Review: Olenjack’s Grille

The food lacks finesse, but portions are big and prices are moderate. And Arlington didn’t have much in the way of fine dining.

Men’s Health magazine may have proclaimed Arlington the No. 3 place in the country to meet single men, but the city doesn’t have much in the way of fine dining. No wonder the locals are thrilled with Olenjack’s Grille, a new contemporary American restaurant opened by chef Brian Olenjack.

Lunch business is brisk, and weekend nights mobbed. Olenjack made a name for himself at Reata and the Chisholm Club, two noted Fort Worth spots that specialized in “Cowboy cuisine,” and he reprises some favorite dishes, including a jalapeño cream soup that seemed to be all cream and no jalapeño.
The food lacked finesse, but portions were big and prices were moderate. Pulled pork nachos, only $7,were hearty enough to be an entrée. You just might not want to eat the whole thing. The shredded pork didn’t have the tenderness of a pulled meat, and the base of potato chips drizzled with avocado mousse was a soggy mess. Lamb “lollipops” were simply three chops—again, quite plentiful, with tender texture and good flavor; just not what you expect from an appetizer.

The best thing on the menu was the turkey chili, with ground turkey and crisp whole kernels of corn. Service, rendered by inexperienced young suburbanites, was laughably clue- less, bordering on passive-aggressive. You could wave or beg and it didn’t seem to matter. The interior has the no-frills quality of a Denny’s. Still, Olenjack’s merits a nod, if for no other reason than there just isn’t that much to choose from in Arlington.

Get contact information for Olenjack’s Grille.

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