For those who don’t know, Fast N’ Loud is a wildly popular (with men) Dallas-based Discovery Channel show whereon a guy named Richard Rawlings buys old cars, and the boys from his Gas Monkey Garage rebuild them. My 14-year-old son makes me watch it, and I must confess that I don’t mind doing so. Nor did I mind taking him to a watch party at the new restaurant that shares the garage’s name. Rawlings opened it in September in the old Firewater space, near Northwest Highway and I-35, bringing in a GM, Alex Mendonsa, from the Las Vegas House of Blues, and chef David Hollister, whose previous post was Yucatan Taco Stand in Fort Worth. GMBG is a big boisterous place—exactly as it should be. A large outdoor stage backs up to a pond. They book decent bands on ticketed nights (Dale Watson, The Derailers, The Reverend Horton Heat). And the food? It’s large portions of man stuff served on metal trays. On a subsequent visit with my wife, we started with grilled artichoke hearts tossed in lemon oil and red chile, and covered with smoked Gouda. They were too spicy for her; I loved them. She chose the brisket, which is smoked on-site for 15 hours over post oak. It had a nice, pink smoke ring and peppery crust. It surprised us both. My chicken-fried steak, though, was sad. The crust sat on the meat like a card-stock political mailer that has sat overnight in the rain. Sides—fried green beans; fat, crisp grilled asparagus; zingy red chile grits; three-cheese truffled mac—were all worth boxing up to take home when we couldn’t finish them. Afterward, we watched a three-piece cover band with a drummer for a lead singer do a passable version of Foghat’s “Slow Ride.” The show was free. And it was loud. We drove home in a 2009 Toyota Prius. 

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