in downtown Denton. December is a great month for meeting family and friends for a meal, so maybe you’d like to check it out.
Dining in Denton
Going to Denton is always fun. The city throbs with the heartbeat of the University. I used to date a rugby player whose games were held up there and have fun memories of those Saturday afternoons. A lot has changed since the late eighties and from what I saw on that Thursday evening, it’s all for the good.
There were six of us to feed that night and Gino directed us to the Courthouse Square where the energy is palatable. Traffic maneuvered around a cop car with lights blinking, patrons of the cafes spilled into the sidewalk and groups of students lingered on corners, discussing chem labs and term papers. A part of me is always a detached observer and that part couldn’t quit looking for a camera crew, it was the perfect setup for a movie scene. We opened the door to one of the establishments and the cigarette smell was so strong that we reversed course and walked away.
Abbey Inn Feels More Brit than Yank
Not to worry. We turned the corner of the square and ended up at The Abbey Inn. The door opened and I was immediately somewhere in The Potteries. The floor plan was Americanized, but the furnishings were spot on. The patina suggested the place had been there since before The Abdication. Bloody hell chaps, I crossed the pond when I stepped over the threshold.
Since there were so many of us, they seated us at a large round table next to the plate glass front. The drama of the cop car continued to play out behind me so I have no idea how it was resolved, but I had a good perspective of the restaurant.
The first thing I noticed was a plate of Fish & Chips. They serve them with peas and onions. I realized these guys knew what they were about. Rarely do I see fish with that particular crust, which I’d first fallen for in Brighton. When I glanced down at the menu, I saw that they also served a British Breakfast all day long. I was in heaven, but my husband is on a health kick, so he nixed the Fish & Chips. I settled for a steak with some sort of mushrooms and cheese, which turned out to be as deadly to my health as the Fish & Chips, but it slid under his radar.
Two things one might expect at a college town joint were completely absent: loud music and poor service. Looking back on the evening, one thing that stands out is the conversation, something not available when the background music takes over the room. It had been at least a decade since we’d seen the ex-husband and we were eager get to know Gino’s girlfriend. The ambient noise level made conversation a joy.
And the service? Perfect! For me perfect service means I never have to look for a waiter, but I also don’t feel as if they waiter has decided to become a member of our party. That’s exactly what we got at The Abbey. We enjoyed some experiments from their extensive beer list. I also spied some gorgeous, delicious looking onion rings that made me want to rebel against my husband’s health kick, but I restrained myself.
The food was as good as it looked on those other plates. I had the Gaelic Steak. I doubt there is really any ties to a Gaelic entree, but it and the mashed potatoes were scrumptious. My fellow diners had everything from hamburgers to halibut and everyone agreed the food was wonderful.
So, do go to Denton for the University buzz and eat at The Abbey Inn. You’ll be glad you did. Do you have any other Denton restaurants we should visit next time we go? I’m sure Gino will have more art on display, soon.