Dallas / Fort Worth Restaurants
I move to DFW about three years ago and have been searching for decent, relatively priced restaurants ever since. Some background, I grew up in New York (Born in Brooklyn and raised in Long Island) and have also lived in Miami and Philadelphia. So, my tastes are pretty specific and my standards are pretty high.
Last year I started a dinner club with some friends in an effort to find some restaurants. We eat out every other Friday night and someone new chooses a restaurant. Our rules are no steak-houses, no chains and cost out the door without liquor no more than $25.00. Here is where we have gone so far:
Edelweiss German Restaurant
Fun, decent, food was okay.
Margies Italian Restaurant
Seoul Garden Japanese Restaurant
Good, I don’t have a lot of Korean food experience.
Cuquitas Mexican Restaurant
Clay Pit Indian Restaurant
Decent, chain like.
Fortuna Italian Restaurant
Angelo's Italian Restaurant
Big Fish Seafood Grill and Bar
Not bad, cheap, needs more varied menu.
Mai's Vietnamese Restaurant
Henks German Restaurant
Good food, cheap, small menu.
Hatties Southern Food
Great, by far the best place we have been to. Food was delicious, restaurant was classy.
Mi Tierra Latin Restaurant
Nice Mom and Pop in Arlington, worth the trip and very cheap.
Nice, Jazz restaurant.
Toulouse French restaurant
Nice, a little pricey for our club.
Pazzo Pizza Restaurant
A winner, fun and delicious and reasonably priced.
Good tex mex.
Queen of Sheba
Not my kind of food.
Peggy Sue's Bar-B-Que
Good BarBque, plain surroundings.
Okay Tex Mex
Very nice, cheap and food was very good. For the price (Veal for $11.95, you get a good portion and the food is good. A winner for us.
Here are some ideas we have for future restaurants:
Wan Fu Chinese Restaurant - Chinese Restaurant
Szechuan Restaurant City View
Roma's Pizza & Restaurant
I am also hoping we can eat at Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School where I hear they have a 4 course meal for $25.00 all inclusive, BYOB.
What I have missed most is that I have yet to find a decent Chinese Restaurant anywhere in the area. Let me specify I am looking for New York Chinese food so WonTon soup with pork and Bok Choy and Egg Rolls 2 inches in diameter and 4 inches long. I have pretty much given up hope. I have also not yet found a Jewish deli in the area with good Pastrami.
I would appreciate any comments and suggestions.
Most of your list is Tarrant County. Are you wanting to stay in that area?
Rule of thumb we don't have very many if any New York style chinese places here. Most of those if they were here have gone by the wayside to the regional Chinese cuisines. Plano and Richardson highlight these very well and would be worth the drive from Tarrant county. I have heard rumblings about Kowloon in Arlington but again it is not NY Chinese. First Chinese BBQ might have some of the dishes you are looking for but they specialize in Hong Kong style BBQ.
Skip that Szechuan restaurant you have there and go for Little Sichuan in Plano ask for Jin and order off the white board as they grow the vegetables used in the restaurant. I have yet to have a bad meal here.
Bolsa in Dallas is fine but I would suggest Potager in Arlington for lunch (they are adding dinner soon). Potager is interesting in that it try to cut costs by having very little waste, pay-what -you-want and the menu is whatever they feel like making. I really enjoyed the food there.
Skip that Kuai Dumplings and head for Jeng Chi in Richardson. It is probably the best in house dumpling maker in the Metroplex.
If you are looking for Cuban food La Cubanita will be good but tend toward pricey due to the location in Uptown. A cheaper more authentic take would be Carribean Cafe in Farmers Branch on Belt Line and Webb Chapel.
I have found that the best Indian lies in Irving. Pasand would definitely please as would Temptations. Temptations also has excellent Neplaese food with the Momo and Chicken Sekuwa being my favorite. If you are looking more for street type food then Royal Sweets and Taj Chaat House would both be great choices.
Pizza for Tarrant County I think you might like Campania in Southlake or Corky's in far Southwest Arlington.
Thai food - Jasmine Thai in Plano is by far the best I have had (order some things like Tom Yum Plaa with Coconut, Grilled or Fried Giant Prawns with a Thai Dipping Sauce, Yum Neua Yang Salad, Basil Beef Thai style), Bangkok Orchid in Irving is my second choice.
For Cajun no one has beat Big Easy yet in Plano
http://www.myspace.com/potagercafe - unofficial website
I also live in the DFW area and I am from New York. My husband is from New Jersey and I know what you mean about decent Chinese food in this area.
We also joined a dinner club about 3 years ago, but we all meet at a member's house and bring a food of a certain theme. We are going to start going to restaurants every other month as a group also.
My husand and I go out to eat quite a bit and we just started a culinary tour business - mainly corporate clients, where we take a group of people in a mini bus or limo and take them to different restaurants or other foodie venues.
Hey Ron , On your list Mai's, Terilli's, Amore and Peggy Sues are all good ones in my book.
For the pastrami you are looking for, I would recommend Cindi's. There are 3 or 4 Dallas locations but I think they are only in the Dallas area and I wouldn't call them a chain.
For Chinese, I recommend Hong Kong Royal in Carrollton, not particularly fancy or anything but if it really is good Chinese food you are looking for, I recommend them.
Other thoughts, I like Ojedas for Mexican, Louies for pizza, the Babe's in Roanoke for fried chicken, Kubys for German food, Twisted Root for hamburger, Sonoma Grill in Flower Mound for American/Wine bar, Tolberts in Grapevine for chili. Italian is probably the hardest for me, Andrea's in Lakewood is decent choice, very random building but good food.
RPE, I totally agree with you on Olenjacks. I had really high hopes and ended up completely underimpressed with a lunch visit. I'm glad you had a somewhat good experience at the Big Fish (assuming you're talking about Grapevine). I wouldn't be so kind.
So, for Italian Nonna Tata in Ft Worth is a must. (Not to be confused with Nonna in Dallas) Don't go here in search of ambiance - there's only about 6 tables and the seats are backless stools, but the food is excellent with homemade pastas. The hours are unusual in that they're only open Tues - Fri. Unfortunately, due to the limited seating, I don't think this would be approprate for a large group, but still, a must try. BYOB. Tip: if possible, be there before 5:30 to get the first seating.
For a good hamburger and some local color in a very casual setting, The Love Shack in the Stockyards is about the best. The chili parmesan chips are supposedly very good, although I haven't been back since I heard that. Outdoor seating only, so pick a day/evening with pleasant weather. They have a stage where local bands perform (see web-site calendar), and if you enjoy boot-scootin' the White Elephant Saloon is next door. Follow your burger with a walk around the stockyards - museums (the cowboy kind), rodeo and shops.
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