Tuesday, November 29, 2022 Nov 29, 2022
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Food & Drink

Behold: The Nick Badovinus Restaurant Comparison Chart

The Dallas restaurateur just opened a new place downtown, and it has a lot in common with the previous ones. But how much, exactly?
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The dining room at Brass Ram, which opened this week. To be clear, the animal in the foreground is a stag. Luis Martinez

In last week’s News Bites, I wrote that Nick Badovinus’ new restaurant, Brass Ram, appeared to be “going well beyond his usual steak-and-motorcycles schtick.” According to a press release sent out this morning, Brass Ram is now open for diners to order prime rib and whiskey cocktails, with minimal additional info listed on its website.

But I obtained a contraband copy of the full menu this weekend, and would like to correct my previous description. Brass Ram is a classic example of Nick Badovinus’ whole schtick.

To be clear, I like his menus. They’re fun! They combine American comfort foods, whimsical descriptions, an element of childhood nostalgia, a self-aware sense of humor, and enormous slabs of red meat and seafood. A good Badovinus restaurant should always convince you that there’s a joke, and you’re in on it.

Brass Ram is an old-school prime rib joint. I can’t reveal too much of the menu without burning my source, but I particularly like the gentle peer pressure the kitchen exerts to upcharge your prime rib: the smallest, 12-ounce cut is called “English,” while the slightly larger 14-ounce version is called “American” and described as “fit for a gentleman.” You may not have much of an appetite, but you’re a patriot, right? You fought on the right side in the War of 1812! (The four prime rib offerings range from $62 to $135. The latter is the 28 oz. Pop’s Cut, a “generous bone-in chop.”)

Elsewhere on Brass Ram’s menu, I see goofy comfort food twists like $17 pigs in a blanket (“Wagyu cocktail franks, pastry”), a daily fish prep simply called “Good Choice,” and a burger described thusly: “A Burger Like I Had in Paris That One Time a While Ago.” No further details provided, $27. (Spoiler alert: the Dallas Morning News has a description.)

You might well wonder how much Brass Ram has in common with Nick Badovinus’ other Dallas-area restaurants, which are also known for their burgers, steaks, seafood, and cheeky jokes. I wondered too! Luckily, I am a service-focused journalist.

Here is a handy chart comparing the offerings at every Badovinus joint. The restaurants are listed oldest to newest, with Brass Ram at far right. Click to expand it!

Note: National Anthem serves “a grain bowl in the fried rice style,” with farro, quinoa, and couscous taking the place of the rice.

Brass Ram, 2130 Commerce St. (second floor, above National Anthem)

Author

Brian Reinhart

Brian Reinhart

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Brian Reinhart became D Magazine's dining critic in 2022 after six years of writing about restaurants for the Dallas Observer and the Dallas Morning News.

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