PICTURED ABOVE: Pan-Seared Salmon with Harissa Vinaigrette from Public School 972 // Photo by Ashlye Dullye
Black and white composition notebooks line the tables, giant mathematics holy-cards tower over tables and plastic globes hang from the walls. Your stereotypical conception of a public school comes to life. Except, there’s a twist.
Public School 972, a schoolroom themed restaurant in Addison, is definitely worth the drive with its fun decor and American-style dishes. Located on 14854 Montfort Drive, it takes about 13 minutes to get to the restaurant from Hockaday. However, if the drive is too long for your schedule, you have the option to go the restaurant’s identical counterpart Public School 214 in Uptown Dallas. The strategic names of the two restaurants depend on the area code in which they are located.
Flourishing vines and flowers blossom upon the outdoor walls of Public School 972. Just past these walls lies an immense patio that overlooks a glassy pond, which provides an aesthetic backdrop to take the Instagram worthy picture that you desire. On the other hand, if you opt to sit inside to eat, the restaurant is heavily decorated with school-themed supplies that may even give you various flashbacks to your Hockaday classes. The menus are inspired by composition notebooks, and there are even board games stacked on the wall for some in-dining entertainment.
The restaurant’s appetizers almost live up to its decorations. After careful contemplation, my friend and I decided to order the Brussels Sprouts and the Chorizo Mac & Cheese.
Topped with baked potato chips, the Chorizo Mac & Cheese not only packs enough cheesy creaminess into every bite but also con- tains a spice factor. By the time I finished this decadent appetizer, I had already downed three glasses of water.
The Brussels Sprouts also didn’t disappoint. As a healthier option to start off a meal at Public School, the dish is packed with flavor, including a spicy twinge. Bacon and Lemon Gremolata, a herb condiment with garlic, parsley and other fragrant ingredients, adds to the intense flavor of the sprouts.
With a good beginning to my dining experience with the decorations and appetizers, I had high expectations for the main course. I decided on the Pan-Seared Salmon with harissa vinaigrette, a dressing typically made from red wine vinegar, sriracha sauce and tomato paste, as well as the Roasted Chicken & Quinoa Salad.
The salmon, lying on a bed of asparagus and zucchini, is satisfying to the eye, but it didn’t leave a lasting impression on me as it didn’t have the particular flavors that make a dish standout.
When the server brought out the Roasted Chicken & Quinoa Salad, I was genuinely surprised at how large the portion was. From the very first bite, the dish left my mouth craving more. Each serving was healthy and light.
Emma Name, owner of the popular Instagram food account @nameats, commented “The restaurant’s vibe was fantastic! The food mixed with the vibe of the restaurant definitely put Public School 972 on my top 10 restaurant recommendations list.”
The one area the restaurant should improve upon is their customer service. Service was slow, and our waitress seemed underwhelmed and unhappy when she arrived at our table to serve us. In addition, when my friend asked another server about an item on the menu, the waiter was misinformed.
But the food and environment made up for the lack of hospitality. Hockaday girls might not experience public school life often but can quite literally get a taste of it at Public School 972.
14854 Montfort Drive
Ashlye Dullye – Staff Writer