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Restaurants we don't hear much about but are amazing

DallasDude Jan 4, 2011 11:23 AM

There are certain restaurants in the DFW area that are quite good but get little play here or in the press. Certainly Salum is greatness and he fills his seats quite well. But we do not hear much about his place much. What are your gems that need more shout outs?

This isn't a project of mine, just curious.

Salum Restaurant
4152 Cole Ave Ste 103, Dallas, TX 75204

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  1. s
    sass RE: DallasDude Jan 4, 2011 01:54 PM

    Definitely agree on Salum. It's always packed but you just never really hear anything about it.

    Slightly less amazing, but Cafe San Miguel seems to fly under the radar. Ditto about Nonna, except for on this board as of late. For years I heard nothing about it. And with everything new opening on Henderson, I think Hibiscus seems to fall under the radar at times.

    Also, Nana.

    Cafe San Miguel
    1907 N Henderson Ave, Dallas, TX 75206

    Salum Restaurant
    4152 Cole Ave Ste 103, Dallas, TX 75204

    1. Scagnetti RE: DallasDude Jan 5, 2011 07:21 AM

      I've always felt that Oishii never got near the attention it deserves. People rave about the sushii, which I rarely get, but their soft shell crab sea salt is excellent.

      Maybe the location is the reason this place isn't more popular but Teppo Yakitori & Sushi Bar is underrated. Funky place with very good food.

      1. alliegator RE: DallasDude Jan 5, 2011 09:18 AM

        In Fort Worth there is a Thai restaurant way on the west side in the, uh, adult district that is absolutely amazing!! It's called Rice n Noodle. They also serve chicken wings out of the same place. It doesn't look promising when you roll up, but it is the best Thai I've eaten in the US. And after spending several months in Thailand, I was badly in need of a fix. Lovely, friendly owner and staff and they'll happily adjust dishes according to taste or they'll make things that may not be on the menu.
        Great topic--I finally get to give a shout out to this place!! My favorite plate is the appetizer Thai beef jerky. I have never seen this on a US menu and was so happy to find it.
        It's BYOB and very clean and homey inside--you can sit and keep ordering nibbles and swilling Singha and they don't care.
        If you're in FW, give this place a go.

        5 Replies
        1. re: alliegator
          tango7000 RE: alliegator Jan 5, 2011 12:57 PM

          Looks interesting. I'll be sure to check this place out.

          1. re: alliegator
            Barbara76137 RE: alliegator Jan 5, 2011 03:05 PM

            Where exactly is it? I'd love to try it out.

            1. re: Barbara76137
              alliegator RE: Barbara76137 Jan 12, 2011 10:56 AM

              Sorry-I haven't checked this topic in quite a while. Here is the website with the address:

              1. re: alliegator
                Barbara76137 RE: alliegator Jan 14, 2011 06:48 PM

                thanks! I see they have two locations. The N. Beach one would be more convenient for me, but I'm curious if it is the same quality as the Camp Bowie restaurant. I guess I could try Camp Bowie since it isn't too far out of the way from my horses. I assume it is pretty casual so I could show up in jeans and boots.

                1. re: Barbara76137
                  alliegator RE: Barbara76137 Jan 16, 2011 02:05 PM

                  I can't speak for the other location--haven't been there. But I've turned up at the Bowie branch in a tracksuit more than once and fit in just fine! No pretense there, just food :)

          2. Webra1 RE: DallasDude Jan 5, 2011 10:52 AM

            I'm not sure it's amazing - but I'll say it's quite good. Maximo.

            My husband and I went expecting nothing special and were very impressed. Excellent margaritas. I really enjoyed the made to order ceviche and Gazpacho with crabmeat. The dessert churros were made fresh. Good stuff...

            2 Replies
            1. re: Webra1
              luniz RE: Webra1 Jan 5, 2011 11:07 AM

              I've been meaning to get down to try this out. Glad to hear that it's worthwhile, especially the margaritas.

              1. re: luniz
                Webra1 RE: luniz Jan 5, 2011 01:02 PM

                Get the margarita with raw jalapenos. Definitely our favorite of the night.

            2. bhoward RE: DallasDude Jan 5, 2011 11:20 AM

              Never had a bad bite at Craft. Still, it seems to get unfairly maligned on this board because, I think, it is a "chain."

              1 Reply
              1. re: bhoward
                Webra1 RE: bhoward Jan 5, 2011 01:23 PM

                Maybe because it's in Victory Park. That reminds me of two more around there - Neo Pizza Napoletana and Kenichi.

                In our experience, Neo is better than the original Olivella's. The crusts are consistently cooked correctly and the parking is much easier.

                Kenichi has a saké sommelier which alone makes it worthwhile to try. We have also had great Omakase at the sushi bar. They have the best Mackerel (saba) sushi in town.

              2. l
                lckeating RE: DallasDude Jan 5, 2011 03:48 PM

                My picks would be Local and Parigi. I've had wonderful experiences at both and often wonder why you don't hear more about them, especially Parigi.

                Parigi Restaurant
                3311 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas, TX 75219

                1 Reply
                1. re: lckeating
                  Mike C. Miller RE: lckeating Jan 16, 2011 01:12 PM

                  I very much agree that Local is underrated and under publicized. Very good food there. Nice enough wine list, but the food deserves a bit broader selection of wine.

                  I also agree the Craft doesn't get the credit it deserves. Probably because it is a "chain". But if all chains were as good as Craft, then the phrase "chain restaurant" wouldn't be a pejoritive term.

                2. twinwillow RE: DallasDude Jan 6, 2011 08:58 AM

                  Definitely great and very much under the radar is, Sushi Sake.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: twinwillow
                    sass RE: twinwillow Jan 6, 2011 02:16 PM

                    Ooh, Sushi Sake is a great one. Always insanely packed, though.

                  2. p
                    pgwiz1 RE: DallasDude Jan 6, 2011 09:52 AM

                    I will throw Rise in the mix. It's unique and quite tasty! It's also nice to go someplace which has healthier options.

                    1. iluvtennis RE: DallasDude Jan 6, 2011 03:48 PM

                      Keiichi in Denton...there's not much in Denton, but this place makes up for it.

                      500 N Elm St, Denton, TX 76201

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: iluvtennis
                        irodguy RE: iluvtennis Jan 6, 2011 04:35 PM

                        There you go a restaurant that really is not generally known.

                        1. re: iluvtennis
                          air RE: iluvtennis Jan 7, 2011 08:06 AM

                          I honestly wouldn't mind keeping that place low-key, haha.

                        2. LewisvilleHounder RE: DallasDude Jan 7, 2011 03:26 PM

                          Not a project huh?

                          Where do I begin on this?

                          Lady at Asia World who used to own Palayok. Ansolutely great Filipino food. Air and DallasDude know this lady.. She is there around lunch on Saturday and Sunday. If you are travelling from afar and she isn't there, the area has plenty of other options.

                          Bangkok Orchid, Andaman and Jasmine get some props but it is the dishes like Jasmine's simple raw shrimp in fish sauce with topped with chilies and garlic that are amazing. Chicken with Jackfruit curry at Andaman, yes it is a special order dish but amazing. Pad Cha at Bangkok Orchid for the pickled green pepercorns and krachai (lesser galangal) in the dish but the flavors come together nicely.

                          El Portal for Colombian almojabanas (cheese bread), Guatemalteca on Beltline and Marsh for Guatemalan enchilada (not the same as the Mexican version), Catrachos when that time you want something simple like a baleada.

                          Al Markaz for the Haleem and buttered naan. Is there any better naan in the metroplex?

                          Not sure if I have one signular good consistent Indian place in town. I usually end up making it myself.

                          I have to give props to Burgers and Brats in Flower Mound for having Fisher's products on their menu and some to go. Fischer's is a German grocer in Muenster, TX. Great brats, kraut and a pretty decent bakery in Bayers. Simple place, simple menu but supporting a small town in the meantime.

                          I will think of some more.

                          El Portal
                          6121 W Park Blvd, Plano, TX 75093

                          Catrachos Restaurant
                          2540 N Josey Ln Ste 108, Carrollton, TX 75006

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                            twinwillow RE: LewisvilleHounder Jan 7, 2011 03:43 PM

                            My personal favorite Indian restaurant is, Chettinaad Place.


                            1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                              DallasDude RE: LewisvilleHounder Jan 7, 2011 04:01 PM

                              Eeek, thought we were keeping the Filipino lady to ourselves! There's never enough to go around. This is exactly what was going through my brain when I started the thread.

                              Nice list as usual, LH. Will have to make it to Flower Mound.

                              1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                                iluvtennis RE: LewisvilleHounder Jan 7, 2011 05:01 PM

                                Good to see Fischer's getting some love!

                                1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                                  vr666m RE: LewisvilleHounder Jan 8, 2011 08:00 PM

                                  Where is this Filipino food in Asia World? I didn't know there is Filipino food there?!

                                  1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                                    LewisvilleHounder RE: LewisvilleHounder Jan 10, 2011 04:10 AM

                                    Nix that first rec just heard from the peeps at Asia World she is no longer there. We shall hope for her return elsewhere.

                                    On the Thai front have to throw Bambu in there also. Last time we were there the owner threw in a special appetizer not on the menu. Place was packed but no one was brave enough to try the Miang Kam (street food in Thailand). Simplistic in its composition but very flavorful. Picture is attached.

                                    1930 N Coit Rd #100, Richardson, TX 75080

                                    1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                                      twinwillow RE: LewisvilleHounder Jan 11, 2011 05:20 PM

                                      Bambu serves the absolute best and most original Thai food in Dallas. Even better than Royal Thai. They serve things not seen anywhere else in Dallas' Thai restaurants.
                                      We love it! And, it's BYOB.

                                      Royal Thai
                                      5500 Greenville Ave Ste 608, Dallas, TX 75206

                                      1930 N Coit Rd #100, Richardson, TX 75080

                                      1. re: twinwillow
                                        LewisvilleHounder RE: twinwillow Jan 12, 2011 11:15 AM


                                        Next time you are at Royal Thai ask if they have Pad Cha or Gaeng Kanun (Chicken with Jackfruit curry) or Gung Che Nam Pa (Raw Shrimp with Thai chilies. Some of the other places in town have those and are quite interesting dishes.

                                        I am torn if Bambu serves the most original though. Dallas is definitely becoming a better place for Thai food though because of Bambu.

                                        Royal Thai
                                        5500 Greenville Ave Ste 608, Dallas, TX 75206

                                        1930 N Coit Rd #100, Richardson, TX 75080

                                        1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                                          twinwillow RE: LewisvilleHounder Jan 12, 2011 11:33 AM

                                          Thank you. I agree with you about Bambu. I only wish they were near me in Uptown. Thank goodness for Royal Thai.

                                          Royal Thai
                                          5500 Greenville Ave Ste 608, Dallas, TX 75206

                                          1930 N Coit Rd #100, Richardson, TX 75080

                                  2. loratliff RE: DallasDude Jan 11, 2011 01:53 PM

                                    Lumi, on McKinney. Nothing wildly fancy, but their happy hour plates are really delicious and incredible values.

                                    Parigi is one that I always hear about and regret that I never got the chance to eat at before I moved.

                                    1. alliegator RE: DallasDude Jan 12, 2011 12:57 PM

                                      Sounds like I need to get my butt in gear and head over to Dallas for some of the Thai there!! and maybe just a little shopping...

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: alliegator
                                        LewisvilleHounder RE: alliegator Jan 12, 2011 04:19 PM

                                        Well actually you would need to head to Irving (Bangkok Orchid), Plano (Jasmine), Denton (Andaman), and now Richardson (Bambu) for Thai. Dallas doesn't fare too well for SE Asian foods.

                                        http://www.yelp.com/biz/jasmine-thai-... - Go to the Custer and Spring Creek location

                                        Spring Creek Restaurants
                                        4108 S Carrier Pkwy, Grand Prairie, TX 75052

                                      2. a
                                        allenchow RE: DallasDude Jan 14, 2011 05:08 PM

                                        Love this post, but boy did the discussion fast turn to mostly asian-influenced cuisine! A sign of this board's preferences I'd say. Not being a hater - I have those preferences myself.

                                        Quite good but little play - I might suggest Houston's (both locations). Perhaps because it's a chain, perhaps because it's been around and nothing changes much, not sure why. But try going to Houston's at lunch on pretty much any day, or try going on any weekend evening, and the place just simply always seems packed. We've been going to Houston's for 15+ years, first as our 'splurge' when we were younger, and now on occasion when we decide we'll drive more than 10 miles away. In my view, the restaurant has stayed so fantasticly consistent. The spinach artichoke dip is the best I've had, I personally have always enjoyed the slightly spicy eggless ceaser, they periodically have crab cakes for dinner and these are tremendous (not sure why, but I think it's that they don't use much breading but rather have the crab and kind of a saucy type mix that enhances the flavor but doesn't take away from it just being mostly crabmeat), they have a Hawaiian ribeye that my wife gets every time, and I typically go for the Hickory burger with canadian bacon, cheese, cabbage/lettuce, and hickory sauce. Anyways, funny how you learn to love what you grow up with and often find it just a tad more special. That's Houston's for us! If you all haven't made the trek lately (or ever) I'd definitely give it a try!

                                        9 Replies
                                        1. re: allenchow
                                          Scagnetti RE: allenchow Jan 15, 2011 06:47 AM

                                          They've renamed the Houston's here in Dallas to Hillstone but everybody still calls it Houston's!

                                          Excellent food with excellent service and I would go there more if it wasn't so crowded all the time.

                                          In an attempt to test their wherewithal, Nancy Nichols went in there and ordered prime rib with specific instructions on the degree of doneness. Thinking this is not a place that focuses on prime rib, her order came out perfectly done and she was taken aback on how good it was!

                                          They also have as good a veggie burger as you'll find.

                                          1. re: Scagnetti
                                            twinwillow RE: Scagnetti Jan 15, 2011 07:45 AM

                                            Houston's er, Hillstone has always enjoyed a very good reputation for their prime rib. Even going back in time to when they first opened on Walnut Hill Lane. Their prime rib was excellent.
                                            They serve great food. Always have.

                                            1. re: twinwillow
                                              Jgannon87 RE: twinwillow May 8, 2011 03:25 PM

                                              Behind Hillstone is a place called The R+D Kitchen. They seem related, same vibe. Same excellent food and service, a little more quiet and upscale. Sushi, too. The same but better. These places seem to be the best of corporate dining.

                                              1. re: Jgannon87
                                                bhoward RE: Jgannon87 May 9, 2011 01:22 PM

                                                Both owned by Hillstone Corp.

                                                1. re: bhoward
                                                  twinwillow RE: bhoward May 9, 2011 09:17 PM

                                                  Had lunch a few weeks ago at R&D. Great!

                                                  1. re: twinwillow
                                                    Veggo RE: twinwillow May 20, 2011 07:26 PM

                                                    twin, or those in the know, I'm now thirsting for a sushi bar that will make my eyes roll back. I have tried a few yawners in Addison and Frisco and stopped at several others for menus and Q's & A's before I spend time and drop a hundo for a disappointment.
                                                    Where is the real deal for sushi in Dallas?
                                                    Thanks, Veggo

                                                    Edit: I think this is a message in a bottle alone, alone, all all alone, alone on a wide, wide sea, I'll start a new thread. Apologies to STC.

                                                    1. re: Veggo
                                                      twinwillow RE: Veggo May 20, 2011 08:10 PM

                                                      My personal (as well as many other's) favorite is Sushi Sake in far north Dallas (Richardson). I've known the owner, Soda san for over 35 years. You can depend on his sushi to be extremely fresh, And, he has many seafood items others don't have. Sushi Sake is also very popular with many Japanese. That should be your first clue.

                                                      1. re: twinwillow
                                                        Veggo RE: twinwillow May 20, 2011 08:37 PM

                                                        Thanks for being my Dallas Bill Withers. (lean on me)

                                                        1. re: Veggo
                                                          twinwillow RE: Veggo May 20, 2011 08:41 PM

                                                          My pleasure. I'm flattered you value my opinions.

                                        2. alliegator RE: DallasDude Jan 28, 2011 09:55 AM

                                          This place in FW is a favorite of mine:
                                          best Lebanese food that I've found in the area. Things are always extremely fresh and flavorful without being overspiced. Service can be a bit sluggish if it's busy, but the food is so worth it!

                                          1. t
                                            tonybites RE: DallasDude Jan 30, 2011 09:22 AM

                                            I'll tout Mr. Sushi in Addison again...the ONLY chicken fried rice that I have ever swooned over. Seriously, just go there and get a bowl. If you don't love it, send me the receipt and I'll give you a refund.

                                            Argentina Bakery at the corner of Beltline and 183 in Irving. Excellent south American coffees and pastries...and delicious little empenadas.

                                            Mai's on fitzugh. Clay pot mmmmmm.

                                            I, too, love Craft and feel like it gets shit on for some reason.

                                            1. d
                                              dontwastecalories RE: DallasDude Feb 26, 2011 08:31 AM

                                              I had a stuffed chicken wing at Thairrific on Forest and Webbs Chapel, and now I keep driving across town for them. The tom kha and curries were great too.

                                              1. j
                                                jmorri26 RE: DallasDude May 23, 2011 03:57 PM

                                                We just ate at Restaurant Ava in Rockwall and holy smokes- seriously some of the best food I've had in Dallas. They were my favorite at Savor Dallas as well.

                                                Restaurant Ava
                                                108 S Goliad St, Rockwall, TX 75087

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