On a recent Sunday morning in Dallas, I pulled into the shopping center at the northeast corner of Walnut Hill Lane and Central Expressway to find a line of people standing on the curb. Dozens were waiting patiently, as if something big were about to happen. I checked my watch: brunchtime. Snooze, an A.M. Eatery knows how much Dallasites love brunch.
The development is called The Hill, and it's celebrating on Oct. 13 and 14 with a party to show off its new look and new restaurants — nearly 10 open now and four more expected to open in 2019. If you haven't been up there in awhile, you may remember this intersection as the former home of Crossroads Diner.
The Hill is located close to Texas Health Dallas, the hospital. It's down the street from Preston Hollow in one direction, Lake Highlands in another. And on the west side of 75 is another newer development with restaurants called Preston Hollow Village. Suffice it to say, The Hill has the potential to grow a captive consumer base. I've dutifully been to every new restaurant and coffee shop.
Here's a look at restaurants at The Hill, starting first with what's coming soon.
No matter how you slice it, you've eaten Empire Baking Company's bread. The company supplies bread to lots of well-known steakhouses and burger joints around Dallas, as well as to many hotels. The bakery on University Boulevard in Dallas doesn't allow customers, but its retail stores do. The Hill announced that Empire will open a shop, and it will likely be similar to the one on West Lovers Lane in Dallas, which sells sandwiches, loaves of bread, cookies and more. It's expected to open in 2019 at The Hill.
Also coming in 2019 to The Hill: two raw-fish shops, Pokeworks and Sushi de Handroll. Poke has been popular in Dallas for several years now, but handroll shops are just now popping up. (Dallas' first dedicated handroll shop, Namo, opened in August.) Expect to see more poke shops and more handroll shops in D-FW.
Sauce Pizza and Wine is another coming-soon restaurant at The Hill. The Arizona-based pizzeria serves pies, salads and pastas. The restaurant's first D-FW shop is in Prosper; a second is expected to open in Irving in October 2018.
Bellagreen is also under construction, with an expected opening date of November or December 2018. It's a fast-casual restaurant with a commitment to water conservation and sustainable food. Bellagreen is launching two shops in Plano in addition to this one at The Hill in Dallas.
For coffee drinkers, Houndstooth was one of the earlier additions to The Hill. It's a teeny, two building, solar-powered shop. Another coffee shop just opened nearby called Civil Pour; it sells local beer and paninis and is a popular work-from-home spot on weekdays.
Longtime tenants Red Hot & Blue and Nazca Kitchen have remained at the intersection despite significant construction. RH&B is a Memphis-style barbecue restaurant. Nazca Kitchen is a South American restaurant where, if you choose, you can eat healthily. (Note to Whole 30 warriors: I have successfully Whole 30ed here.) Speaking of healthy, Unleavened Fresh Kitchen's wraps and salads and Luna Grill's Mediterranean fare like chicken kabobs and gyros can also be relatively low-cal.
On weekend mornings, Tacodeli is regularly busy with families filling up on breakfast tacos. The Austin-based company has four D-FW shops (two in Plano, two in Dallas) and was voted the No. 3 best breakfast taco shop in our poll.
The final new restaurant to mention at The Hill is Hat Creek Burger Co., a truly blessed place for parents. At lunchtime, dinnertime — anytime — parents and their littles pack into this order-at-the-counter burger joint with a playground out back. Many an Instagram photo has been taken of cute kids climbing on the jungle gym while mom watches nearby, wine in hand. (Alright: I was that mom.) Pro tip: Wine and beer is just $1 on Thursdays.