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hounds looking for the real deal in Dallas

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A couple of chowhounds are looking for the best Dallas has to offer. We've never been here before and we've got one night. Nothing with a table cloth or attitude -- we want down home, authentic local fare.

Please help.

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  1. Maybe the cabrito or mollejas at El Ranchito, with corn tortillas. Or anywhere else on Jefferson...cabrito, barbacoa, guisado, nopalitos, something like that. Or a chicken fried steak, although I don't know that there are any worth a special trip.

    1 Reply
    1. re: luniz

      Second that on El Ranchito. Also try, La Palapa Veracruzana on Jefferson. True cooking of Veracruz!
      Try Hattie's in Oak Cliff for chicken fried steak, Texas style.

    2. I would personally go to one of the locations of http://www.babeschicken.com/ I would go to one of the Mexican Restaurants on Jefferson there are several worth going to. I think El Ranchito is always a good stop. After that it all depends on what part of the US you are from. There is good greek, french bistro fair etc. but not if you are from NYC or LA.

      1 Reply
      1. re: irodguy

        Yes, we're from LA, NYC and Chicago. So the Jefferson strip sounds good. We are willing to drive to any part of town...

      2. Based on where you are from, I would definitely go Tex-Mex and Margarita's (suggest on the rocks instead of frozen) since you have access to some of the very best in all other cuisines. Mia's on Lemmon for brisket tacos will not disappoint.

        Save room for dessert and head over to La Duni on McKinney for Quatros Leches Cake which will knock your socks off.

        1. Mia's never disappoints. Everyone from out of town loves it, but I think El Ranchito will give you a truly special experience. Babe's Roanoke is a nice southern family style dinner. Hattie's is a bit on the upscale side with white table cloth, but I really don't think the prices are that bad ($15/entree). Also, they have amazing catfish. I'm going to start another heated debate, but...the original Sonny Bryan's BBQ on Inwood is still IMO, good (opened for lunch and closed Sundays). It's a total dive complete with schoolhouse chairs. People will argue till we are all blue in the face about BBQ. If you are willing to go out to Fort Worth, Angelo's is pretty good. I used to live in L.A., so I know we did not have good Cajun food. I like Alligator Cafe, but it's not really Nola style, rather Baton Rouge. I love the catfish and etouffee dish called, Atchafalaya. This place is a also somewhat of a dive. I love it. They make their own root beer. For breakfast, a lot of people like Mecca, All Good Cafe, and this new place called Taco Joint (I haven't been).

          As foodies, you should definitely check out Central Market on Lover's. It's like Dean and Deluca on steroids.

          1. Hounds,
            Thank you for your kind responses. Unfortunately we took the advice of a friend -- instead of this board -- for tex mex, and it was a failure. But we did manage La Duni to salvage with an excellent slice of the quatro leches. Chicago has its share of Tres Leches, to be sure, but this was right up there.

            We then made the trip out to Billy Bob's Texas in time for the 10pm bull riding and a couple of hours of the texas two-step. And while it was not culinary in nature, it was certainly a cultural extravaganza and feast for the eyes...

            Breakfast shortly...

            4 Replies
            1. re: bzzzz

              If you don't mind, please share the bad experience as it's just as important to know the places to avoid in the Chowhound community.

                1. re: bzzzz

                  Was it Taqueria Lupita off of Mockingbird or kind of close to an airport?

                  1. re: jindomommy

                    When I hear Lupita mentioned, besides the name of an old nanny I employed, i think fo the restaurant on NW Hwy and Webb Chapel. But now I see there are several locations. Good for us all!