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Sep 18, 2012 11:45 AM

2 days in Dallas

Hey Texans - I used to live in Plano (late 1980's) but am coming from Florida to visit this weekend. I am coming with a group of about 15 guys for the Bucs v. Cowboys game. We are all staying at the Marriott City Center.

Just need some good recommendations on good local restaurant options. Give me the new "can't miss" spots in your town. I remember the Blue Goose used to be good for Tex-Mex (I was in my late teens at the time). Nothing too fancy - just good foodie joints.

Also - I am an FSU grad and want to watch the Clemson at FSU game Saturday at 8. Any good sports bar suggestions?

Hey - thanks in advance and I can't wait to visit your awesome state again.


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  1. Well no recs for seafood or Cuban would be appropriate.

    Here would be a few good places that were not here when you lived in Plano:

    Mesa on Jefferson will probably be the best Mexican meal you will have in the city. It is Veracruz style Interior Mexican. They have a few specials that are not from Veracruz also, chiles en nogada....stuffed chile.

    Oak (new american), Hatties (southern), Lockhart Smokehouse (BBQ) or lunch at Pecan Lodge (the best BBQ) in the Dallas Farmers Market all are close to your hotel.

    The FSU crowd meets at BlackFinn in Addison. There are sports abrs all over the city. If you want a place that is fairly quiet and has pretty decent bar food then I would suggest Bryan Street Tavern, which is close to downtown and would be willing to tune the TV to your channel.

    Some other watering holes close to downtown are Katy Trail Ice House, Frankie's Sports Bar,
    Nodding Donkey. Since the wetaher is pretty danhy close to perfect now....Nodding Donkey woudl eb my choice just for the open bar/patio concept

    12 Replies
    1. re: LewisvilleHounder

      LH - thank you sir! We have plenty of seafood and Cuban food as I know you know! Seriously though I really appreciate the suggestions and I will definitely steer the group in these directions.

      Thanks again,


      1. re: Tangerine7

        Just so you know we have a pretty sizeable and growing beer scene here in town. We have six maybe seven breweries now, so local beer will be abundant. My personal favorite is the fairly newcomer Lakewood Brewing Co. They have three beers and before you come to town they will have their fourth. They have a Belgian IPA (Hop Trapp), Milk Stout (The Temptress) and a Rye/Wheat (Rock Ryder). They will have the Pumpkin Dunkel out real soon (Punkel).

        I would highly suggest bringing some Cigar City beers with you and we will gladly trade!!

        Craft beer is my other passion besides food!

        1. re: LewisvilleHounder

          I am with you on the craft beer thing (I have been homebrewing for about 15 years off and on). We love Cigar City - you can stop in their tasting room and get growlers of limited edition brews that they never release commercially. It is great. We will all definitely indulge in the local beer scene.

          I spent four days in Denver in May and was thoroughly impressed with their local breweries.

          1. re: LewisvilleHounder

            I will be in Dallas next week, as well, and would be interested in knowing which bars convenient to the Marriott City Center (I have a car and can drive a reasonable distance) you would recommend. I will try to seek out the Lakewood beers and will also be on the lookout for Deep Ellum beers, as well, as I really enjoyed their IPA on a recent trip to Houston.

            1. re: brentk

              I can say with all honesty that the Deep Ellum Hop Seeker a fresh hopped IPA is probably their best beer they have ever produced. The Deep Ellum IPA has been too inconsistent for me to really enjoy it.

              Are you wanting a beer themed bar, scene type bar, bar with good food or a quiet bar?

              1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                I'm about the beer first and foremost and am most interested in a quality selection of locals. However, I like a bar with good food that is not a packed house. If you have been to the Hay Merchant in Houston (where I had the Deep Ellum IPA), that is my type of place. The Anvil there fits the bill, too.

                On past trips to Dallas, I generally migrate to the Ginger Man, though I would prefer a place that has a better menu and is less crowded. I am not a big fan of the Flying Saucer for the same reasons. I've also been to the Meridian Room and wasn't all that impressed by the beer selection or the menu.

                If I can't get great beer and food in one location, I would prefer great beer. It doesn't need to have great atmosphere, though I would prefer a quieter place to one that was jam packed.

                1. re: brentk

                  Goodfriend is probably my favorite that is fairly close to Downtown. They have great burgers and a very good selection of local and rotating taps. The service is really good if you are at the bar. If you happen to come on one of the awesome fall evenings then the patio is a must. It will be crowded but the palce is never pushy or to the point you want to leave. Ask for Mike or John.


                  The Meddlesome Moth will be crowded on busy night Friday and Weekends....other than that it is a safe bet it will be dead. Food is decent. The Moth for the most part will be the only place in Dallas to get some of the rare beers.


                  The Common Table is always packed but the food it better and more diverse than Goodfriend and The Moth. I love the Common Table for the support of all the local beer events and they generally have some hard to find beers. Ask for Ollie, Amanda, or Corey the owner.


                  Another option is either the Lakewood or Lovers Lane Whole Foods. They sometimes have tap takeovers. The most recent takeover at Lakewood was the Real Ale.....which was some of the finest beers I have had in the state.


                  If you are in the mood for pizza and beer there are four places:

                  If you are from pizza heavy area (NY, LA, Chicago, New Haven or NJ) then the pizza won't be up to your standards, except for Il Cane Rosso.

                  Union Bear is a fairly new palce that opened up a few months back and is trying to get their food and beer on the same level. The beer selection is very good and their knowledge is unmatched, ask for Jeff or Rob. The pizza I have heard is not the best.

                  Eno's in Oak Cliff which will have a solid crunchy thin crust pie and a very good selection of beer for that area. This area will be a nice walkable area that has a lot of foodie center stores in the same area. It also has two, if not three of the best restaurants in Dallas, Lucia, Driftwood and Boulevardier.


                  If it is pizza you crave then no place is better than Il Cane Rosso and they should have a decent slection of Deep Ellum and two or three other beers. This is my go to place for pizza


                  Finally Bryan Street Tavern will be the best choice on the number of taps and selection of beer. Their pizza is very good as well go for the ones with the local Jimmy's sausage.


                  1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                    That is a great help, LH. Your top three all sound great. Do the Dallas bars use anything like, or to keep their tap lists available via social media. Calling around to find out what is on tap can be very tedious.

                    1. re: brentk

                      I just verified and it is a negative on all three site you provided. It is a shame we don't subscribe to the same informational age as the other beer-centric cities

        2. re: LewisvilleHounder

          Bolsa is another good place in Bishop Arts ... brunch is good there (not that any meal isn't). Their specialty market (Bolsa Mercado) is a few doors down--you could maybe pick up a few souvenirs, or fixings if you feel like not eating at a restaurant for every meal. Or something good for the flight back ...

          1. re: foiegras

            Thanks for the suggestion - is this close to the hotel?

            1. re: Tangerine7

              In a car, yes. Mesa, Hattie's, and Lockhart are all also in Bishop Arts/Oak Cliff.

              Btw, Hattie's has white tablecloths ... to me the other places are more appropriate for all guys. Bolsa is very laid back. Very nice weather for eating on the patio right now. Lockhart originally had no flatware ... that of course has XY written all over it ;) Mesa is casually upscale and very comfortable with a large bar.