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Mar 4, 2008 11:14 AM

DFW visitor-advice for fellow CH?

I am coming to Dallas Fort Worth for a conference that promises some free time. I am keen on Tex Mex for at least one meal and some really good BBQ.

Beyond that I would just like some suggestions on something that is uniquely Dallas-Fort Worth. (I am a little wary of doing my own picking since I read the thread here today on the recently renovated seafood restaurant that was touted one of best in Texas and turned out to be a dud). My budget for dinner would be $50-75 (with wine) per person.

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  1. skip the tex mex for mex mex. imo. good bbq is tough, you can get ribs for lunch at (the original) sonny bryans or baker's ribs. for dinner if you're in dallas and want good mexican food (not "good" tex mex, which is like saying "oh thats great kraft macaroni and cheese" imo) you could try cafe san miguel or a handful of other places that i haven't really been to so i can't make a great suggestion.

    also it makes a difference whether you're staying in Dallas, or Ft. Worth, so let us know.

    1. Yes, where are you staying, and I disagree about the Mex-Mex and would strongly suggest Tex Mex, as there are many places that are absolutely delicious, and unless you live in Austin or San Antonio, you are seriously in for a treat....

      6 Replies
      1. re: jinet12

        Thanks, Luniz, yes: real Mexican would be marvelous, too. I live in Toronto and we had a (singular) very good Mexican restaurant here once, at which I ate once, before it closed-to say my experience is limited would be true, but I thought asking for 'real' Mex versus Tex Mex in Texas might seem pushy and I do LOVE Tex Mex.

        Jinet: I am staying at a place called Marriot Solano (Westlake which I suspect is a suburb near the airport), but will have access to a car. I am also going to make a sacred non-food pilgimage to a place called SAS Factory Shoe Store (9665 N. Central Parkway) if there is anything out that way of foodie interest?

        1. re: LJS

          Yes Westlake is a suburb near the airport that is somewhat closer to the Fort Worth side of DFW. If you're in Westlake, then a trip to Babe's Chicken Dinner House in Roanoke is a must (only 5 miles away from Westlake). Down home Texas cooking like fried chicken, chicken fried steak, etc. The fried chicken is insanely good and the atmosphere is Texas without being too hokey.

          Since you're on the Fort Worth side, I would also recommend dinner at Lanny's Alta Cocina. Lanny Lancarte is the great grandson of legendary Joe T. Garcia (of Joe T. Garcia's Tex Mex) and does high end Mexican cuisine like no other. Sample dinner menu:

          If you really want Tex Mex instead of Mex-Mex, I say why not go to the original Joe T. Garcia's in Fort Worth for the full experience?

          1. re: donnaaries

            I was just about to mention Babe's. Definitely if you are staying in Westlake, it's a very short drive.

            Some will disagree, but I love La Hacienda Ranch for good fajitas and margaritas. It's my favorite Tex-Mex place in the area, and we live nearby. Also Esparza's in downtown Grapevine is good and the downtown area is fun and different.

            I've never understood the Joe T. Garcia's love. It's just straight-up Tex Mex. I don't hate it but I can name a few dozen better places without even thinking very hard.

          2. re: LJS

            well westlake is way the heck out there. but if you have a car for a day, thats really part of the dallas mentality, to drive all around everywhere, so that wouldn't be so bad.

            asking for "real" mexican food isn't asking for too much in dallas imo. there's a real high end mexican place in fort worth called lanny's alta cocina. there's also plenty of places that make their tortillas by hand, which is what i prefer over tex mex. i believe el ranchito (on jefferson) makes their tortillas, as does el camaron (on maple). i would also expect cafe san miguel (on henderson) does. there's also avila's (which i'd say is more tex-mex) and cuquita's, which i haven't been to.

            also if you're driving around all day i'd stop at doughmonkey in snider plaza for a treat and a coffee and then maybe drive around and look at all the fancy houses and stuff. also your shoe place isn't that far from white rock coffee, which imo has really great beans for sale but the brewed coffee can be boring.

            1. re: LJS


              First not to be nit picky and disrespectful, if you are looking for shoes in the Dallas market I would think DSW (all the women love that place) out in Southlake which is right next to Westlake - Solana (1435 E Southlake Blvd, Southlake, TX 76092 - Southlake Blvd @ Texas SH 114) should fit your bill unless you like the SAS brand. Your address would not pull up if you have a GPS in your rental the address is 9665 N Central Expwy, Suite #110, Dallas, TX 75231....or if looking on a street map Central Expressway (US 75) @ Walnut Hill Lane.


              It looks like you will be quite a distance away from Dallas...I would suggest hitting up Fort Worth for your Tex-Mex or Mex-Mex they seem to do a better job over there in Tarrant County. I would go with Donna's and everyone elses recs on this go around for Lanny's Kitchen, Joe T. Garcias is decent if you want just a few choices done really well, Babe's is good for Fried Chicken or Chicken Fried Steak....only two items on the menu in Roanoke...but come with sides and bring a friend to help finish all the food, BBQ is hit or miss in this market...I will research on Tarrant County BBQ tonight and get back to ya, if you don't have a brazilian churracaria (as the Dallas market is flooded with them) Boi Na Braza should fill your carnivorous side for a couple of months, if you get out to Downtown Ft Worth and the arts district I would suggest Nonna Tatta on Magnolia....I think the fare is pretty close to Italy.

     from another rec above

              1. re: LJS

                Near SAS - Abacus (New American, Dinner only), La Duni (Latin, brunch is good, so are desserts and drinks), Taverna (Italian).

                Although unless you're specifically looking to go to North Park Mall, there are 2 SAS Factory Outlets closer to Westlake. The Central Pkwy location is 25 miles from Westlake. There's one in Hurst 10 miles from Westlake - 1493 W Pipeline Rd. I don't know restaurants around there.

            2. On the Tex-Mex V Mexican question:

              Either Tex-Mex or Mexican are good choices, just do your homework. Lots of "authentic Mexican" places are just Tex-Mex and lots of Tex-Mex is bad.

              1. If you are coming to Dallas for the shoes. You might want to check out Northpark Mall (off Central) and DSW shoes up the street in Preston Center. There is a lot of good food close to that area, too.

                1. Thank you all: very useful info. I am printing off this thread to bring with me. BTW, the shoe thing is a love affair with SAS: the fit, the comfort, the way they market and the dedication to the handmade touches. The style is just fine for me-yes, I do still own a pair of indigo blue suede high heels and some sandals made entirely of sequins, but when I actually need to WALK somewhere, on go my SAS!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: LJS

                    For your Mex-Mex fix, you might want to try El Ranchito.

                    It's delicious.