The space, for starters, is impressive—huge, really, with soaring ceilings and a scattering of polished wood tables that make the place feel more like a party venue than a restaurant. You step inside and get sucked right into a convivial vibe. Johnny Cash is playing on the sound system one minute, '80s New Wave music the next, and the bar that lines one side of the room is packed a few people deep. We hovered around the communal bar table on our first trip and landed four spots, next to a family from the suburbs and a couple of food bloggers from Texas who photographed everything they ate. "Try a fry!" one of the bloggers said, and we did—even my sister, who is not a person known for eating off strangers' plates. They were incredible: crisp and salty, with a meaty sprinkle of something over top (Izard's dehydrated powdered ham, I later learned). Dipped into two sauces—a smoky tomato aioli and an insanely delicious cheddar—beer sauce—the batch we ordered went down easily with a hoppy Three Floyds Alpha King, one of the excellent local beers Izard keeps on tap.