According to my notes, it had been almost exactly 4 years since the RJG dined at Aboca's. In fact, it's probably been 4 years since I did anything in Richardson. Strange to think about that now, considering that I was a summer intern for two years at one of the many hi tech firms that dotted the Richardson landscape at the time (mid 1980s). Today I have little reason to visit this way, except to try the numerous interesting food choices. I hardly recognize the place anymore. But back to 2005, Mr. Music came down from Shady Shores and joined me for a music session at Mr. Unemployed Former DJ's apartment. Naturally, no food was offered, so Mr. Music and I conjured up an excuse to leave, and then figured out later where we would eat. Consider that Mr. Music is one of the only people I know who actually samples more restaurants than the RJG . He suggested that I try a new Italian place he just discovered called Aboca's.
And so here I am again, this time with Mrs. RJG, enjoying a Saturday night dinner. The place is packed, and the majority of the diners are older than we are. The RJG likes this, as it demonstrates quality food for a reasonable price. In general terms, older folks are less impressed by restaurant du jour's and marquee chefs and more interested in a good meal with friends or a loved one. While nothing is 100% iron clad, this proved true once again.
It's BYOB, so good news right off the bat. We had our bottle of red in tow and ready to devour. They charge a $1 corkage fee, which is fine with us. The RJG can remember many a business trip to California where corkage fees bordered on imperial taxation.
The complimentary bread is a sliced loaf and complemented with a dipping sauce oil, garlic and pepper.
Salads are delicious (though they add olives, not something I enjoy personally, which I had to pick out and add to the Mrs.' dish), with a nice balsamic vinagraitte dressing. For those of us in NE Tarrant, who are a bit tired of the tomato based dressings, this was a nice treat.
The wife enjoyed a place of Spaghetti Bolognese, a dish that never fails to fill the spot while wandering Europe. She usually goes for a mixed meat and vegetables dish, but she was in the mood for some comfort food. Their variation has lots of spiced meat, which is a huge plus as far as the RJG is concerned. I had the Chicken Parm with two meatballs. The Parm wasn't crispy enough for me, but that's a rare find in any restaurant. But it still tasted great. The meatballs were firm and tasty - the kind I remember from the 1970s.
The desserts were heavy on cakes and pastries, so we passed.
The citizens of Richardson are very fortunate to have a neighborhood joint like Aboca's.
Aboca's sits on the SW corner of Belt Line and Central Distressway (US 75). It's just off the service road, south of Belt Line.
One note on the atmosphere: Christmas lights are strung throughout. All year. You get points for that. Only thing missing is a rollaway sign out front, with flashing bulbs and a billboard stating "Tuesday night is Ladies Night - Two Meatballs for free".