From Scratch -Prairie House

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Prairie House has been hosting a loyal clientele in the corridor for 30 years, and for good reason.  This local landmark has amazing food in a unique atmosphere.  There is a variety of items on the menu, so there is something for everyone.

While sitting down with restaurateur, Jim Murray, I learned a lot about his ambition, drive, and insight for the restaurant industry.  Over 30 years ago, Murray had the wherewithal to create a location that fit the 380 corridor’s needs at the time, and the foresight to change with the unprecedented growth of the area.

After working for the once famed Trail Dust, he was able to understand their success and their strengths, while determining how to improve on their shortcomings.  He created a menu that would stand the test of time yet allow for modifications.  His food is consistently appetizing, prices are fair, and the atmosphere is comfortable.

When Murray designed the menu and the ambiance, he played off things he was familiar with and expanded upon them.  For his ambiance, he recovered wood from barns, recycled doors and re-homed art pieces and kitchenware before reclaiming was cool.  All the re-purposing and salvaging made for an eclectic and rustic environment that is distinctively his own. Murray’s food derived from Texas favorites, but the real secrets came from his East Texas upbringing.  The flavors are the familiar ones he grew up with around the dinner table with his family. Meals there were fresh and homemade by his mother, which is translated on his menu.  His savory sauces are passed down from his father’s French heritage.  Combine these together and you get the distinctive flavors you find at Prairie House.

When guests from out of state come to town, Prairie House is the first place we go to eat. It never fails that someone makes a comment along the line of, “Wow! This is exactly what I expected when I visited Texas.”  The savory aromas, bucolic appearance with oversized furnishings, and an oversized Texas bar with giant horn chandlers, fits perfectly with their preconceived expectations. The decor is so organic that you feel that it has naturally evolved over a long stretch of time, not arranged.  Yes, the atmosphere is backed up with a delightfully delectable style of home-cooking,

It is no secret that many residents of the 380 corridor like to go out for breakfast.  Murray listened to the clients and a few years back and started opening for breakfast.  Serving some seriously Texan selections as well as eggs, pancakes, bacon, ham, and plenty of it.  Prairie House offers breakfast daily. Don’t worry if you are a late sleeper, or a breakfast for lunch enthusiast, you can enjoy breakfast until noon every day of the week.

A new dish on the menu is scrumptious, and one of my favorites, the Grilled Salmon Salad.  It consists of fresh spinach with succulent grilled salmon, strawberries, red onion, feta cheese, mushrooms and croutons, try it with the miso dressing. However, my all-time favorite thing on the menu is the famous Bandidos!  This to-die-for dish is made up of jalapenos stuffed with cheese, wrapped in chicken and bacon, then lathered in barbecue sauce.   

Prairie House is proud to serve a wide variety of Texas Craft Beers and all well drinks are Texas brands. 

Other than dining, the tractors outside may be one of the most photographed locations in Denton County.  Children love to climb up on the seat for a photo op.  I have seen my fair share of adults, maybe after a visit to the bar, straddle over the tractors too!  Next time you’re there join in the fun. 

Prairie House is also a great place for business gatherings, networking groups and meeting with a client.  The Lilly Room is available for small to medium size meetings and is booked complimentary on request with no minimum numbers. This room offers privacy in a casual setting.  If you have a larger group, you will need to make arrangements in advance for the party room where the space can be configured to suite your needs.  The large room is perfect for business lunches, wedding rehearsal dinners, networking groups, after church meals, and seminars. It is also a great place to kick off a family reunion or feed a tour group.

If you are wanting offsite service, Prairie House offers tasty and efficient catering. They provide options to fit your needs and budget. You can opt for a drop-off or a full-service catering event.  Prairie House has mastered large groups with their well-organized service that feeds everyone in a timely fashion, while keeping the food fresh and warm.  They also have an over-sized grill available that is perfect for groups of 20 to 1,000. The smoky smell from the barbecue options is mouthwatering, consequently your guests will be excited about the food before it even hits the plate.  Then they will be equally impressed with the unique flavors and quality of the meal they enjoy.

We all know traffic on Highway 380 can be tiresome, but if you are going to get stuck in traffic, may you be so lucky to have it happen at the corner of Naylor and Hwy 380 while Prairie House is Mesquite smoking their meats.  If you have not been so fortunate, the aroma is mouthwatering!   After the smell wafts through your window do not be surprised if you are not calling the family and having them meet you at Prairie House for dinner.

If you like Prairie House, don’t forget about Murray’s upscale steak house J2.  This inviting restaurant is located in downtown Lewisville where the old feed mill used to be.  He is also putting the final touches on the new Elm Fork restaurant located off I-35.  It is set to open later this fall.

Remember, if you are looking for a meal for two or a catering of 1,000, Prairie House can meet your needs.  Visit their website at for more information.



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