Things are hopping at Two Rows in Garland. In spite of the economy, folks are still eating out and often. They're just not eating as much. Maria Gorman's family eats out two to three times a week and says, "With the kids' meals, since I do have three children, we'll order a kids' meal and they don't eat even a quarter of it, so what we've been trying to do is have them get one adult plate and the three of them share it or one of them share with me or one of them share with their dad."

     Other folks are skipping the appetizers and adult beverages and looking for deals. Two Rows handed five dollar coupons out this morning to drive people in the door. And Kara Conn likes that, saying, "Coupons do help.  Kids get good grades, you typically get great free kid meals, so if restaurants offer that we tend to go to those kind of places."

     "The restaurant industry is tight right now; people are watching their money, but people are still eating out," according to Baine Brooks, chef and manager of Two Rows. But admits restaurant owners are having to be creative.

   For example:  Here if you're on a date, you can get an appetizer, two entrees and dessert for $29.95.  And there's more; he says, "At lunch time, we have a value menu that shows more value; we lowered the price and shrunk the portions a little bit."

     At Chamberlain's Fish Market Grill in Addison, they're also doing what they can to keep customers coming back. Chef Richard Chamberlain says, "We feel like we have to work a little harder; more promotions, we do more wine diners, more cooking classes, you know, just try to get the word out there."

     Mackenzie Wood, a waitress, says so far, customers aren't cutting back on tips, "As long as we still give good service, they tip accordingly."
 
   Trace Conn says, "You really have to budget before you go and think about where you're going, um, who's got the deals, who's two for one, happy hour."