Tolbert's Restaurant & Chili Parlor first opened in Dallas in 1976. Located at 802 Main Street, the restaurant was started by Frank X. Tolbert Sr. (1912 - 1984) and his son, Frank X2. His daughter, Kathleen, began working and
managing the restaurant in 1977 along side her brother.
Frank Sr. was a Texas Journalist, historian and storyteller. His books on Texas history, novels and short stories were his distinctive contributions to the literature of the Southwest. He was also co-founder of the Terlingua Chili Cookoff which is held the first Saturday in November, in the Big Bend Area of Texas.
Stanley Marcus, the late patriarch of Neiman Marcus Stores had this to say:
"Frank will be remembered as a journalist, as the chili aficionado who helped elevate this dish to its present position in Southwestern cuisine, as a writer of books, and above all, as a warm human being who probably never heard a good story he didn't like."
We feel very fortunate to have found this location. Considering Frank Sr.'s lifelong interest and research of Texas history, this 1911 historic building seems to be a natural home for Tolbert's Restaurant.
We hope you enjoy this legendary Texas cuisine and we look forward to seeing you often.
Kathleen Tolbert Ryan and Paul Ryan