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Dive Food in Dallas Area

Folks, I am coming with my wife for a 2 day trip to Dallas. We are BIG foodies, and need recommendations on dive eating joints for:

Mexican
BBQ
Bizzare and Unique (think Game: horse, elk, moose, kangaroo, deer etc)

We dont think Sushi/Octopus/Squid/Rabbit/Brains are bizarre, so those recommendations are not necessary. Nor do we want to go to fancy places requiring reservations.

We are simple, die-hard foodies and want to hear from the likeminded locals on what are the places we should go to eat. We dont mind driving for food, so let them suggestions flow!

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  1. For a true Mexican dive experience, visit Tacos la Banqueta (formally Tacos El Guero). The East Dallas location on Bryan Street. Sketchy neighborhood but, safe!

    You won't find better tacos in Dallas.

    When you walk in, if they don't ask, be sure to tell them it's your first visit and they'll give you a free suadero taco.
    IMHO, the suadero (belly brisket) is the best taco they make.

    Be sure to ask for onions and cilantro on your tacos and, absolutely be sure to pour some of their addictive green hot sauce from the bottles on the counter on whatever tacos you order.

    For pictures and reviews...... Click on the first link at the top
    http://www.google.com/search?client=s...

    Others I highly recommend are El Si Hay on W. Davis Street in Oak Cliff and, Al Atoron on Henderson.

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/taqueria-el-s...
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/el-atoron-dallas

    3 Replies
    1. re: twinwillow

      wow, this looks pretty neat. Exactly what I'm looking for, thanks!

    2. I love that brains are not bizarre but deer is. So for my first recommendation, I will ignore that guideline. Taqueria Pedrito (near Banqueta) will serve you a whole roasted goat head (offering brains, eyes, tongue, cheek etc...) for $10. It easily feeds 2. For those game meats, you can get a burger at Ye Ole Butcher Shoppe in Plano. They feature different game meats every day. Alternatively, and more expensive, is Lonsesome Dove in Ft. Worth. I know you don't want fancy, which Lonesome Dove is, but Tim Love is nationally recognized for his skill at cooking game meats.

      For BBQ, you really should go to Pecan Lodge. Just prepare yourself for a long wait. And make sure you get brisket.

      2 Replies
      1. re: demigodh

        cant wait to eat the Goat Head - i am hoping this will make it into my final short list.

        I live in the Northeast, where you can get brains (not my fav), but I cannot find quality venison. There are a few fancy steakhouses that sell Venison, but its dry and you can tell that they dont have either the clientale or skill to cook it.

        Thanks for the suggestions, keep em comin!

        1. re: demigodh

          I know Tim Love does both elk and kangaroo, plus it's in the 'famous' Ft. Worth stockyards. Just ignore the fact that he was the first one kicked off the current Next Iron Chef. The man knows his game meats.

        2. Give Twisted Root Burger a call (Deep Ellum location would probably be most convenient to you). They offer various game meats, but not all are always available.

          "Game Meats (subject to availability): Venison, Elk, Lamb, Ostrich, Kangaroo, Emu, Boar, Alligator
          ~ market price"

          http://twistedrootburgerco.com/wordpr...

          >> Caution - if visiting Deep Ellum, be careful with the parking lots (paying attendants/boxes) as scammers are often reported - and the "wheel bootman" is alive and well.

          1 Reply
          1. re: CocoaNut

            There is a FREE parking lot just east of Twisted Root. It's the one with the "mural" painted on the brick wall. The second lot east of Twisted Root.
            Its great if you're going to Cane Rosso, too.

          2. For game, suggest Bonnell's in Fort Worth. The elk at Lonesome Dove is very good, but for variety of game, Bonnell's is the place. Not sure if elk is on the lunch menu at Lonesome Dove, but if not, perhaps arrangements could be made. Then you could do both in one day. If you're into the cultural scene, you'll find plenty to do between lunch and dinner.

            PS Neither of these are dives. We consider game fancy eating around these parts.

            1. Disclaimer - I'm not a fan of Love & War in TX, but many are. That said, they have wild boar, venison, antelope and buffalo on their menu. Relaxed and moderately priced, multiple metro locations. In any case, you'd enjoy the ranch-house style atmosphere.