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Last meal in the US

r
rhettoric Sep 11, 2012 12:41 PM

I'm going abroad (France), and the night before I fly out of DFW, I want to have a wonderful final meal with my parents. I don't know Dallas very well, so any recommendations will be greatly appreciated!

I think memorable "American" cuisine, something that I won't be able to get for a while, would be best.

So far, I was thinking that Fearings, Oak, Smoke, or Bolsa might be good choices.

Of course, another part of me would be perfectly happy with some amazing fajitas from a fantastic Tex Mex joint or unbelievable BBQ...

What do you chow hounds think?

***Edit: I'm staying in downtown Dallas, so something somewhat central would be preferred. Thanks everybody!

  1. t
    tacosandbeer Sep 11, 2012 12:58 PM

    I can't speak for restaurant choices, but I flew out of DFW for the UK almost a year ago and I would give my boots for some decent Tex-Mex - it just seems like the one thing I can't find, can't get the right ingredients for, can't duplicate. That would be my suggestion, hands down.

    1. sunshine842 Sep 11, 2012 01:20 PM

      Go for Tex-Mex or Barbecue, because you won't get any of either here in France.

      The Tex-Mex available here is Old El Paso, and the barbecue sauce (if it's a US brand at all) is made by Kraft.

      'Nuff said?

      5 Replies
      1. re: sunshine842
        t
        tacosandbeer Sep 11, 2012 02:25 PM

        In a fit of desperation, I tried the Old El Paso Taco Seasoning here, and call me crazy, but I swear I can taste undertones of turmeric - almost like they are trying to cross-breed Tex-Mex with the oh-so-popular Indian curries here. Hugely disappointing. Forces one to cook from scratch - fast.

        1. re: tacosandbeer
          f
          foiegras Sep 11, 2012 03:05 PM

          If turmeric is there, you would absolutely be able to see it ... I can see it before I can taste it.

          Can you poor people mail order decent spices?

          1. re: foiegras
            t
            tacosandbeer Sep 11, 2012 11:26 PM

            Foiegras - you should see the list of shopping I am bringing back to the UK with me when I go visit mom next month. DD's luggage allowance is strictly her carryon - I've already appropriated all the space in her checked bag.

            1. re: tacosandbeer
              sunshine842 Sep 12, 2012 09:52 AM

              I load up on spices and seasonings when I go back to the US, too. the oregano and basil and other mainstream herbs and spices are excellent and fairly cheap here, and Spanish is no issue to find...but Tex-Mex and barbecue are just sad.

              For those in Paris, there's a place on rue Tiquetonne in the 4th called Epicerie Bruno that has a decent selection of Mexican and barbecue spices.

              1. re: sunshine842
                r
                rhettoric Sep 12, 2012 09:56 AM

                Paris is where I'll be! Thanks for the tip on Epicerie Bruno!

      2. f
        foiegras Sep 11, 2012 02:06 PM

        My favorite fajitas are chicken from Uncle Julio's. Bolsa is a very good choice for a memorable last meal ...

        Tex-Mex is so personal ... you really can hardly get any two Texans to agree on what's best. If you have a sentimental favorite as I do, that would be the place.

        3 Replies
        1. re: foiegras
          r
          rhettoric Sep 11, 2012 05:11 PM

          I agree completely and since I'm not from the Dallas area I don't really have anywhere with a lot of sentimental attachments.

          So I think I'm personally leaning more towards Fearings or Smoke. Seems like they would both be unique, excellent dining experiences with some great "Texas" flavors. Which one do you all prefer?

          1. re: rhettoric
            Veggo Sep 11, 2012 05:15 PM

            Both are top drawer, Fearings is pricier.

            1. re: rhettoric
              f
              foiegras Sep 11, 2012 08:29 PM

              When choosing between those two, I'd go Smoke. I think it's more unique. Plus you can have BBQ.

          2. Veggo Sep 11, 2012 02:34 PM

            Fatty brisket. Period. A shovel full.

            1. c
              CocoaNut Sep 11, 2012 02:50 PM

              All this chatter's making me want a slab of ribs with a plate of enchiladas, chips and salsa on the side!

              1. twinwillow Sep 11, 2012 07:30 PM

                I like Stephan Pyles for Texas American and asian fusion food. Something for everyone in an elegant, comfortable setting befitting the cost.
                http://www.stephanpyles.com

                1. Chemicalkinetics Sep 11, 2012 08:07 PM

                  I have no idea about Dallas. But reading this post makes me very sad.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                    f
                    foiegras Sep 11, 2012 08:31 PM

                    It is sad ... but I do hear they have some decent food there in France.

                    1. re: foiegras
                      Chemicalkinetics Sep 11, 2012 08:41 PM

                      :) Heh heh heh. I am sure the original poster will be fine. It is just always sad (to me) to hear people leaving US for good. Title like: "Last Meal in the US" just stirs something deep inside me.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                        sunshine842 Sep 13, 2012 02:00 PM

                        ah, but the OP never said they were leaving for good...it could be for a chance to study abroad or for a job posting with great opportunities. Grab that gold ring before it gets away from you!

                  2. chartreauxx Sep 11, 2012 11:56 PM

                    forget dining out; every american expat i know/knew, myself included, got mad kravings for kraft blue box macaroni... ;-)

                    honestly, (tex)-mex(ican)/anything else latino is really hard to find anywhere not in the americas. i'd probably go that route just based on what i and others around me have searched desperately for when living overseas...

                    1. i
                      INDIANRIVERFL Sep 12, 2012 04:00 AM

                      Can't help on the place, but here is what I craved when living in Europe.

                      Doritos

                      Ruffles

                      sour cream to make dip

                      porterhouse steak Entrecote is great, but different.

                      fried seafood platter

                      roasted oysters

                      salad bar

                      Mexican

                      country ham Jambon is different

                      On the other hand, you are going to the land that I feel has perfected cheese, butter, pastry, charcuterie, wine, and eau de vie /cognac. I trust you will survive.

                      Go to Belgium for the frites and beer.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
                        f
                        foiegras Sep 12, 2012 11:24 AM

                        No Doritos?!?! I would gladly trade all the McDonalds and Coke in Europe (hey, worldwide would be fine too) for an occasional Dorito fix.

                        1. re: foiegras
                          sunshine842 Sep 12, 2012 12:00 PM

                          I can buy Doritos here -- any of several flavors. Problem is they're pretty pricey.

                          Ruffles, no, but Lays does sell ruffled chips -- beaten severely on the flavor spectrum, by the way, by the French brand Bret's (made en Bretagne) -- Bret's are my favorite brand, if a little hard to find outside of Brittany.

                          I know it's not the exact same thing, but I love, love, love creme fraiche -- I find it's a far superior ingredient than sour cream, so I substitute it for sour cream all the time. YMMV.

                          Beef? I don't eat it in Europe unless it's a low and slow braise. Just too tough, IMO. (GREAT flavor...but I really don't feel the need to sit and chew a steak for that long...)

                          I make my own fried seafood -- St Augustine style, IR-FL -- I haven't quite nailed O'Steen's recipe, but I'm getting pretty darned close.

                          I agree with the rest of your list, though -- with the slight exception of the spices I buy at Bruno, named upthread. There's another brand of mix at *some* grocery stores called Amigos -- it's head and shoulders better than Old El Paso (and is actually made in the States) -- but it's still grocery-store taco/fajita/burrito mix.

                          1. re: sunshine842
                            i
                            INDIANRIVERFL Sep 12, 2012 06:58 PM

                            Am heading up Tuesday, 18 Sep to get a care package for my sister. All things datil pepper, local jams, and honey. She is a Flagler alum.

                            Will quaff a bowl of Minorcan chowder at Osteens while thinking kind thoughts of you.

                            1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
                              sunshine842 Sep 12, 2012 11:26 PM

                              *sob*

                              yes, Datil Do It is on my list for the next trip!

                      2. sunshine842 Sep 12, 2012 09:53 AM

                        and pop a message on here when you get to this side -- I've managed to source or substitute a LOT of things.

                        1. LewisvilleHounder Sep 12, 2012 10:27 AM

                          I would go to Pecan Lodge over Smoke no? If it is BBQ that you will most certainly be craving then Pecan Lodge is probably the best that I know of without a trip to the Hill Country.

                          I can honestly say that no matter how good pork BBQ might be, it is the pure simplicity of salt, pepper, time and a cheap cut of beef that make a smoked brisket wonderful.

                          I personally would go to Pecan Lodge in the Dallas Farmers Market, get a mix of Fatty/Lean and Sausage and Tipicos on NW HWY close to Love Field to get the cheese enchiladas/rice/beans and load up on taco de guisado (rojo and verde) for the trip to the airport from La Nuevea Fresh and Hot on Lombardy and Webb Chapel Ext. That would be my last meal/s to remember Dallas by, of course I am going on the food and not the surrounds/service.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                            f
                            foiegras Sep 12, 2012 11:26 AM

                            This is a meal at night ... what time does Pecan Lodge close?

                            1. re: foiegras
                              LewisvilleHounder Sep 12, 2012 12:54 PM

                              Well that throws a kink in the plans....Pecan Lodge closes at 3 pm or sellout...which these days is probably around 1 pm. I was just giving my two cents...let the lashing with the cold wet spaghetti noodle ensue.

                          2. Caroline1 Sep 12, 2012 04:04 PM

                            If it was my last meal in the U.S. for a long time to come and I was departing from DFW, instead of hanging around Dallas, I would head to Fort Worth and the Stockyards, and make a night of it. Maybe Tim Love's Lonesome Dove, maybe one of the many BBQ joints, lots of places to choose from. Then, before boarding the plane, I'd pack every nook and cranny in my luggage with All American junk food I will miss, from peanut butter & jelly to Fritos and Oreos... And maybe an envelope or two of KoolAid! HAVE A GOOD TRIP!

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: Caroline1
                              f
                              foiegras Sep 12, 2012 06:14 PM

                              Bonnelle's is another good option for "Fort Worth cuisine." They specialize in wild game, and the caramelized banana sundae can be outstanding. They also do a fair amount of unadvertised sous vide.

                              If you do Lonesome Dove, be sure to get the Mexican donuts (churros)--TDF.

                              1. re: Caroline1
                                sunshine842 Sep 12, 2012 11:27 PM

                                Peanut butter and Oreos are (much to the delight of the Chowpups) pretty easily available throughout Europe...yay -- that much less weight for something else!

                                1. re: sunshine842
                                  Caroline1 Sep 13, 2012 01:27 PM

                                  Great to know. There was a time when I wondered if peanut butter was banned in all of Europe! Thanks.

                                  1. re: Caroline1
                                    sunshine842 Sep 13, 2012 01:55 PM

                                    It's still not cheap (4-6 euros for a jar in most grocery stores) -- but it available.

                                    And if you're lucky enough to have a Portuguese, North African, or Asian market around, you can usually get it for quite a lot less.

                                    1. re: sunshine842
                                      f
                                      foiegras Sep 13, 2012 03:44 PM

                                      I imagine it must be fairly easy to make your own?? Given a good source of fresh peanuts ...

                                      1. re: foiegras
                                        sunshine842 Sep 14, 2012 09:23 AM

                                        but peanuts aren't particularly cheap either, and are usually available only salted (which turns peanut butter into peanut-flavored salt)

                              2. chartreauxx Sep 12, 2012 06:19 PM

                                Truthfully, it sounds like you have a ton of great options. If you're going overseas and leaving your family and loved ones for a while, maybe a good decision-making point would be a place with a comfortable ambience for everyone to enjoy one anothers' company at ease. After all, you'll probably miss that (dare I say it here...) more than any food item!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: chartreauxx
                                  sunshine842 Sep 12, 2012 11:26 PM

                                  Yes, yes, yes -- a thousand times yes.

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