Kelly’s Eastside, Quintessential Neighborhood Bar & Grill

10 Jul

I go to this place so much, I really do owe it a complete review…

It’s easy to fall in love with the casual neighborhood ambiance at Kelly’s Eastside in downtown Plano, even if you don’t live in the neighborhood. At the front door, cheerful wait staff greet you with a welcoming smile. Out on the small patio, groups of coworkers enjoy after work drinks while clapping along with the live music act. Inside the main dining room, sports fans with intent eyes on one of the many TV screens sip on frosted mugs of brew while families with children of all ages chat lively over their homestyle dinners. The main dining room only seats about 30, so the atmosphere is always somewhere between relaxed and festive, never too loud or too rowdy. And even though Kelly’s Eastside is housed in a cozy intimate space, no one ever feels like an outsider, everyone belongs.
This quintessential neighborhood bar and grill serves up some solid renditions of classic Texan food. Hand breaded chicken fried steak has crunchy golden batter holding loosely onto well seasoned cube steak which is tender but maintains a structured feel. For a new spin on standard chicken fried steak (perhaps with an even more Texan feel), substitute the mildly spicy queso in place of cream gravy for an extra $2.

For a place that’s not solely dedicated to the art of barbecue, Kelly’s does smoked meats justice, starting them early on the smoker out back and finishing them on a wood-burning grill. Tender sliced brisket and moist but not too fatty pulled pork sandwiches come with Kelly’s homemade sweet and tangy barbecue sauce.

Juicy half pound patties come on all versions of burgers, from the Plan-o with nothing added, to the Hickory Jalapeno with barbecue sauce and bacon, to the Chili Cheese with Kelly’s homemade jailhouse chili, to the Southwestern with poblano peppers, guacamole, and pico de gallo. In short, Kelly’s Eastside has your Texan diet covered in every form.

As if you needed one more reason to visit Kelly’s Eastside, the weekday happy hour features discount beers and margaritas and a complimentary appetizer buffet of chips and salsa, quesadillas, and chicken wings.

Entrees: $8-$17

Rating: 4 / 5

Kelly’s Eastside
1422 Avenue K
Plano, TX 75074

This review is to appear in edited form in the upcoming book, the Fearless Critic Dallas Restaurant Guide. The book will be released in 2009 at bookstores and on For more information about the book, please contact Fearless Critic Media.

6 Responses to “Kelly’s Eastside, Quintessential Neighborhood Bar & Grill”

  1. luniz 07/11/2008 at 10:41 am #

    one of these days i’ll get around to trying their brisket, i swear…

  2. Matt 07/11/2008 at 10:42 am #

    My wife and I have been regulars at Kelly’s for awhile now. Their Crab & Artichoke Dip is wonderful, hell we dont think we have ever had anything that isnt!

  3. Margie 07/12/2008 at 9:39 am #

    That looks like some wickedly good chicken fried steak! Happy hour sounds nice, too. Now, if I just had a reason to be in Plano…

  4. foodczar 07/12/2008 at 7:38 pm #

    This review will be in a book? Yay!! You deserve it! Donna, I’m jealous. How did this come about: Did you contact them or did they get in touch with you?

  5. donnaaries 07/13/2008 at 6:12 pm #

    Czar, I was contacted about the book. If you’d like more information, feel free to email me.

  6. Lee 01/09/2009 at 7:10 am #

    This is a great place to eat!!

    Give the onion rings a try as well.

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