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Restaurants everyone loves--except you

Ignoring the Sonny Bryan's, Campisi's, etc., some of the ones that come to mind...

Celebration - I still go there occasionally but every time I do, it just reminds me of why I don't go more often. The food is just tired.

Mi Cocina - I used to live in the restaurant wasteland of Lake Highlands and this was one of the few choices. Overpriced and mediocre food.

Nonna - I know I'll get blistered on this but if I served you this same food in my home without you knowing where it came from, you'd be underwhelmed. I will say though the wines they have are fantastic.

Club Schmitz - I dearly love Texas beer joints but I don't get the attraction and popularity of this place.

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  1. If you can make food just like what I've had at Nonna, I'm coming over. Immediately. Seriously, please invite me over.

    I'm not sure I totally get the obsession with Monica's or Gloria's.

    I don't get the appeal of Luna de Noche, especially at that price point.

    I totally get rushing to Cafe Brazil for a late night meal, but during the day when tons of other options exist? No thanks. Maybe I just haven't found the right dish there since everyone else seems to love it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sass

      I agree with sass. If you have a wood burning oven that can produce that bread and pizza or can make duck prosciutto or have access to unbelievably fresh burrata cheese or can make tagliatelle from scratch and cook it perfectly then I want a reservation.

      1. re: bhoward

        I agree!

    2. The Mansion.

      1. Re: Celebration. At least they ARE consistent.

        And, I'm one of those that loves Nonna. But, everyone's entitled to their opinion.

        1. Well I do not know about everyone but compared with most here on the Chowhound board I would say Babe's and Big Easy and I agree with you about Mi Cocina. Must be something wrong with me.

          Rob

          1 Reply
          1. re: RobbnTX

            Totally agree with you about Babe's. It is good and the price is right, but people act like it is the second coming.

          2. I like your list a lot in that you capture a lot of places that are overrated in my opinion. Mi Cocina and Celebration our garbage. As for Nonna, I agree with you that it is overrated. I'm not saying I can make Italian food of that quality nor that I don't enjoy the food but as far as high end restaurants go, Nonna is basically par for the course. I went for the first time last week and had one or two mind blowingly good dishes, one or two disappointments, and a lot of what I would expect for the price.

            Other restaurants that I feel everyone loves except me would include:
            Alligator Cafe - Prefer Big Easy, their po boys and gumbo are not the best
            Any NY style pizza in Dallas - used to live in Brooklyn and now i'm a huge pizza snob
            Hook Line & Sinker - overrated, it's fine for what it is but people talk about it as if it's the best seafood in town
            Lonesome Dove - everything I had there was mediocre
            Hattie's - loved the shrimp and grits but nothing else impressed me

            6 Replies
            1. re: demigodh

              Sprinkles Cupcake - I congratulate them on being the first cupcakery in now an overly saturated industry. But, I'm sorry, they are dry dry dry.

              1. re: CLH

                Yeah, this is a good one. Some Sprinkles cupcakes are more dry than others, but yeah - I don't quite understand the hype.

                1. re: sass

                  La Duni is adding themselves to the ranks of cupcakeries up in Allen quite soon.

                  -----
                  La Duni Cafe
                  4620 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75205

                2. re: CLH

                  I am not a dessert expert but the salty caramel cupcakes at Sprinkles are killer.

                  1. re: CLH

                    I agree. Sprinkles are dry and over-priced.

                  2. re: demigodh

                    Love the shrimp and grits at Hattie's, So much so, I've never eaten anything else there.

                    Also agree about Hook, Line and Sinker. OVERATED!

                    Big shucks is much better!

                  3. Yogurtland for sure within my circle of friends. I guess I might be a froyo snob but to me, everything there tastes like some foul concoction of chemicals or Dimetapp.

                    Sushiyama: This is also focused within my own circles, but I have a lot of friends who are enamored with their bento and dollar sushi specials. I don't understand what they are thinking. I only get the katsu curry if I'm ever there.

                    I would have also said Bistro B, but a couple constructive comments from demigodh have me thinking I should give them another chance.

                    The Gingerman: this is specific for the ones in Uptown and Plano, and (I hope) this doesn't apply to FW. I know they are not a restaurant, but to me they get a lot of hype as one of the best places for beer in the area. I think that praise is underserved since those two particular locations really haven't tapped anything rare/unique lately. It's all just because they have a big selection, which really hasn't changed much, if at all.

                    Fully agree with Lonesome Dove.

                    -----
                    Bistro B
                    9780 Walnut St, Dallas, TX 75243

                    13 Replies
                    1. re: air

                      Hate to hear a second vote for Lonesome Dove...I've been looking forward to heading out to FW to try it out.

                      1. re: txram

                        Lonesome Dove rocks.

                        1. re: DallasDude

                          DD, two posts on this thread and you have yet to give us a "Restaurant everyone loves--except you" name.

                          We all respect your opinion, help us navigate through the restaurant mine field.

                          1. re: Scagnetti

                            Don't put him on a spot, he can't risk bad mouthing anybody he may have to interview ;)

                            1. re: luniz

                              I am trying to think of a restaurant that falls under the original guidlines (and I love the thread btw).

                              I do have a few that I abhor. Louie's is one I do not understand. I had someone (I believe Jon at TJ's) said that I needed to give it another try and go with him. Hasn't happened yet and i still do not get it. In that general area I like Bryan Street Tavern, Elbow Room and most recently Three Sheets for bar pizza. There is another cool place opening soon in that area as well.

                              Another is Mi Cocina. Add your own punchline. I do like Mercury quite a bit, however.

                              Glorias.

                              Ocean Prime. Good for cocktails but otherwise... meh. I can think of more I am sure.

                              I like Wingfields. I have a bus chartered for a Dallas burger tour and they are on the visitation list.

                              1. re: DallasDude

                                I couldn't agree with you more about Louie's and I know you've had some bad experiences there.

                                I don't get IT and I've been there with a long time Louie's regular who I've run the streets with but swears by Louie's. Plain and simple, it's a cold bar scene and Louie his ownself doesn't care whether you like the place or not.

                                And you've reinforced the mixed reviews of Ocean Prime.

                                I'm a fan of the Dallasite, Bryan Street Tavern (get the pizza) and how could anybody not like the Elbow Room.

                                1. re: DallasDude

                                  Ahhhh Louie's! I can't believe I forgot that one. I've been several times and am thoroughly confused by the hype. I have friends that make better pizza than that.

                                  1. re: sass

                                    I want to like Louie's but, there are just too many reasons why I don't

                                  2. re: DallasDude

                                    and how might one purchase a seat on this "burger tour" you speak of, DallasDude?

                                    1. re: tonybites

                                      Burger tour is free and this one is full. We take off in 2 weeks. There will be future tours including a taco crawl. I will come up with a way to let people know so we have a nice mix that includes people we haven't met yet. It is not affiliated with anyone or anything and no profit or considerations are involved. Just a busload of giddy burger eaters.

                              2. re: DallasDude

                                Sorry, have to add vote 3. When I moved to the area 2 years ago, this was the thing I was most looking forward to. I've given it 2 goes and have been let down each time.
                                sorry-meant to re txram

                              3. re: txram

                                I have eaten all over the world in fine restaurants and Lonesome Dove qualifies as one of the best meals I have ever had.

                              4. re: air

                                Went to Bistro again last night and no surprise, universally mediocre experience. Ordered hot pot, clay pot, congee, fried rice... nothing was good. The clay pots were the least-bad item; they smelled great, but the fish was very inconsistent in texture (firm/soggy) and flavor (over/under spiced).

                              5. Put Houstons at the top of the list. Everybody loves Houstons but for the same money you can go to Neighborhood Services and its way better. I've got your back on Nonna, Scagnetti. That place wouldn't last a month in CA or NY. I gotta put Wingfields on here too, I went there twice and it sucked on both

                                -----
                                Neighborhood Services
                                5027 W Lovers Ln, Dallas, TX

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: OCNC

                                  I'm from the East Coast and think you're dead wrong on Nonna not lasting a month in NY. But we can agree to disagree.

                                  1. re: sass

                                    I'm originally from NY as well. And I think Nonna would be a great success in the right "neighborhood". Like, somewhere in Brooklyn or Queens.

                                  2. re: OCNC

                                    Neighborhood Services is a joke. I completely get that people a buying the vibe they sell, but the food is a waste of time and money (all three times I tried).

                                    Houston's is consistent, where ever you go. Not going to blow you away, ever, but great when on the road.

                                    Nonna not lasting in a month in CA? They may not have the star studded clientel so many Californian's look for in their restaurant review, but the food is very good. Perhap's you also find Lucia's underwhelming.

                                    Even if you don't Nonna particularly appealing (granted they haven't the most interesting menu) it's just mean to imply it's in the same catagory as Neighborhood Services!

                                  3. Looks like Leslie Brenner would vote for Abacus...

                                    Actually, she seems to have several to add to this list.

                                    1. A few more to add to the list:

                                      Go Fish Ocean Club - on second thought, i don't know if this place receives a lot of hype but I have never been blown away there and I'm assuming it's well liked.

                                      La Me - I love La Me but it's specifically over hyped for the Banh Mi. I don't get why their banh mi are popular, especially when there are so many other awesome options on the menu

                                      Kincaid's - Good burger but not noteworthy

                                      Twisted Root - Same as above

                                      Taqueria Guerrero - I don't get it. I love tacos but I don't see what makes this place special

                                      Taqueria El Fuego - I know I'll get crucified for this one but again I just don't get it. I'm not a fan of their tortillas and while I like the restaurant (especially cause it's the only place I know of where I can get huitlacoche) and would eat there regularly quite happily, I don't at all think it's the best mexican food in dallas or worthy of the colossal praise it receives on these boards.

                                      -----
                                      El Fuego
                                      1891 N Plano Rd, Richardson, TX 75081

                                      Taqueria Guerrero
                                      928 S Belt Line Rd, Coppell, TX 75019

                                      Go Fish Ocean Club
                                      5301 Alpha Road Ste 80, Dallas, TX 75240

                                      9 Replies
                                      1. re: demigodh

                                        I'd like to see a point of comparison, so could you please name another place that you think has banh mi that is just as good or better than La Me? I ask because I would really love to know about another place for banh mi in DFW that is comparable if not better. Quoc Bao has great bread but horrible fillings. Ba Le's sandwich as a whole is just a step above Lee's (which really isn't saying much). What else is out there?

                                        1. re: demigodh

                                          when you say you're not a fan of El Fuego's tortillas, do you mean corn, flour, or both?

                                          Also I agree with air, I'd like to hear where you can get a better banh mi in town than La Me.

                                          -----
                                          El Fuego
                                          1891 N Plano Rd, Richardson, TX 75081

                                          1. re: luniz

                                            I knew I'd catch some flack for my last post but I had to put it out there. So, first for El Fuego, I was talking specifically about the corn tortillas. If I remember correctly, they are slightly thicker than a typical tortilla and while I enjoyed it, I prefer a more standard one with my tacos. My favorite corn tortillas in town are at Cuquitas, but that might partially be nostalgia.

                                            For Banh Mi, I never said that I can find better in Dallas, it's just that I wasn't so impressed the one time I had it at La Me. That said, I can think of two places in Dallas that I do prefer but I can only describe them by location as I don't know the names. One is right next to Pho Pasteur (in Carrollton). I went there once and remember being very satisfied with the Banh Mi I ate. The other place I prefer is somewhere in Plano (I believe) and is inside a food court adjacent to a grocery store. I can remember it being very clean and modern looking and they bake their bread every 30 minutes.

                                            I think my main beef with the Banh Mi at La Me is that I don't think that is what is especially good there. They have great Bun Rieu, Hu Tieu, Mi Bo Ko, etc.... I'm still hoping to try Ba Le sometime soon, I read good things (here mostly).

                                            -----
                                            Ba Le Restaurant
                                            11404 Shiloh Rd, Dallas, TX 75228

                                            Pho Pasteur
                                            1342 E Belt Line Rd, Richardson, TX 75081

                                            El Fuego
                                            1891 N Plano Rd, Richardson, TX 75081

                                            1. re: demigodh

                                              Although they are a bit different than the type of corn tortillas demigodh likes, I must say, personally I really like the handmade corn tortillas at El Fuego. Especially when they're loaded with chicharron.

                                              -----
                                              El Fuego
                                              1891 N Plano Rd, Richardson, TX 75081

                                              1. re: demigodh

                                                The one in Carrollton could be one of two places: Ba Lee or the 2nd location of Quoc Bao. Both are decent, but to me, La Me does a better job of balancing all of my criteria for good banh mi.(quality fillings first and foremost, veggies crisp but not overly sweet, bread that's flaky on the outside, fluffy inside. minimal laceration preferred).

                                                http://www.seriouseats.com/2009/05/ba...
                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/616200

                                                Lastly, if I recall correctly, the big draw to La Me all started a few years ago when the owner of Zander's House said some positive things about their banh mi.

                                                1. re: demigodh

                                                  Is the one in "Plano" Lee's in Saigon Mall? I didn't think too much of Lee's.

                                                  And I don't think your reasoning for La Me holds up. I think their banh mi is one of the things that's good there, but there's no reason you can't get it to go along with one of their entrees. That's what I do! Even if they look at me cross-eyed.

                                                  1. re: demigodh

                                                    demigodh,

                                                    I want to start off saying that I can agree some of your points in your discussion and really value your opinions on the Dallas scene.

                                                    In having had almost the entire menu at La Me, including the specials and while there are some spectacular dishes, the banh mi are one of their stongest dishes. The fillings, bread and pickles are all in harmony. La Me is one of the only ones I have had locally that get the whole package correct consistently. The Bun Cha Ha Noi and Hu Tieu are both excellent dishes I will admit that steal some time away from the banh mi

                                                    The two shops you are referring to are Ba Lee (Carrollton) and Lee's Sandwich (Garland). There is no Vietnamese market with a food court in Plano. Ba Lee is okay but I have a hard time with fillings that have been sitting around all day and then thrown into a microwave to warm them up and that is what I have gotten on the two times I have visited recently. I have had a few tries at both Ba Lee and Quoc Bao and both are not as good as Pho Express in the same area. Quoc Bao focuses on the bread and the fillings/meats are just horrible. I would get the bread to go for a sandwich of my own.

                                                    As for Lee's, I had several sandwiches and while the bread is very good they have some of the worst fillings/meats. The only places that I have had worse are in OKC and NYC. The grilled pork had an off taste (chemical) and the others just didn't have a whole lot of flavor with the exception of the sardine (not good).

                                                    What is it about the bahn mi at those two restaurants that set them apart in your eyes?

                                                    I am curious about the banh mi b/c I can see your point on tortillas. Some people like thick and some people like thin tortillas, in either corn or flour. So there must be some logic as to why these places stand out in your eye.

                                                    1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                                                      Fair points everyone. I have to admit, and probably should have said this originally, I've only had the Banh Mi once from the three places being discussed. Considering the overwhelming support of the Banh Mi from La Me as compared to the others, I will have to re-visit it. So..., for now, I'm rescinding my statement that La Me's Banh Mi is sub-par until I have a chance to try it again. I will report back.

                                                      For what it's worth, my ideal Banh Mi has fresh french baguette with most of the bread ripped out, the standard pickled veggies (plus fresh jalapeno if available), cold cut style pate, head cheese, and grilled or roast pork. I'm going back to La Me for the Banh Mi and will re-visit my first impression soon.

                                                      1. re: demigodh

                                                        Ask for extra pate. In fact for a few bucks you can buy a tub of the stuff.

                                              2. Cafe Pacific- Can't even count the number of times I've been there, but it is mediocre at best.

                                                1. Freebirds is over rated!!!

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: eat_this

                                                    I agree!

                                                    1. re: eat_this

                                                      Freebirds is rated?

                                                      1. re: eat_this

                                                        I'll endorse this. As one who has done the TourDeFoil I have all three competitors in a 3 mile radius (Chipotle, Qdoba, and Freebirds).

                                                        Freebirds chases the hipster market with unique ingredients and sauces that are never really the same any time you go back. +1 for having more size options, -A Lot for it taking ~15 minutes to get through the line/ordering

                                                        Qdoba chases Freebirds tail with roughly the same market idea (unique ingriedents) +1 for being faster than freebirds

                                                        Chipotle, IMO, is good because it's consistent. I can order my usual and not have any suprises in the way it tastes, smells, or feels in my mouth. If I feel adventerous I try something different or ask them to mix it so it's a uniform consistency of burito.

                                                      2. Pretty much anything in the "House That Tristan Built."

                                                        1. I thought of one I can't stand but everyone raves about. I don't get the love for, Mooyah. I'll wait for INO.

                                                          1. Cheesecake Factory

                                                            1. Chez Spagnetti.

                                                              1. Fearings - Did not find the food particularly interesting or well executed for the price, the decor straight out of the 80s, and the service suffocatingly obsequious (like at all Ritz hotels worldwide).

                                                                Breadwinners – I just don’t get it. So not worth the long waits. Terrible pastry, poor execution on a lot of the breakfast items.

                                                                I like Nonna, myself – particularly the clam pizza. Not New Haven style clam pizza, but yummy. And I’ll confess that I don’t mind Mi Cocina for a business lunch – for myself I’ll hit my local places in OC.

                                                                1. Primo's - The patio is so jam-packed and I always seem to sit next to the 30k millionaire that poured on cologne.

                                                                  1. Fearing's FTW...er FTL. Totally overrated in every department.

                                                                    and anything that hack Stephen Pyles has ever done.

                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                    1. re: tonybites

                                                                      Owch!

                                                                      1. re: tonybites

                                                                        You are SO wrong about Pyles, he is the most forwards thinking chef in the State of Texas today. Fearings is good, but not as good as Pyles.

                                                                        1. re: OCNC

                                                                          hence, the title of the thread.

                                                                        2. re: tonybites

                                                                          What didn't you like about Fearing's or SP? Very curious as I am coming to Dallas on vacation next wk and have a reservation at both.

                                                                          1. re: tonybites

                                                                            tonybites: Fearing "overrated in every department"?? Hmm. That would include food (excellent), decor (Dean's Kitchen is one of the coolest places to eat in DFW, especially at the bar), wine list (great but pricey), wine service (as good as there is in Dallas), waiter service (friendly, knowledgeable and helpful), and Chef (Fearing knows how to cook, hire good cooks and work a room). Same pretty much goes for Pyles. I assume you never ate at Routh Street, perhaps the greatest restaurant ever in Dallas.

                                                                            1. re: bhoward

                                                                              You were doing good until you went with the "Routh Street, perhaps the greatest restaurant ever in Dallas" statement. You shanked that one out of bounds.

                                                                              1. re: Scagnetti

                                                                                Scagnetti: Really? A few months back I posted a question on this board about Chowhounder's most revered DFW restaurants. (Moderator said such posts were not welcome so the thread was deleted). There were many responses and Routh Street was the overwhelming choice of best and most beloved. I know this is VERY subjective but still not a "shank" as you opine...

                                                                                1. re: bhoward

                                                                                  More revered that Lola???!!!! Come on. Surely not????

                                                                                  I might even suggest that Star Canyon was more revered than Routh Street, although it would be close. And Jean Claude?? Caillaud (the version that was where Lola was)?? Jennevine (the salmon pate with lobster sauce with truffles)?? La Cave (the original on Henerson, not the West End one)??? Is our memory getting short in our old age??

                                                                                  And now York Street would be in the mix. But my money is still on Lola, if for nothing else the wine list.

                                                                          2. Hattie's, Fearing's, Primo's, and the most overhyped, over rated, Nonna.

                                                                            1. Bavarian Grill - Was excited to try with a group of three friends for my birthday. Got the sausage plate as an appetizer and four different dishes. Found everything really, really bland. Maybe I just don't care for German food.

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Bavarian Grill
                                                                              221 W Parker Rd Ste 527, Plano, TX 75023

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: txram

                                                                                The problem with Bavarian Grill is that they serve the entire dining room (End to end) from a kitchen that is in the original restaurant. I've not been in a while but at last recall they've expanded to almost 5 times the original dining room space and grossly over tabled for the kitchen offering.

                                                                              2. Asian Mint

                                                                                -----
                                                                                Asian Mint
                                                                                Dallas, Dallas, TX 75243

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: luniz

                                                                                  Second Asian Mint. What's the allure?

                                                                                2. Agree on Mi Cocina - nice looking restaurant, but underwhelmed by food and service,

                                                                                  1. big easy in plano. I can't say I've done much better in the metroplex for cajun, but I was shocked at the mediocrity of my two meals there after hearing all of the praise for this place. didn't remind me of meals in new orleans at all. maybe shreveport.

                                                                                    on another note, I'm not sure how mi cocina can be considered overrated when it is universally bashed on this board and others.

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: carter4133

                                                                                      Well a lot of the reason Big Easy gets praise is because there isn't a lot of great competition. Pappadeux is better probably but it's also 2x the price at least. It's like you say, it's ok if you don't have any preconceptions and it's good to get some fairly authentic cajun food but it's not destination worthy.

                                                                                      And Mi Cocina may be bashed here but if you ask a dozen normal people what the best mex or tex mex in Dallas is and they'll probably pick Mi Cocina first if they're not broke student types.

                                                                                      -----
                                                                                      Big Easy
                                                                                      1915 N Central Expy, Plano, TX 75075

                                                                                      1. re: luniz

                                                                                        "normal people"? Oh! I'm continually amused..... But the Big Easy is over rated for authentic cajun. Not bad, just not authentic.

                                                                                        1. re: CocoaNut

                                                                                          more authentic than what you get out of the freezer case of the grocery store :D But it's hard to judge authenticity for cajun food since there's such large differences in the way people do things, a friend of mine from Kenner tells me that every house on his street had a different way of doing gumbo or jambalaya.

                                                                                          1. re: luniz

                                                                                            Alligator Cafe on Live Oak is great and very authentic.

                                                                                    2. I just want to say, this is a great thread! Very entertaining, for sure.

                                                                                      Of course, unlike "air", I still love Bistro B. But, I would not order the food he mentions, anyway.

                                                                                      But what I do eat at Bistro B, I love.

                                                                                      -----
                                                                                      Bistro B
                                                                                      9780 Walnut St, Dallas, TX 75243

                                                                                      1. Buttons (Addison Location) -- Filthy, poor service and food that tastes as though it was left over from lunch.

                                                                                        Nosh -- Very nice, good food...just doesn't live up to all the hype.

                                                                                        1. Mia's
                                                                                          Hattie's
                                                                                          anything Stephen Pyle's-food is too light for my taste!
                                                                                          Maxim's
                                                                                          Neighborhood Services
                                                                                          Breadwinner's
                                                                                          Fireside Pies!!!!
                                                                                          EL FENIX---I don't get why so many Dallasites LOVE this place! I grew up in Dallas...awful food! I just can't understand it!
                                                                                          Javier's
                                                                                          Rathburn's Blue Plate Kitchen
                                                                                          Hibiscus

                                                                                          1. I agree on Nonna. I don't get the excitement. I just read a bunch of celebrities went there over the Superbowl weekend and thought that it was somewhat of a waste with all the other great restaruants in town. But then again lots of people love Nonna....

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: foodiedfw

                                                                                              I gotta disagree on Nonna. I've been there 20 plus times and never had anything less than outstanding. If there is better Italian in Dallas, I need to know where it is.

                                                                                              1. re: J.R.

                                                                                                I guess all those celebrities were looking for 'excitement' rather than good food in a quiet setting. Nonna's food is excellent and (arguably) besides Lucia, Dallas' best choice for authentic, chef driven Italian food.

                                                                                                1. re: twinwillow

                                                                                                  Word!!!

                                                                                            2. Neighborhood Services
                                                                                              Mi Cocina
                                                                                              Sprinkles
                                                                                              Campisi's
                                                                                              Snuffers
                                                                                              Houston's
                                                                                              Texadelphia
                                                                                              Ziziki's
                                                                                              Momo's
                                                                                              Mama Daughter's DIner
                                                                                              Norma's Cafe
                                                                                              Cafe Amore
                                                                                              Besa's Pizza
                                                                                              Yourway Burgers
                                                                                              Fuzzy's Taco
                                                                                              Twisted Root
                                                                                              The Egg and I
                                                                                              Cowboy Chicken
                                                                                              Lumi
                                                                                              Jason's Deli
                                                                                              Whataburger
                                                                                              Which Wich
                                                                                              Genghis Grill
                                                                                              Cafe Brazil
                                                                                              Mooyah
                                                                                              BJ's
                                                                                              Qdoba
                                                                                              Jimano's
                                                                                              Loft 610
                                                                                              Hooters
                                                                                              Banana Leaf
                                                                                              Burger Bueno
                                                                                              Benedict's
                                                                                              Taco Joint
                                                                                              Abacus
                                                                                              Uncle Julio's
                                                                                              Fireside Pies

                                                                                              -----
                                                                                              Neighborhood Services
                                                                                              5027 W Lovers Ln, Dallas, TX

                                                                                              Banana Leaf
                                                                                              17370 Preston Rd Ste 500, Dallas, TX 75252

                                                                                              Cowboy Chicken
                                                                                              5315 Greenville Ave Ste 125, Dallas, TX 75206

                                                                                              Ziziki's
                                                                                              11661 Preston Rd Ste 309, Dallas, TX 75230

                                                                                              Fireside Pies
                                                                                              5717 Legacy Dr, Plano, TX 75024

                                                                                              Loft 610
                                                                                              5760 State Highway 121 Ste 175, Plano, TX 75024

                                                                                              Momos
                                                                                              400 N Greenville Ave, Richardson, TX 75081

                                                                                              Cafe Amore
                                                                                              6505 W Park Blvd Ste 320, Plano, TX 75093

                                                                                              Uncle Julios
                                                                                              1125 N Union Bower Rd, Irving, TX 75061

                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: snatex

                                                                                                A very impressive list with some real dandies like Neighborhood Services, Ziziki's, Momo's, Twisted Root, Loft 610, Abacus and Fireside Pies.

                                                                                                Well played sir!!

                                                                                                1. re: Scagnetti

                                                                                                  Loft 610 is going away as you see it today. New name, new owners and no Tre. You will soon find a nightclub with better-than-average bar food.

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                                                                                                  Loft 610
                                                                                                  5760 State Highway 121 Ste 175, Plano, TX 75024

                                                                                                2. re: snatex

                                                                                                  Hmm. I had to scroll back up and check the title of this thread. snatex, you really think these are "restaurants everyone loves but you"? With a couple of exceptions, I bet almost every visitor to this Board would say they don't love those on your list.

                                                                                                  1. re: snatex

                                                                                                    Sorry: are these all the ones you do not care for?

                                                                                                  2. Mi Cocina
                                                                                                    Mi Piaci
                                                                                                    Another Broken Egg
                                                                                                    Kenny's Italian Kitchen
                                                                                                    Houston's
                                                                                                    Rusty's Tacos

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                                                                                                    Mi Piaci
                                                                                                    14854 Montfort, Dallas, TX 75254

                                                                                                    Another Broken Egg Cafe
                                                                                                    1152 N Buckner Blvd, Dallas, TX 75218

                                                                                                    1. SMOKE

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: CocoaNut

                                                                                                        had dinner at SMOKE on Tuesday night. Party of four tried the following main courses: red snapper, scallops, pork chop, brisket. Everything was stellar. The wine service was particularly adept. Everyone had fun, enjoyed the atmosphere and enjoyed the food. If it didn't merit the 4 stars awarded by the DMN, it came awfully close.

                                                                                                      2. Joe T Garcia's - I jut don't get it. The food is noting but generic fast food Texmex.

                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: rdcole

                                                                                                          Thumbs up to that!

                                                                                                          1. re: rdcole

                                                                                                            Agreed. Add Mi Cocina and Esparza's to the list of mediocre attempts at Tex-Mex. Esparza's has great margaritas and atmosphere, but the food is very mediocre. Mi Cocina has slightly better food, just overpriced for its quality.

                                                                                                            For the Esparza's food at better prices without the hideous crowds, their sister restaurant Guero's in Valley Ranch is a better bet, but still not super.

                                                                                                            Dallas just can't do Tex-Mex. :-(

                                                                                                            1. re: smcleroy

                                                                                                              I'd have to disagree that Dallas can't do Tex-Mex. Dallas does Tex-Mex very well. Never heard of Esparsa's in Dallas. MiCo is a no go. Mia's, Manny's, Primo's all do Tex-Mex pretty dang well. Sure you can pick at each one for one thing or another, but they are good Tex-Mex on balance. I generally define my Tex-Mex joints as dish-specific....Brisket Tacos at Mia's, Enchiladas Suizaza and Spinach Enchiladas at Primo's, Puffy tacos at Rafa's ect...

                                                                                                              1. re: J.R.

                                                                                                                Esparza's is in Grapevine.

                                                                                                                If you think Spinach Enchiladas count as Tex-Mex we are reading from different books, so we will have to agree to disagree. ;-)

                                                                                                                1. re: J.R.

                                                                                                                  For the brisket taco lovers:
                                                                                                                  http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2010/0...

                                                                                                            2. I really really don't get Campisi's and also what is the big deal about mi cocina the food is so average.

                                                                                                              1. Corner Market and Society Bakery
                                                                                                                BEE

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                                                                                                                Society Bakery
                                                                                                                3426 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX

                                                                                                                1. Here are 2 no one has mentioned: La Duni. Libertine.

                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                  La Duni Cafe
                                                                                                                  4620 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75205

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: amycamille

                                                                                                                    Libertine's monthly specials and half price food on Tuesday's draw the crowd

                                                                                                                  2. Great thread for a Dallas newbie, so I can learn where the IED' s are buried. My 2 cents after almost 2 months: at Houstons I had an excellent, perfectly rare filet topped with blue cheese, and I snapped down 2 nice martinis and my share of a nice red, a very good meal. It was scary expensive and I wasn't paying, in fact I had instructions to go all out. I simply wouldn't repeat it if I were paying.
                                                                                                                    demigodh has high praise for the corn tortillas at Cuquitas; I think they are among the best I have ever had.
                                                                                                                    Taqueria El Fuego has been recommended to me by several of you, and demigodh indicates they serve huitlacoche in some form? Now I gotta go. I'm a huge fan of huitlacoche and I have had a lot of experience with it in Mexico and Florida from both sides of the kitchen.
                                                                                                                    Lastly, Mi Cocina, the new one I think in Addison. Attractive, warm, comfortable decor, good guac starter, teased me into expecting high quality would continue. Chicken enchiladas with mole were a yawner.

                                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                                    El Fuego
                                                                                                                    1891 N Plano Rd, Richardson, TX 75081

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                      Agree that the tortillas at Cuquita's are good ... I think the ones at Mexican Inn are the best, you should try those. (They make their own masa fresh daily, and make Fritos-style chips as well as the tortillas.)

                                                                                                                      I like Twisted Root ... but I could sure live without their bumper sticker collection.

                                                                                                                      Don't know how chowhounds feel about it, but I find Seasons 52 really overhyped. And although my chocolate dessert was really fabulous, my pasta at Nonna Tata was among the worst I've had (broken cream sauce, etc.). Also not a fan of La Duni. Have only been once to each of these, though recent raves have almost got me ready to give Nonna Tata another try.

                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                      La Duni Cafe
                                                                                                                      4620 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75205

                                                                                                                      Nonna Tata
                                                                                                                      1400 W Magnolia Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76104

                                                                                                                    2. A VERY entertaining thread! I guess the reason that there are thousands of restaurants is that there are thousands of tastes. Many restaurants listed have been around for years or even generations; they must be doing something right. I for one love the abundance of choice.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: randyjl

                                                                                                                        Chuys
                                                                                                                        Pei Wei

                                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                                        Chuy's
                                                                                                                        3408 N Central Expy, Plano, TX 75074

                                                                                                                      2. Mattito's...yuck.

                                                                                                                        1. Someone should rename this thread "A list of the most popular restaurants in Dallas". Clearly, there is at least one person in the city that doesn't like any given restaurant, so what's the difference?

                                                                                                                          1. Another vote for Mi Cocina here, and pretty much all of the popular Tex Mex places.
                                                                                                                            Rockfish
                                                                                                                            Taco Diner, disgusting.
                                                                                                                            Anything Stephen Pyles. And yes I ate at ALL of them.
                                                                                                                            Campisis
                                                                                                                            Fearings
                                                                                                                            Meddlesome Moth, although the beer is nice.

                                                                                                                            1. normas,
                                                                                                                              houstons
                                                                                                                              cowboy chicken
                                                                                                                              uncle julios
                                                                                                                              asian mint
                                                                                                                              pei wei

                                                                                                                              Dallas is so full of great and more tasty options, why do people love these so much?!

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: diningwithDeliaJo

                                                                                                                                Uncle Julio's has fantastic chicken fajitas, and Houston's has a helluva crabcake (+ frequently snotty service), but Asian Mint and Pei Wei ... meh.

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                                                                                                                                Uncle Julios
                                                                                                                                1125 N Union Bower Rd, Irving, TX 75061

                                                                                                                                Asian Mint
                                                                                                                                Dallas, Dallas, TX 75243

                                                                                                                              2. Fuzzy's tacos, I have tried it twice and don't get it. Uncle Julios, don't get that one either. Mediocre food, way over priced.

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: horseshoe

                                                                                                                                  Fuzzy's Tacos would have to improve a lot to be mediocre. Arguably the worst I have had on the planet.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                    I think we can consider Fuzzy's, the McDonalds of tacos.

                                                                                                                                2. Don't love The Mercury or Norma's.
                                                                                                                                  Kathleen's is not what it used to be and
                                                                                                                                  neither is Bread Winners.
                                                                                                                                  Think pretty much any of the French restaurants
                                                                                                                                  here are sub par.
                                                                                                                                  Well you asked!