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Dallas Steakhouse, but not a chain

mtbwustl Dec 14, 2009 05:46 AM

My family, visiting from the east coast, would like a "big Texas steak experience" when they are here for the holidays. As we recently moved to Dallas, we haven't explored steak extensively. Our parameters are pretty simple -- delicious steak, NOT A CHAIN, in Dallas (as opposed to the rest of the metroplex), and relaxed in dress code. As my brother said, they are seeking a Ruth's Chris/Morton's/The Palm kind of restaurant but specific to Texas. And he refuses to pack anything but jeans, so casual dress needs to be acceptable. Cost isn't too big of a deal.

Others have suggested Al Biernat's, Bob's Chophouse, III Forks and Del Frisco. What distinguishes these from each other? Any favorites among these? Any you would add? TIA!

  1. o
    overresearched Dec 14, 2009 05:59 AM

    I've gotten into Bob's in jeans. Al Biernat's lists a business casual dress code. Can't you get him to pack slacks? Jeans will keep him out of III Forks and Del Frisco.

    2 Replies
    1. re: overresearched
      CocoaNut Dec 14, 2009 06:20 AM

      Agreed..... If you're looking for a quality place, that is. I guess the brother could always go to Mickey D's and you could meet up later. ;)

      That said, I think I've been in jeans at Ruth's Chris, but vowed to never return after my one and only visit to the now one and only location (tollroad) in the metro. It just lacked the "wow" factor that the defunct Cedar Springs location had.

      Grapevine/Southlake has Kirby's who you might call about required attire. I was there once, it was ok, but wouldn't drive from Dallas. I also think there's a Dallas location, but also think I just saw a less than stellar recent post about it.

      1. re: CocoaNut
        mtbwustl Dec 14, 2009 07:15 AM

        Kirby's on Greenville is now Kirby's Woodfire Grill, and it's not so much a steakhouse anymore.

    2. s
      sike101 Dec 14, 2009 07:02 AM

      All of those places are very good, III Forks probably has the most Texas feel to it I guess, it's almost in Plano though. Bob's is probably the local favorite (the Lemmon ave location). I personally don't think one is all that much better than the others, except for the departed Smith & Wollensky. I have had bad service at III Forks, the place is huge, which might explain it.

      Silver Fox is the downscale little sister of III Forks, but still prime and still good, smaller and near downtown. Don't overlook Pappas Brothers, it's great. If I could pick one that would be it.

      With the exception of Al Biernat's, they are all regional chains. Del Frisco's is a national chain, but still great.

      If you wear a sportcoat you can wear (nice) jeans to just about any steakhouse in this town. It's Dallas, not Manhattan.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sike101
        mahalan Dec 15, 2009 11:19 AM

        III Forks is a chain. I've eaten at the one in Kansas City but don't know what other cities they're in.

      2. s
        ssh Dec 14, 2009 08:12 AM

        You can wear jeans to any steak place in dallas. I've been to them all in jeans and have never even been looked at twice. I was never the only one in jeans either so you shouldnt feel out of place.

        Ive found that the biggest difference between steak houses isnt the steak, its the bread, sides, appetizers and desserts. All the places mentioned serve good/great steaks. Most get their meat from the same places and all have essentially the same ovens. All have about the same "dallas" feel. So I suggest you choose based on everything but the meat.

        if you do that Bob's is out. Sides, bread and dessert are pedestrian at best. A giant buttery carrot and a baked potato just dont cut it. Try Al's or Pappas. Both have great bread, sides and desserts with good service and nice atmosphere. Pappas has a huge (but pricey) wine list.

        1. irodguy Dec 14, 2009 08:43 AM

          Another idea is Four Winds out in Wills Point. http://www.fourwindssteakhouse.com/. You get the high end Steak and the trip to the country all in one outing.

          1 Reply
          1. re: irodguy
            air Dec 14, 2009 03:30 PM

            Yeah I'd agree with Four Winds. Only downside is the drive, worth it for the Texas/country type of experience.

          2. DallasDude Dec 14, 2009 03:25 PM

            Local place, and you can wear jeans but not necessarily causual, so good for everyone... Stephan Pyle's. The man makes his legendary bone-in rib eye that is worth the trip to Ross Avenue in beautiful downtown Dallas.

            1 Reply
            1. re: DallasDude
              J.R. Dec 15, 2009 07:47 AM

              As a guy that's done way too much enterainting business associates and clients over the past 15 years as all of the out of towners want to go to a steak joint when in Dallas. Here is my rec. I think day in day out Del Frisco has the best overall experience. Yes, it's a micro-chain, but the appts, bread, and steak and dessert are all goodl. Wine is pricey at any of the steak joints. Del Frisco sources meat from a different purveyor than the rest and I think it is by far the best actual steak in the place. I know you wanted somewhere in Dallas, but it's location on the Tollway allows easy access. I live downtown and can be there in 10 min.

            2. m
              mtbwustl Dec 16, 2009 04:12 PM

              Many many thanks to everyone for your thoughts and feedback. Based on your advice we'll be dining at Al's. We're very excited and can't wait until I can review it.

              3 Replies
              1. re: mtbwustl
                DallasDude Dec 16, 2009 11:19 PM

                Greatness. And Al himslef reads the blogs. ;)

                1. re: DallasDude
                  foodiedfw Dec 18, 2009 07:26 AM

                  Hope you like Al's, it is a favorite of ours.

                  I feel like most of the steakhouses in the Dallas area are generally similar but few of them chains in the sense of more than 2 or 3 locations. Perry's is also a good choice; although not a traditional steakhouse per se Reata in Fort Worth is good; but you can't go wrong with Al's or really Bob's, III Forks or Del Friscos.

                2. re: mtbwustl
                  chickstein Dec 20, 2009 09:59 AM

                  I have to agree. Al's is my "go to" restaurant.

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