hounds looking for the real deal in Dallas
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...
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.
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.
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.