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Matthew Cobb
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Whether you are looking for a good place to take your family out for a meal or grab a drink and watch a Rangers game, The Nodding Donkey Kitchen and Sports Saloon on SMU Boulevard near the intersection of Greenville Avenue has an atmosphere that is suitable for both children and adults and is an enjoyable place for dining and drinking.

The restaurant and bar, which opened for its first full day last Wednesday on the ground floor of The BLVD building, prides itself as being a hybrid of the owners' two prior ventures — the State & Allen restaurant and The Nodding Donkey bar in Uptown — combining the best aspects of them both.

For those who would like to enjoy a meal there, The Nodding Donkey Kitchen and Sports Saloon offers an extensive menu that is filled with fine dining selections, such as bistro items that are served at State & Allen, like the "Tomato Braised Chicken with Mushroom Ravioli" and "Shrimp Fettuccine." It also serves pizza, burgers and sandwiches. Regardless of what you order, all of the food selections will leave you wanting to try more. (Note: The Cajun Calamari is to die for.)

Joey Ryholt, the restaurant's executive corporate chef, said the location also has an "outstanding" weekend brunch menu, which includes Banana's Foster pancakes, steak and eggs, and even standard house-made biscuits.

"We want the restaurant to be family oriented with finer dining and a fun atmosphere," Ryholt said.

The Nodding Donkey Kitchen and Sports Saloon, which is styled with somewhat of a modern rustic interior, is spacious and has plenty of seats indoors and on its patio. There are also about a dozen large-screen televisions inside, which are viewable from all areas of the restaurant, so you will be able to watch your favorite sports teams play while you are there.

If you would prefer to stop by and just grab a drink or two, the location's bar has a large variety of beer options, such as from the St. Arnold Brewing Company in Houston to your favorite national brands.

The bar also serves signature cocktails, which you may have tried before at The Nodding Donkey bar in Uptown.

"The new location is a different concept than the other Nodding Donkey," said Lauren Festa, the general manager of the Nodding Donkey Kitchen and Sports Saloon. "Being a hybrid of the other two menus, we really have a lot to offer."

The Nodding Donkey Kitchen and Sports Saloon, which is located at 5600 SMU Blvd., is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Monday through Friday, and it opens at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. More information can be found at TheNoddingDonkeyKitchen.com.

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