Welcome to the NeighborhoodMay 01, 2019 ● By Carolyn Cameron
With his long and impressive resume in the restaurant business working throughout the U.S. and in Europe, owner, chef and Plano native, Scott Hoffner, has more than 30 years of experience under his belt. Feeling a call to come home, he recently opened Didi’s Downtown right in the heart of downtown Frisco. His mission for Didi’s Downtown is to be the go-to place for families and those seeking Frisco-centric funk and fun.
One Sunday afternoon, my hubby and I decided to venture out to Didi’s Downtown for early dinner. As we meandered our way along Main Street through Frisco’s historic downtown area, the delightful brick and painted houses cheerfully greeted us with their charm and warmth. Located in the third-oldest house within the city, Didi’s Downtown’s quaint exterior features an expansive patio while sitting almost directly across Frisco’s “old water tower,” which only proliferates a sense of history and nod to the past.
As we walked into Didi’s, a friendly greeter welcomed us, asking our preference for seating. We chose to sit inside, so she escorted us past an expansive bar area to our comfortable booth, complete with a large Texas flag painted on planks. The restaurant itself boasted a modern rustic décor with beautiful wood floors and large windows, all situated in an open layout. There is a homey yet funky vibe within the restaurant, with calming greys and green tones paired with cozy wood accents and relaxing lighting throughout which creates a warm ambiance. On a nice day, the patio is sure to beckon you, offering a variety of live music options on its back porch. Both tables and booths were available for seating, and televisions showcased the latest ball games, all broadcasting brightly from the bar area. The restaurant is decorated with train paraphernalia throughout the interior, which is refreshingly fun, unique and captures your attention the minute you walk in the door. It truly encompasses all things Frisco.
Once we were seated, our waitress immediately came to greet us. I asked the waitress what she recommended, and as she described the dishes, she had a hard time deciding on one she liked best (a sure sign that the food must be really good)! The Didi’s menu happily features good-ole American food with a twist, with a roster of just about anything and everything, including home-cooked appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers and entrees.
I decided to start out with a Main Street Mule cocktail, which featured vodka, lime and ginger beer and my hubby began with fresh ice water. Presented in a chilled copper cup with a wedge of lime and a straw, the mule was made perfectly and tasted absolutely delicious. As we sipped, we perused the menu, and once our thirst was quenched, we moved on to a delectable appetizer.
As we glanced through the list of appetizers which included smothered fries, quesadillas, a hummus plate and more, our waitress was kind and generous with her time while I asked her multiple questions. One item popped off the page for us: the Philly Cheesesteak Eggrolls. And, it was the perfect choice. Four eggrolls with both horseradish and sour cream dipping sauces and a smattering of green onions were presented to us on a clean, white plate. Oh. My. Goodness! They were absolutely divine. The unique combination of the crisp eggroll paired with the smooth short rib/provolone cheese/grilled onion blend created a phenomenal flavor. We both could not stop raving about them. They hit just the spot, but left room in our bellies for our upcoming entrees.
Next to come out was my Cobb Salad with grilled chicken and the Grilled Chicken Club for the hubby. The salad featured a large bed of romaine lettuce combined with bacon, egg, half an avocado, along with tender strips of chicken, and the entire presentation was topped with plethora of blue cheese crumbles. Everything tasted fresh and clean. I realized the tomatoes were accidentally left off the salad. But I said one quick word to our sweet waitress, and they immediately appeared, adding just the right amount of tang and sweetness to the dish.
The club sandwich was also delicious. The soft sourdough sandwich bread cushioned the juicy chicken perfectly, and the provolone cheese added a smooth blending to the lettuce, avocado and tomato pairing with the chicken. We had bites off each other’s plates and sinking my teeth into the sourdough bread with the delicious chicken was an absolute treat. I was thoroughly impressed by how fabulous the food was, especially given that we had “typical” American-fare entrees.
At this point in our visit, executive Chef Hoffner stopped by our table to check on our meal. We both appreciated the personal attention to us as his customers and asked him his inspiration for his new place. We learned that “Didi” was actually his mother, Diane “Didi” Hoffner, who passed away two years ago. As a child, he remembered his mother always being in the kitchen and coming home to unique snacks after school. He paused when we asked about her, clearly moved.
After agreeing that our tummies were fully satisfied, the hubster and I changed our minds and ordered dessert. Didi’s Downtown offers a limited dessert menu, but one item spoke to me immediately. The Hot Fudge Pie with whipped cream called my name, so we promptly ordered it.
When it arrived at our table, it looked good, but quite honestly, I was not prepared for the mix of delicious smoothness and sweetness I soon experienced. It was a complete standout! Singlehandedly, the dessert featured the best fudge I have ever had. Imagine a combination of a chocolate soufflé with brownie batter and chocolate molten cake mixed to the smoothest, creamiest consistency ever. Topped with homemade whipped cream and filled in a mouth-watering buttery crust, this was the absolute best chocolate pie I have ever tasted. Literally, my husband and I were fighting for the last bite, trying to see who could get to it first. My only complaint is the size of the slice – it definitely needed to be larger. In fact, when the waitress stopped by to check on us, we asked about the possibility of purchasing a full pie for us to take home to our out-of-town family. Of course, they were willing to accommodate us, much to the chagrin of our waistlines.
It is easy to see that our experience at Didi’s Downtown was just like coming home – with its homemade meals and warm atmosphere. Prepare your taste buds for a culinary delight and friendly welcome when you visit. Located at 7210 West Main Street near the intersection of Main and 7th Streets, you will definitely want to stop by. I know we will be visiting again very soon.
Frisco STYLE Magazine dining reviews are not scheduled with or paid for by the featured restaurant. All reviews are completed for the purpose of helping readers know and enjoy local dining options.