When Mike Snider opened the The AllGood Café in Deep Ellum he used resources with a side of creativity to open the restaurant.
“We really started this place on a shoe string. We actually had a party here a month before we opened we called it a restaurant shower. We invited all of our friends, family, people in the industry to donate to us various things so we could get our place open,” said Snider.
When Snider says everything, he means everything.
“There are no two coffee cups a like here. They’ve been donated to us. That’s what comes to us most frequently. We have customers who will walk in Saturday or Sunday with a box of coffee cups to donate to us and they’re also the things that get broken and lost the most. Business has been good so we can afford to run the place like a real restaurant now. In the beginning it was a real do-it-yourself operation,” said Snider
Odds and ends, including music posters, occupy the walls, shelves -- pretty much anywhere.
“In addition to the food business and the restaurant industry I’ve been involved in concert promotion for almost 20 years now and so most of these posters you see on the wall are either concerts that I have promoted, most of them, or concerts that I’ve attended. And, you know, gifts from various artists, they’ve given me some keepsakes of really nice autographs and stuff I’m proud of here,” Snider said.
Another decoration that will catch your eye is the origami hanging from the ceiling.
“That’s one of our prior waitresses. She’s actually a professional dancer, she’s currently dancing with the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes. She was at one time dancing for the Disneyland in Japan outside of Tokyo for eight months. She picked up the origami there,” said Snider.
When she got married, she held the reception at The AllGood Café. She asked Snider if she and her husband could keep the paper cranes up during their honeymoon and take them down a week later. Snider loved the idea. Customers enjoyed the decorations so much Snider told the couple they would stay up permanently.
The overall feel of the café might seem random at times, but it’s meant to be comfortable.
“You know, it’s homey. It certainly reflects Texas, Texas music, there’s a certain hippie element to it if you like that. We got the origami hanging from the ceiling. It’s quite a unique place. We say it’s like going to Austin without having to pass through Waco. Some people might like that, save yourself some gas, just come down to Deep Ellum,” said Snider.
Looks are everything for this Deep Ellum staple, there’s also the famous food.
“There’s a reason we say it’s all good and people come into restaurants and open the menus and they look at it and they look at their server and go “Well, what’s good here?’ and we like to tell them well it’s all good. You aren’t going to go wrong with anything on the menu,” said Snider.
“We’re known for a number of different things. One is our breakfast and brunch and another is our chicken fried steak,” said Snider.
The restaurant controls the process from beginning to end.
“Well, our secret is we don’t cut any corners here, that’s for sure. We believe in first class quality all the way. Our chicken fried steak we make from fresh tenderloin. Fresh is one keyword and tenderloin is the other one. We cut it to portion size and pound it with a meat tenderizer, we dredge it in seasoned flour, and dip it in buttermilk and fry it in peanut oil. A lot of restaurants will cut a lot of corners there,” said Snider.
The AllGood Cafe
2934 Main Street