Y’all are invited to a place with classic southern charm, cozy yet tasteful décor, and a one of a kind unique dining experience. It’s all here at Mason & Dixie in Grapevine, Texas, and what you’ll experience will make you a life-long loyal guest!
Beth Newman, Owner
Owner Beth Newman has a lot of repeat business. And there’s a reason – she’s one of the most talented chefs in Texas that you may not have heard about. And not only is Beth skilled in her cooking craft, she’s also one of the friendliest owners you’ll ever meet. Making you feel not just like a welcome patron, she’ll down right make you feel like one of her family members. Striving for the best meal you’ve possibly ever had, Beth goes the extra mile for each guest, every single time.
Opening her restaurant in November of 2013, Beth had never even worked in a restaurant prior to owning Mason & Dixie. A play on words, Beth dedicated the name to the Mason-Dixon line. Wanting to showcase all the variety of southern foods, she had the right attitude going into the business. Wanting to make people feel good during and after their experience at her place.
Originally from Florida, she moved to Grapevine refinishing and selling home furniture and décor, and offering home decorating services. This is probably where the exceptionally elegant meets homey interior design of the Mason & Dixie come into play.
Speaking to one of the guests the evening I came in for dinner, the lady told me she’s been coming regularly to the Mason & Dixie since they opened years ago. Always getting the best food and service, the people I spoke to that night all had nothing but the nicest things to say about Beth and her food.
So naturally, I was anxious to try her dishes that everyone was raving about. And as good as they had talked her up, nothing could have prepared me for how exceptionally delicious, creative and show stopping the presentation of each dish would be.
I had made my reservation a couple of weeks in advance, and let her know that my certified master personal trainer, Danielle Girdano, who is a vegan, would be joining me. She set to work right away to plan, not only the meals she would be making for me, but also for Danielle. Informing us on the evening we dined at Mason & Dixie that she doesn’t like people calling vegan food “vegan”, but rather “a food experience”. She also adds,
“Vegan food gets a bad rap. And it is notoriously hard to pair with wine. I tried to mirror the dishes I prepared for you but in vegan style.” And she did just that.
I am the farthest thing from a vegan. The farthest. I tried going vegan for 2 weeks once. And I lived to talk about it. That’s how far removed I am from the vegan world. In fact, if someone tells me something is vegan – I usually turn and run in the other direction, because my experience has been that it’s tasteless.
Beth is a genius, though. In this case, some of the dishes I tried which were vegan were actually better than the non-vegan dishes that she had prepared for me. Her spot-on creativity was astounding and it’s difficult not to praise how skillful she is in the kitchen coming up with all of the incredible meals she did.
This having been said, there’s no question, even the non-vegan dishes were to die for. My coveted fried chicken and mashed potatoes with gravy were what I had been longing to try all week in anticipation. But those BBQ ribs with whiskey sauce – wow. All I can say is make sure you come to Mason & Dixie hungry, because you’ll for sure be leaving full.
And the fried green tomatoes? Something tells me Idgie and Ruth would be jealous. Especially of the vegan version. The pesto made those things absolutely pop, and the presentation was eye- catching.
And of course, her desserts are not to go unmentioned. Though her coconut cream pie (my favorite after blackberry) was incredible, it was her chocolate mud creation that I couldn’t get enough of. Even the next day…when I wasn’t supposed to have any (psst, don’t tell Danielle).
Truthfully, all of Beth’s food was worth polishing off the next day because it would have been a crime not to finish it all.
But it wasn’t just the food that had me in tastebud heaven. The wine selection that Beth chose for our meal was outstanding. From start to finish, every bottle she had had lay in wait for us prior to our arrival was spot on perfection. Complimenting each dish so well, it was hard to wait for the food, as I was busy indulging in the delicious French, Italian and domestic wines…
In her own words, Beth tells me,
“I have curated our wine list mostly to my palate. I’ve slowly added sweeter wines to make sure I make everyone happy. The big French and Italian wines are my favorite.” And this is why she and I get along so well. Our tastes in wine are just as in sync as our tastes in flavorful and creative foods.
By Popular Vote
What Beth prepared for me that evening wasn’t necessarily what is always on the menu. She likes to “spice things up” if I may use the pun, changing her menu frequently to offer a different selection of dishes. Her most popular dish though is her shrimp and grits. In addition, a frequently requested entrée is her fried chicken and biscuits. And she’s also known for her pimento cheese, bread pudding and chicken pot pie! All things I think I’m going to be needing to try the next time I’m in town. And why is that bread pudding so spankin’ famous? Because it is apparently unlike any other bread pudding one has ever had. Not soggy at all and with no raisins. It is a croissant in a classic custard and baked in a bourbon sauce with spiced pecans.
When asked what makes Mason & Dixie so unique, Beth humbly answers with,
“Every restaurant has something unique to offer- I hope my customers know how much I deeply care about their experience with us. From the greeting to the departure and everything in between. Very few restaurants are making everything from scratch. I still don’t use a food service and use as many local sources as possible. Everything is from scratch and seasonal. We aren’t perfect but always striving!”
And perhaps it’s this that is the best testament as to why she is as successful as she has been. Her customers aren’t just guests – they’re much more special than that to her. Wanting to please everyone on a unique and individual level, instead of getting as many bodies in the door as possible, like so many businesses try to do. She is right there, wanting to know how she can make her customer’s experience special. And after she knows just what it is you are looking for, she makes it happen and surpasses everyone’s expectations.
This was truly one of the best experiences I’ve ever had at any dining establishment, and I can’t recommend Mason & Dixie highly enough. I personally can’t wait to be back again in the near future to try more amazing and creative concotions by Beth.
So what are you waiting for? You know you want to try some of that homestyle southern fried chicken. Maybe some of those vegan fried green tomatoes. Or maybe the best tomato soup you’ve never tasted. Whatever the reason, you need to make an appearance here. And when you stop in, make sure to let them know that Lisa sent you!