Imagine a chicken strip so juicy and tender, with a crisp breading that was fried to perfection and dipped in a light, tangy sauce that offers a hint of kick in each bite. At Dirk’s, this is the highlight of the best-selling plate. In 2020, local legend and highly esteemed Chef Cameron West opened up the doors on his 13th Street diner. It is there that West pays homage to not only the evolving and revitalized “Hub City” culture found in the core of downtown but also to its rich history, in which his grandfather played a key role.
The focal point of the restaurant’s interior is, of course, the cartoon-framed walls showcasing the genius, and comical work of the late Dirk West. As a well-established artist with years of being the Lubbock-Avalance Journal cartoonist, Dirk created the mascots for a handful of Big 12 Conference teams, including Lubbock’s very own Raider Red! By offering guests the opportunity to view the legendary work of his grandfather, Cameron has successfully fostered an environment that feels comfortable and inviting to all walks of life.
As you enter, a whiff of flawlessly seasoned rotisserie chicken, which is also gluten-free, paired with the spicy aromas of the house favorite Maque Choux (Cajun creamed corn) prepares your tastebuds for an unforgettable Lubbock dining experience. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Creativity runs deep in the West family. As a multi-generational family of artisans, Cameron taps into his creative side with each side dish concocted and chicken entree plated. He also offers customers a more intimate look into his no-fuss way of living by providing a menu with only five entree options – the shrimp and grits, chicken fried steak, fried chicken, rotisserie chicken and chicken tenders – and a choice of two of the nine side dishes, which include fresh oysters flown in daily from the gulf, collard greens and green beans, brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes, french fries, chicken and Andouille gumbo, and a true West Texas favorite, fried okra.
Don’t even get me started on the house dipping sauces! With house-made spicy ketchup, sweet chili and Dirk’s adaptation of Raising Caine’s Sauce called Lane’s sauce, each dip is an explosion of taste. I recommend ordering a side of golden fries to dip in the spicy ketchup. The pairing with the crispy, peppered fries creates a tasty combination.
If you have not had the pleasure of experiencing a meal created by Chef West at any of his three restaurants (one of which happens to be a Texas Monthly-featured brewery), The West Table Kitchen & Bar, The Brewery LBK and Dirk’s, you need to ASAP. Located within minutes from one another, Dirk’s has beer from the The Brewery LBK on tap for all guests to enjoy. We recommend the Social Justice Warrior, which is the head brewer, Sally Taylor’s, favorite stout. Be sure to grab a can or two on your way out the door!
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the cocktails. For a light and fruity mix, we recommend the No. 6, which boasts a refreshing citrus flavor coupled with a fruity sweetness from the added fig and honey. For a weekend brunch moment, stop by on Sunday for the house brunch option – chicken and donuts. Turn your morning into a Sunday Funday and pair it with a mimosa!
Whether you prefer a hearty plate of house-battered chicken fried steak or a lighter option with the rotisserie chicken, order a sweet tea and a side of gumbo for a true southern meal with a “Hub City” twist. From the entrees to the drinks, share your favorite menu items with us using #LiveLoveLubbock! Bon appetit!
By: Lacie Freelen
By: McKenna Dowdle
By: Guest Blogger
By: Visit Lubbock Interns