‘Burbalicious: What I Ate in Parker

Parker landscape (photos by Elizabeth Lavin)

To gear you guys up for July’s Best Suburbs issue, I’m traveling to ten different ‘burbs in the DFW area for a semi-weird cross-city food tour. I’ll be documenting all my finds in these ‘Burbalicious posts that’ll be peppered throughout June and July. If you feel like your suburb deserves a shot at some SideDish love, email me and I’ll ask my Magic 8 ball if I should go. Last week, I ate pie in Roanoke.

There wasn’t any way I could complete all ten of these ‘Burbalicious posts without traveling to Parker, D Magazine’s numero uno suburb. I thought finding a restaurant in Parker would be a cinch, you know, given that it beat out Highland Park and Highland Village for the top spot in 2010 and 2012. Piece of cake, right? …wrong. So very wrong.

Corinth Presbyterian Church at sunset. PHOTO BY ELIZABETH LAVIN

By now, all of you probably know that Parker is home to Southfork Ranch, the set of Ewing’s TV show, Dallas, unless you’ve been living under a rock. You’ve probably attended proms or senior banquets at the ranch if you went to high school somewhere close to Plano, awkwardly making your way from your parents’ car to the banquet hall as you teetered in two-inch heels. But Parker isn’t just about Southfork Ranch. It’s also the best Dallas suburb to live in, according to D‘s July issue due to its good neighborly conduct (Violent Crime Rate: 0.000 per 1,000 residents), sweet country feel, and the crisp fresh air. What D’s Parker blurb fails to mention is that this excellent town – all 5.1 square miles of it – has zero commercial properties (besides Southfork) and absolutely nothing to eat except grass. GRASS.

Basically, if Miss Ellie’s Diner is closed (which it was the two times I’d been there this past month) and you’re stuck in Parker, TX with nowhere else to go, either you’d have to kill someone’s cow and increase the violent crime rate to 0.002 per 1,000 residents, or steal some of the cow’s feed in order to survive.

Moo. One of the only edible foods in Parker.
Where you should be going if you're hungry.

On Saturday, when I decided to put on my Adventure Hat and roam the plains of Parker until I found a place to eat, my dreams were dashed when this guy standing in front of a church solemnly told me, “There’s nothin’ to eat here.” He then pointed me towards Murphy, a place where commercial food actually exists.

The moral of this story: Listen to Google when your search for “restaurants in Parker, TX” doesn’t actually produce any links to restaurants in Parker, TX. Google never fails thee.


  • Personally, I don’t understand why Carol didn’t knock on somebody’s door and ask to share their dinner. Parker being the best suburb and all, you’d think its residents would be the hospitable sort.

  • Excuse me, I don’t like to bother people while they’re chillin’ at home.

  • Justin Beam

    I had the pleasure of living the first 18yrs of my life in Parker. The night I was born (at the McKinney Clinic as their was and is no hospital in Dallas) I was brought home to sleep between my parents in their bed on Elisa Lane in Parker. 18yrs later i moved out to get my own apartment… The only public buildings then were City Hall and Southfork (not even a gas station!) and I’m thrilled to see that nothing has changed. Not far up Parker Road sits Poor Richards Cafe, where my Father would take us for breakfast or lunch if we were lucky. You all are spot on that Parker is a great place to live and raise a family.

  • Justin Beam

    Was and is no hospital in Parker, not Dallas, oops!

  • sliao

    Wow…I can imagine the place being great as a meteor shower-watching site too. No other wild animals to hunt?

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