Just off the phone with Tom Fleming, an old friend and one of Dallas’ most talented chefs. Tom’s lengthy cooking cv includes the The Riviera, 214 Central, Old Hickory Steakhouse, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, Lombardi Mare, and a goofy lobster place that he and Phil Romano opened at Preston Center years ago. Now, he’s about to get back into the frying pan.
For the past couple of years, Tom’s been a restaurant consultant with Addison-based Preferred Restaurant Management Group. The grind of being on the road several days a week finally caught up with him, so he’s turned in his keys “to be an entrepreneur,” he told me. “I want to run my own place.”
Together with his longtime friend (and former executive sous chef at 214 Central) Carl Strelecki, Fleming is about to sign a lease in the Central/Walnut Hill area for a low-brow, high-value restaurant he’s calling Crossroads Diner.
“It’s a diner, it’s a joint” Fleming said, “It’s fresh ingredients, done right…chef driven, comfort food, reasonably priced, with lots of value.”
Crossroads Diner will initially focus primarily on daytime business, especially breakfast, so Fleming can spend more time at home with his kids in the evenings.
“I like breakfast,” says Fleming, “and I don’t think there are many good breakfast places in Dallas.”
Crossroads Diner will serve breakfast and lunch daily except Mondays, and serve dinner Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays till around 8 pm. He’s targeting average checks to range between $8-9 per person for breakfast, $12-14 for dinner.
Fleming promises more news after he inks the deal, which he hopes to complete this weekend. Fleming thinks he’ll be open for business by October 1.