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Mar 29, 2008 12:15 PM

DAL must try?

I'll be in Dallas for a week of 4/1 so I have a couple questions.

Where should a go for the best steak meal in Dallas for under $50?

Same question for Tex Mex.

And finally for BBQ.

I'm looking for places that are unique to Dallas and really represent the Dallas/Texas food culture.


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  1. I'd recommend Bob's for Steak. It certainly isn't the trendiest, but it's iconic.

    I'd recommend El Ranchito for a singularly unique "Tex-Mex" experience.

    BBQ? I guess I'd recommend the Baby Back Rib Shack, but to be honest, the best recommendation would be to skip it and go to York Street. I just heard that Sharon Hage is being considered for a James Beard Award. It'll be money well spent.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Epicurious Esquire

      El Ranchito is great for more Mex than Tex. I would second the recommendation though.....cabrito with those thick corn tortillas = excellent.

      Hole in the wall Tex-Mex places that I like are either Tipicos on NW Hwy close to Love Field (they have a great cheese enchilada plate w/rice&beans) or
      Escondidos on Butler close to Parkland Hospital - I have been going to this place for years....actually has holes in the walls too....the fried tacos are good. I really haven't had anything I haven't liked at Escondidos. Los Amigos on Harry Hines close to Parkland on Thursday they have a great lunch special the guiso de puerco. Very tasty cinnamon hinted gravy with pork cubes with standard (bagged) tortillas all for about $6.50 including tea. I wouldn't send my worst enemies to Ojeda's or El the recommendations will follow for these.

      BBQ - would second the recommendation of Baby Back Shak...unfortunately it burned several months ago and they are still in the process of rebuilding. Unless someone has an update??? If you want a fill in I would suggest Mike Andersons across from Parkland/UT Southwestern.....if you are a big eater or like to share get the Scooby Doo sandwich (not on the menu). The sides are pretty good mom likes the cherry pineapple cobbler. Some are going to say Sammy's BBQ close to downtown, behind the Federal Reserve Bank is good but I only like their potato cassarole. I rarely eat BBQ b/c I ususally make it myself. It is very hard to find a great BBQ in Dallas (unfortunately).

      For a good representation of Southern food South Dallas Cafe is execellent (more soul food) and Babe's (Garland or Carrollton) or Bubba's (Babe's and Bubba's have the same owner) in Snider Plaza across from SMU.

      I don't make as much money as EE does so I don't go for high dollar steak!! I keep it on the inexpensive side and go for more variety.

      1. re: LewisvilleHounder

        I like the Roanoke location of Babe's, and the first time is always the best. Just be aware that their idea of veggies is iceberg salad and pole beans cooked forever (I know you have to cook that kind of bean for awhile, I have just never been able to get down with any vegetable that's been cooked for hours). You will want to eat healthy on either side of this meal if that kinda thing is important to you ;) They serve Plugra and sorghum with their fantastic biscuits ... I've never ventured further than the fried chicken.

        1. re: LewisvilleHounder

          Or maybe your credit card debt isn't as high as mine.

          Another great place to go, which won't brutally burden your credit card, is Hattie's, which offers Southern New American (or whatever the style is called). It's really fantastic and is in a really fun part of town.

      2. While Bob's is great and iconic, I doubt you can get out of Bob's for under $50. I never have. A great classic, and will give a feel for "old" Dallas is Dunston's. Not saying it's the best - it's not - but you'll get in and out in under $50 and have a pretty good meal and time in the process. If you want to spend a little more, can't beat Pappas Bros.

        Tex Mex. I vote for Mia's on Lemmon - and get the brisket tacos - then you kill a BBQ and Mexican food trip in with one stone. Rafa's is also quite good. And then Avila's and Ojeda's are great choices for traditional Dallas Tex Mex.

        BBQ isn't my forte but I love the sandwiches at the original Sonny Bryan's on Inwood and you can't beat the sides from Sammy's - potato casserole is amazing. And York Street is amazing, too, if you decide to take Epicurious's advice.

        Wherever you go, I hope you enjoy your time in Dallas!

        3 Replies
        1. re: DallasGal

          Another vote for Mia's brisket tacos. It comes with this light gravy that you pour over the brisket. ... just awesome. That was the first meal I ever had in Dallas, so it was a good start.

          If you want a good steak meal for under $50, you'd probably have to hit one up for lunch. I recommend Perry's (2911 Routh Street), which has surprisingly good prices on its lunch menu.

          I've been pretty disappointed by the BBQ in Dallas, but maybe that's just because it was impossible to meet or exceed the hype surrounding Texas ribs/brisket/sausages. Sonny Bryan's was OK -- just make sure you go to the one on Inwood.

          1. re: FiveDanFive

            BBQ is a bit like religion--no one place is to everyone's taste. But I'd be really sad if I were visiting Dallas and someone sent me to Sonny Bryan's. It's got the nostalgia factor, but ... they don't believe in salt, or something. Even the onion rings are flavorless.

          2. re: DallasGal

            You can get out of Bob's for $50-60 if you don't drink. I promise I eat more than you do, and I find the 9 oz filet and 1 side to be more than enough food. Those two items, plus tax and tip, will bring you to $50 or so.

            Of course, if you drink, I don't think you can get out of Bob's for less than $100!

          3. Bob's is EXTRAORDINARILY overrated, but I do second the recommendation of Perry's as an excellent choice for steak, as is Al Biernat's (although is one of the pricier options in town). I'd also recommend Avila's for Mexican (4714 Maple Ave
            Dallas, TX 75219 (214) 520-2700), and Hattie's as a place unique to Dallas in an interesting area. (418 N Bishop Ave; Dallas, TX 75208). If the weather in nice, try Ozona which is a casual courtyard place, with a Texas inspired menu that is definitely unique to Dallas. (5643 Dyer St; Dallas, TX 75206; (214) 265-9105). Service can be a bit iffy (after all it's casual) but I've always enjoyed the food.