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May 27, 2008 09:12 AM

cravin' some soul-full southern food in Dallas

Yankee raised by a southern mom, got used to fried foods, grits, hominy and real sausage gravy. home-made biscuits, ham steaks, fresh OJ and real fried green tomatoes are all pluses. prefer breakfast, but any meal would be excellent.

but I'm going crazy not finding a local establishment that makes this type of food, and actually cares about their customers.

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      1. Sweet Georgia Brown's would be my recommendation. Can't wait to go down there this summer. Everything is good and I mean everything. Order at the counter. I usually go with ribs, mac and cheese, black eyed peas and cornbread. Excellent.

        1. For an upscale atmosphere, but true to southern comfort food cuisine (meaning no truffle oil, foie, or other foreign ingredients), check out Hattie's:

          1. I second Sweet Georgia Brown. I loved it. However, mdconnell probably should know that my lasting memory of SGB is the sign on the door that reads "No Handguns Allowed Inside".

            No joke!! I haven't been in 2 years or so, but did I ever chuckle when I read that. Really, the only thing that nearly killed me was my inability to stop eating. Fantastic spot.

            Haven't too South Dallas Cafe in a while, either, but those collard greens are SPICY and the oxtail is so tender. Once again, great spot.

            For a different atmosphere, a different crowd, a different concept and a different price point, but a concept taht shares its lineage with the first two concepts, try Hattie's. I've probably been 15 times. Great spot and Bishop's Square is a great place to spend an entire evening just browsing.

            Hattie's would be my recommendation for dinner - SGB and 1DC would be perfect for a huge lunch followed by a long nap.

            Happy eating!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Epicurious Esquire

              I would start with Hattie's and then work downmarket -- South Dallas Cafe, Sweet Georgia Browns and then Mrs. Vern's.

              In general, you will not find the selection or quality of soul food in Dallas that you will find in the southeast or mid-atlantic. Dallas' soul food scene is plagued with mediocre fried chicken, inedible catfish and lazily prepared side dishes. But I can recommend a few items worth trying:

              Fried chicken -- Finding decent fried chicken in Dallas is like finding decent BBQ -- it shouldn't be so hard. Brother's on Gaston is about the only place that I will order fried chicken in Dallas. Others might point you in the direction of Bubba's, Babe's or Celebration, all pretty good casual restaurants in their own right, but they aren't on par with the great purveyors of fried chicken.

              Fried porkchop -- The Thursday special at Mrs. Vern's is delectable.

              Fried shrimp -- Although I find their menu hit or miss, the fried shrimp at The Flying Fish is the best in town. Alligator Cafe also does pretty good fried seafood. Neither are strictly "soul food" joints.

              Shrimp and grits -- Hattie's specialty.

              Meatloaf -- Sweet Georgia Brown's.

              Mac and cheese -- Again, Sweet Georgia Brown's is worth checking out. The serving sizes are kinda crazy here, so you may want to go with a friend and split a plate.

              Fried okra -- Sammy's BBQ. The only BBQ that is edible is the pulled pork, but the sides are great. (Note: they don't have fried okra everyday, call ahead). Obviously, not a soul food joint.

              Afro-american style BBQ -- Baby Back Shak is pretty good. They unconventially use a charcoal grill and have a great east texas style sauce.

              Bread pudding -- Again, not a soul food restaurant, but S&D Oyster Co. has the best in town (Alligator Cafe's is also worth mentioning).

              Chess pie -- The best southern-style food find in DFW, in my opinion: Vern's plain chess pie (don't get the buttermilk chess).

              I haven't been to Po' Melvins but have heard good things.

              Also, I am very interested in this thread. If anyone else has any notable mentions, please let us know!