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Friday night Dallas "Celebration" Dinner

afs Jun 12, 2007 11:14 AM

Hey TX. Chow!
I have a quick business trip planned this weekend; Friday and Saturday.
I'm flying in Friday afternoon and going straight to a meeting then looking to celebrate with a great Friday night dinner.
I'll be Downtown with a car but a " taxi close" location would work best.
I've been to Bob's steakhouse and thought that was great but I think I'm looking for something a bit more casual with top notch food.
- Steakhouse
- Tex Mex
I know the Mexican food is a bit different from here in Southern Cal but that's what I'm looking for.
I've also been told that BBQ is more of a lunch thing out there then a dinner choice??
Anyways, looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

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  1. Bhutani RE: afs Jun 12, 2007 11:54 AM

    Can't speak much about steakhouses b/c I avoid them and BBQ in Dallas is overall pretty disappointing for fans of true TX BBQ. There are some good restaurants that are not far from downtown that may fit the Mexican/Latino bill. Stephen Pyles (Downtown) is a unique restaurant with more peruvian flavors but has an excellent steak -- not very casual but definately a lively bar scene.

    For Mexican (more interior than Tex-Mex) I would suggest Cafe San Miguel -- however the neighborhood leaves little to be desired. Javier's just north of Uptown on McKinney is always a fan favorite and is pretty packed on the weekends.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Bhutani
      afs RE: Bhutani Jun 12, 2007 01:33 PM

      Javiers seems to be a popular choice. Thanks!

      1. re: afs
        Honey Bee RE: afs Jun 12, 2007 01:37 PM

        Javier's is good, but if you have the budget and inclination to try Stephen Pyles it is truly delicous. Here are my specific comments on it (copied from another thread):

        1. The restaurant is beautiful. The setting is modern without being too trendy. The tables are not crowded too close together so that you hear everything happening at the next table. It is clearly a very nice place, but not formal. You feel like you can laugh and be a little noisy, yet the place is quite enough to carry on a conversation.

        2. The kitchen is pretty open and you can see what is happening in there. It is fun to watch everyone work. When I have been, Stephen Pyles was there himself...cooking and working front of house.

        3. The ceviche menu is amazing. Chef Pyles spent several months travelling in Peru and other places in South and Central America to learn about various types of ceviche. You can predr a cevich tasting of 3 or 6...I like the hamachi and halibut the best.

        4. The poblano asiago soup is amazing. Creamy without being too heavy and perfectly balanced flavors. I think I would force myself to eat it in the dead of summer heat. I don't care too much for the Southwestern Cesar..it was fine but a waste of stomach space in a restaurant this good.

        5. Hubby likes the rib-eye. It is enormous and served with great, crisp onion rings. I prefer the lamb which was cooked medium-rare. A nice red center was very tender.

        6. Desserts are sublime. The Heaven and Hell Cake is a great way to end the meal and we also had some banana bread pudding type dish. I don't remember the name, but that it was served in a tiny cast iron pot

        1. re: Honey Bee
          afs RE: Honey Bee Jun 12, 2007 02:29 PM

          That sounds like Saturday night to me.

      2. re: Bhutani
        vktp RE: Bhutani Jun 13, 2007 09:04 AM

        2nd vote for Cafe San Miguel.

      3. a
        Analisas mom RE: afs Jun 12, 2007 08:09 PM

        I use to be a huge fan of Stephen Pyles back in the Star canyon days, but I was really really dissappointed with his new place, it is way over priced in my opinion. I do love Javires but you should make a reservation for the week-end they have an excellent steak on the menu, and the restaurant is very old world Mexico city. I have been there 3 times in the last 6 months and it was great each visit.

        9 Replies
        1. re: Analisas mom
          afs RE: Analisas mom Jun 13, 2007 02:28 PM

          ANy comments on El Fenix??
          My grandma use to know the owners BACK and I mean BACK in the day

          1. re: afs
            dalaimama RE: afs Jun 14, 2007 07:37 AM

            I love El Fenix - especially on Wednesday for the $4 cheese enchilada plate, but it's nowhere near the same level as Javier's. El Fenix is basic Tex Mex with yellow cheese inside (cheez?) and chile con carne on top. They have some really good food, but it's very basic and probably not "chowish" at all.

            I'll third Javier's because the lounge is great for a drink and the food is always good. It's not Tex Mex at all (not Cali-Mex either). Very good for a high end Mexican option.

            If you want lower end (in price and ambience but not in food quality) Mexican that makes a nod towards Tex-Mex than go to Cafe San Miguel. The neighborhood isn't that bad and the food is marvelous.

            1. re: dalaimama
              afs RE: dalaimama Jun 14, 2007 11:19 AM

              the exact answer I was looking for.
              Javiers it is!
              I'll report back next week

              1. re: afs
                jinet12 RE: afs Jun 15, 2007 06:37 AM

                Honestly, it is best that you chose a place other than Stephen Pyles...I love it, but your chances of getting a reservation at the last minute for a weekend night, is almost impossible...

                1. re: jinet12
                  jds703 RE: jinet12 Jun 15, 2007 08:18 AM

                  You should try Mias TexMex, they have amazing brisket tacos and their Magaritas are very good.

                  1. re: jds703
                    afs RE: jds703 Jun 18, 2007 09:34 AM

                    Great weekend in BIG D, so we ended up going to Javier's on Friday night and what a great night.
                    We had drinks in 1 of the 4 bars they had all over the place I was turned on to Mexican beers with tomato/bloddy mary mix and had the most tender and juicey Steak a la tampenquina.
                    The service was top notch, drinks were right on and the place it self was hopping.
                    2 Thumbs up.
                    Saturday night we ended up at trader Vic's only b/c the original here in LA closed 3 weeks ago and my wife to be had never been there. Just the opposite of Javier's.
                    Oh yeah also had BBQ at Schneakys or sneakys in Ft. worth not too shabby.
                    Has anyone ever been to the Metro Grill??
                    Thanks for the ideas.

                    1. re: afs
                      Bhutani RE: afs Jun 18, 2007 01:36 PM

                      Sounds like what you had at Javier's was a michelada -- glad you liked it as I am a big fan. Haven't been to Metro Grill but haven't heard that many good things from others.

              2. re: dalaimama
                PhoebeB RE: dalaimama Jun 24, 2007 08:20 PM

                Javier's is upscale Mex-Mex. (gourmet Mexican. not peasant origin like Tex-Mex. ) His sister Pilar once opened one of the best little restaurants that ever was on Oak Lawn: Handmade tortillas, the most indescribably perfect carnitas--all the little salsas and condiments freshly made. It burned down and she never reopened, far as I know.

                1. re: dalaimama
                  PhoebeB RE: dalaimama Jun 24, 2007 08:32 PM

                  I know there are more esoteric/gourmet Tex-Mex places in Dallas, but I will always love Blue Goose on Greenville Ave. best of any of them. Great margaritas, great tortillas. great queso, great tamales, great nachos--never had anything disappointing there, and THE most friendly, jovial atmosphere. Noisy as all get-out but a lovely din that never seems intrusive. (Probably since I'm always in the company of kids and grandkids.)

                  It's almost always mobbed, but the bar is in an anteroom entry and you can have a drink while you wait. Outside tables, too.

                  Everyone always seems so happy to be there and the unflappable staff makes everyone feel welcome. May it never change.

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