Texas Mennonite restaurantBy John A. Esau
From the moment we set foot into our son’s new apartment, we knew we were in for surprises. Keith had recently moved to a new location in Dallas, Texas, and this was our first visit there.
A new kitten greeted us and entertained us all weekend. There was all of one chair in the apartment, so we sat on the floor. No problem, except when these aging parents needed to get up!
We arrived late Saturday afternoon, so it was quickly time for dinner. Keith has always been good about finding interesting restaurants in Dallas, most of the time with menus of Tex-Mex or Italian. We like it all.
But this time he was strangely secretive about where we were going. It was a considerable drive northeast up Garland Road until we came to Belt Line. He pulled into a typical city strip mall with a Mexican restaurant on the corner, so we assumed this was it.
But he didn’t stop there. Instead he moved on to a small store front. There we saw the sign: “Marlo’s House: Authentic Mennonite Restaurant”! In Garland, Texas?
A gentleman who seemed connected to the restaurant stood outside, so I asked in my astonishment: “Are you Marlo?”
“I’m half of Marlo,” Mark Petryk replied. “The other half is Lori. She’s the cook. She’s the Mennonite — from Winkler, Manitoba, Canada. Her name was Rempel. I’m an adopted Mennonite.”
We were seated at our table. The dining room seats 30, with room to walk comfortably between the tables.
“Lori, come here,” Mark said. “This woman [my wife, Bernice] talks Low German.”
Menu time. Alongside smothered chicken and Canadian walleye were Kielke (pronounced t’chiel-cha) and Wareniki (pronounced va-raan-ik-ah). Soups were chicken noodle and French onion (OK, not “Mennonite,” but too tasty to pass up!), Kommst Borscht (pronounced calm-st boar-sh’d), and Somma Borscht (pronounced sahm-ah boar-sht’d). I loved the way they included pronunciations.
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