The influence from the association with the Granada Theatre, a historic live music venue on Lower Greenville Avenue is apparent in the décor and menu. Casual and comfortable, this is just a great place to hang out before or at after the show next door, or … just to hang out with friends. I can’t speak from experience but I hear that stopping in after the show might find you seated next to a member of the band after the last set at the Theatre.

The restaurant offers a variety of seating choices. The front patio puts you out where you can observe all the action on the street and neighboring establishments. Rustic settings at picnic tables, patio benches or higher ‘personal bar’ settings nestle under the branches of a giant old tree. If you want it a little cozier and quieter, step inside and still enjoy the open doors that cover almost the entire front of the dining area or settle for drinks in the sofas and chairs along the ‘recycled’ wood wall and fireplace along one side. If you’re looking to make new friends, cozy up to the expansive bar. This place offers something for everyone. And the plans are to open a roof-top patio when it warms up next Spring for a completely different experience.

The menu reflects the theatre association and offers 8 Opening Acts (appetizers), all of which sound great. A global variety of starters include the Mediterranean Plate, local influenced fare like the Shiner Bock Brisket Bites or the Lone Star Cheese Plate or Southwestern Chili, an Asian Fusion selection of Kobe Beef Chile Sweet Potato Fries or Rosemary Glazed Kobe Beef Meatballs and Vegan options of Stuffed Avocados or Sunset Portobello “Brushchetta”. Pricing is to the higher end ranging from $6 to $14 per plate. What can I say, quality costs and you get what you pay for … I came away feeling like it was a good value.

We started our evening with an “Opening Act” of Stuffed Avocados with endive. You get three avocado shells each with a different filing

– the first had tomato, feta, black bean, corn and agave

– the second sundried tomato, almonds, basil and parmesan

– the third, grilled chicken, candied pecans and blueberry

And it’s available Vegan on request.

One of the challenges of being a reviewer is that sometimes you’re just not that hungry. Tonight, I decide to order an “Opening Act” for Dinner. I settle on the Rosemary Glazed Meatballs. The Kobe beef balls were exceptional, tender and juicy with a delicate red wine glaze, and accented with a crown of blue cheese, cranberries and fig.

My husband decided to pass the Headliners (entrees), too, settling on a bowl of Southwestern Chili and a Greenville Avenue Grilled Cheese. Despite ordering from the Opening Acts and Between Bread (sandwich) menu, this was a LOT of food. To accompany the meal, he perused the selection of more than 60 beers but settled on a recent favorite, the Left Hand Mild Stout. As stouts go, this one is milder than most, and you might like it even if you don’t normally go for a dark beer. He didn’t used to drink anything but wheat beers (usually light beer) so this is quite an endorsement for him.

The chili is available vegan style or offered with Kobe beef ($1.00 extra) for the carnivores in the group. This is not your typical chili with beans and meat. A slightly sweet, slightly spicy combination of Black Beans, Northern Beans, Corn, Portobello Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Yellow Squash, Jalapenos and Cheddar Cheese (melted on top), the flavors combine in a unique and satisfying way. And, should you find yourself unable to finish it, it makes a killer omelet for breakfast the next morning!

That grilled cheese was beyond good. The combination of cheese is a favorite of mine – cheddar, goat cheese and pepper jack – then they added avocado, tomato chutney and sprouts piled on between grilled Paisano bread which was a great earthy combo. I’ve tried a number of “gourmet” grilled cheese sandwiches and this one is right at the top.

After all that great food the decision was hard, do you want desert? YES, just for the taste alone because everything else was so good. The Encore section of the menu offers something for just about everyone ranging from The Classic Maine Root-beer Float to the signature Sundown S’Mores Dessert Shot. The Chocolate Tartlet, Vegan and Gluten free, comes from Dallas’ Desert Masters Hail Merry, satisfies the most discriminating tastes and the Pop “N” Rock Brownie (also gluten free) is the more casual and fun sundae that will end your meal with a ‘bang’! Really, Pop Rocks are little candies that explode in your mouth when you bite them! Maybe next visit …

I opt for the Bark at the Roon, a selection of Hail Merry’s Blonde and Chocolate macaroons garnished with a carrot-citrus sauce and fresh blueberries. These little tidbits are worth every calorie.

Our visit ends and we’ve just experienced the tip of the ice berg. We didn’t try the (Beyond) Flatbreads (but they looked awesome going by the table), the Garden (Salads), (That’s a) Wrap, or any of the Headliners. In addition to the expansive beer selection, the bar is full-service and the menu features a collection of specialty cocktails. If you are into fruity, purty-lookin’ drinks, you are bound to find something interesting to try.

Reflecting on the experience and looking back over the entire menu, it comes to me. Sundown at the Granada may be just the place to head when you aren’t sure what you want, (almost) anytime day or night. The menu is varied so whether you’re looking for a pre or post show snack or meal, somewhere to meet old friends or make new friends, vegan or not, you are bound to find something to satisfy. Hmm, when can I squeeze in another visit and try something different? Maybe I’ll run into you while I’m there. And just to tease you here a couple more that you might want to try. The table next to us said they were good too.

Location: Sundown at Granada