Saturday, May 25, 2024 May 25, 2024
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New Review: Sissy’s Southern Kitchen & Bar in Dallas

(left to right) Sissy’s downhome decor; chocolate cake; Lisa Garza and Jeffery Hobbs. (Photography by Kevin Marple)

When Lisa Garza started working as a hostess at La Hacienda Ranch, in Frisco, she was a skinny, hyperactive 17-year-old senior at Frisco High School. The year was 1994. Barely 7,000 people lived in the area, and, to Garza, it seemed every one of them turned up every night to wait two hours for a table. Dressed in skintight Wranglers, a button-down white shirt, and a red bandana tied around her neck, Garza alone juggled the rowdy crowds. She played it tough with those who’d been overserved, and she made sure babies got high chairs. “This was before OpenTable or computers,” Garza says. “It was crazy. I learned how to deal with all kinds of people. It was my trial by fire.”

By 2008, Garza would probably have been happy to jump back into that fire, after she appeared as a contestant on the fourth season of The Next Food Network Star. For nine hour-long episodes, Garza was boiled alive in front of a national television audience. Few sympathized with her “culinary point of view,” which included “hugging the homeless,” “educating children on nutrition,” and “making high-dollar presentations on a budget.” She toiled in industrial kitchens wearing pearls and designer clothes, her hair cut in a stylish bob. Her competitors called her a diva. Her comeback? “Divas have hearts, too. Big ones.”

Read the rest and tell us what you think.