It’s big, it’s fun, and it’s totally Texan. Love & War in Texas is a restaurant in Plano, Texas (also in Grapevine), that’s all about Texas food, Texas music, and Texas heritage. It’s decorated in all things Texan, including cowboy photos and memorabilia, antler chandeliers, and female servers in short-short denim cut-offs, black tank tops, and cowboy boots.
Inside are two large dining rooms separated by a lively bar with big screen TVs. Outside, there’s an area with umbrella tables and a stage for live music. And since everything in Texas is reputably big, so are the drinks and the meals. Beers come in frosty mugs that require two hands; margaritas are served in cups the size of small fish bowls. And appetizers and entrees require huge appetites – or a doggy bag for leftovers.
The restaurants big Take a Tour of Texas menu features sections representing the different geographic regions of the state: the border (Tex Mex choices), West Texas plains (steaks and prime rib), Hill country (wild meats like boar, antelope, venison, and quail), East Texas Piney Woods (Texas BBQ, catfish, burgers, chicken fried steak), and the Gulf Coast (all things seafood, including tilapia, oysters, shrimp and blue crab).
A great way to get an overview of their offerings is with the Waltz Across Texas appetizer plate that includes wild boar quesadilla (flour tortillas filled with shreds of tender boar, Mexican cheese, and tomatoes), smoked chicken flautas (good smoky chicken flavor, though a bit too greasy),Barbara Bush’s fried green beans (beans coated in a light crispy batter that has a note of smokiness), and Beaumont “bugs” (pieces of crawfish cooked popcorn style and served with diced potatoes, guacamole, and spicy sour cream and pico de gallo). If you really want to go Texan, also order some fried dill pickles, disks of lightly battered pickles with a dilly tang that’s served with a creamy dipping sauce.
You’ll likely have difficulty choosing from the many selections, but be forewarned that the portions are huge. Plan to share or take home leftovers. We sampled the baby back ribs, fork tender ribs smoked and then cooked over mesquite wood and slathered with their own house made spicy hot BBQ sauce. It’s served with a ridiculously large scoop of crispy, chewy coleslaw and corn on the cob.
The smoked BBQ brisket comes as several thin slices of tender meat painted with spicy sauce and served with coleslaw and their signature Shiner Bock Beer Beans, flavorful tongue-searing kidney beans.
Their Alamo Chicken, a large piece of white meat marinated in their San Antonio Rose Margarita and grilled to perfection, may be the best thing on the menu. Served with a flavorful and slightly sweet chimmichurri sauce (tomatillo salsa), it’s amazingly succulent and juicy. It comes with rice and beans.
One person at our table who order a steak, said it was one of the best he’d ever tasted.
They also serve a number of entrée-sized salads, including grilled shrimp with crispy fried sweet Texas onion rings that was large enough to feed three.
Despite the giant portions, save room for dessert. They’re fun, creative, and delicious. Since we were in a large party and no one could decide, we ordered one of each dessert and plenty of plates and spoons. The Oatmeal, Texas, is a thick, six-inch moist oatmeal cookie topped with locally made Henry’s Homemade Cinnamon Ice Cream, caramel, graham crackers, and whipped cream.
The Apple Pie, generous slices of warm cinnamon apples and tender crust, comes from a recipe out of Boerne, Texas, and it’s topped with Henry’s Cinnamon Ice Cream and warm brandy sauce. The Texas Pecan Pie, a surprisingly modest size slice (at least compared to the others), was one of the least successful desserts and lacked the richness a good pecan pie should have, but the big scoop of Henry’s Vanilla Ice Cream was a nice touch. The Peach Cobbler, another crowd favorite, is a big portion of sweet peach slices and crust with Henry’s Vanilla Ice cream.
The Campfire Smore Sundae is a dessert every kid will love (and it brought out the kid in many of the adults at our table). It comes in a huge stemmed glass with a double fudge brownie on the bottom and layered with graham crackers and toasted marshmallows (charred on the outside, soft on the inside just like when you were a kid), and topped with Hershey’s chocolate syrup.
Real bottom line: Love & War in Texas is a successful theme restaurant that serves big portions of delicious, authentically Texas dishes. It’s a fun and funky place to go with friends to eat or hang out and listen to some live music. Just loosen your belt and enjoy!
Love & War In Texas
601 E. Plano Pkwy Plano, TX 75074
2505 E. Grapevine Mills Circle Grapevine, TX 76051 (972) 724-5557