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Jan 30, 2013 11:14 AM

Conference at the Anatole

Hey DFW heels. I'll be at a conference next week at the Anatole. First time in Dallas.

I have about enough time for one dinner, one lunch and one breakfast, plus one jaunt to a coffee place if there is one worth trekking to. A friend will have a rental car.

Based on a little bit of research on this board, I'm thinking Pecan Lodge for lunch one day, Mesa for dinner.

Would love recs for a great breakfast and coffee place. And by great, I mean interesting and good enough to be worth the trip.

If nothing relatively nearby (say, no further than Pecan Lodge or Mesa) fits the bill, that's just as helpful to prevent fruitless wandering when I could be back at the conference listening (and delivering) mind-numbing presentations.

Price, style/ethnicity of food and relative fancy schmancyness (or lack thereof) unimportant.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Take a look Smoke, relatively near the Anatole (opens at 8am) or, just east of downtown Dallas in Deep Ellum, AllGood Cafe (opens at 9am). Given morning rush hour, AllGood is probably further than you wish.

    3 Replies
    1. re: CocoaNut

      Thanks - both Smoke and AllGood look terrific!

      1. re: sushiforbreakfast

        A big second for Smoke (great Sunday brunch)!
        And, a HUGE second for Mesa!

        Pecan Lodge is only open Thur-Sun.11:00-3:00.
        But, a lot of good stuff (burn't ends) sell out by 2:00. There's always a line but Sunday before church let's out is a good time to go.

        For a great (casual) lunch, Try Off-Site Kitchen.
        Arguably, one of the very best burgers in Dallas. And, very close to the Anatole.

        1. re: twinwillow

          Thanks for the tip on OSK. I checked out the other thread on it after you mentioned it is close to the Anatole and it definitely looks worth skipping another conference lunch for.

          Thanks for the mention about Pecan Lodge, too - I will try to get there before 11am.

          I also just noticed I wrote "Dallas heels" in my first post - meant "Dallas hounds" of course - but living in Chapel Hill during basketball season, I apparently have heels on the brain!

    2. regarding coffee shops - it kind of depends on what you're used to. There's nothing in Dallas that compares to Intelligentsia in Chicago, or Vivace in Seattle - so I'm not sure there's anything that's destination worthy. Having said that, you can get some pretty good coffee at a few spots in Dallas, one of which is reasonably close to the Anatole.

      Ascension is located in the Design District, next to the Meddlesome Moth. They source and roast (collaboratively, with a local roaster) their own beans. They also have the greatest diversity of brewing options - Chemex, V60, French Press, siphon, etc, as well as espresso. I find their beans to be a touch over-roasted... but it's close to work and I enjoy the coffee enough to visit regularly.

      3 Replies
      1. re: gavlist

        Thanks for the mention of Ascension as well as providing context re some of the truly amazing coffee shops around the country.

        Also, FWIW, a barista at my local place here who hails from Dallas mentioned White Rock Coffee, but I got the sense it had been a while since he had been home and I wasn't sure if the recommendation was current.

        Thanks again.

        1. re: sushiforbreakfast

          White Rock Coffee is OK but, a "fir piece" from the Anatole.

          Follow "gavlist's" advice and try Ascension. It's very close to you and very good. So I've heard.

          Btw, you'll get a hoot out of OSK. Great "under the radar" joint owned by Nick Badovinus. A very cool guy who has three very good successful restaurants in town named, Neighborhood Services. Their Lovers Lane location is arguably his best.

          Another restaurant close to you is Bridge Bistro. Upscale N'awlins type menu. Very good!

          1. re: twinwillow

            Ascension it is, thanks for the confirmation. Very excited to check out OSK - the menu at Neighborhood Services (the original) also is right up my alley - I may just need to skip my entire conference...

            Thanks for the tips!

      2. you might consider zaguan latin cafe, which serves breakfast, coffee, and their entire menu all day. i recently had their 'best lunch in dallas' mid-morning with a latte, and thought it made a very nice brunch too. it's a soft corn turnover, similar to a pancake, stuffed with your choice of meat/cheese/veggies--i like the ropa viejas/cheese/assorted veggies. i also like their columbian coffee, but don't consider myself a connoisseur.

        also nearby is scardello's (cheese shop) & chocolate secrets (love the salted caramel chocolate).

        6 Replies
        1. re: foiegras

          Thanks for the ideas, Zaguan looks great and I love arepas. And Chocolate Secrets looks like a good place to stop to bring some things back for Mrs. Sushiforbreakfast.

          1. re: sushiforbreakfast

            let us know how your trip went ... btw, i was recommending the cachapa ... like them better than their arepas.

            1. re: foiegras

              Thanks for pinging me on this. I actually wrote a fairly long trip report on the flight home but GoGo wireless ate my reply.

              The trip to DFW was a success thanks to you all - I had less time away from conference meals than I had hoped, but still had a chance to hit a few highlights.

              On my first night in town, a companion and I hit Mesa. The couple next to us had just finished their meal and recommended the mole enchiladas and lobster enchiladas - which recommendation was seconded by our server. We also shared an appetizer sampler which - many glasses of wine later - I remember liking all of, but the plantains and empanadas (some kind of turnover, I can't recall the name) stood out.

              The entrees, as promised, were very good. We don't have the depth and breadth of Mexican options in my neck of the woods that I suspect y'all have - this was my first time with Vera Cruz, and both my companion and I liked it very much. I offered to share dishes with her, but she greedily kept her lobster enchiladas to herself. The mole was terrific.

              Dessert was calling to us but we were too full (a state I am relatively unfamiliar with) so we passed on a tres leches cake to my regret. Service was very good; the restaurant was not super full, but it was a Tue night.

              My next two dinners were taken with conference obligations, at SER (at the top of the Anatole) and Five Sixty at Reunion Tower. Neither of which were exactly rough duty (and several of the dishes at Five Sixty were really very good considering they were churning out 150 of them), but I would have much rather made my way to OSK. I consoled myself by passing on the OSK recommendation to another conference goer from Chicago with a less hectic schedule and he raved about it.

              A couple of colleagues and I snuck out to Smoke for breakfast one morning and we all had the brisket hash which was amazing. I've never had brisket served that way (or for breakfast for that matter), it seemed to be formed into a patty and fried or grilled to caramelize the edges. It was extraordinarily good.

              We also made it at one point to Ascension which was great and exactly as billed - I'd be excited to have that cafe in my neighborhood, and it is a step behind the Intelligentsias of the world. I had single origin espresso and a friend had Kyoto brewed coffee - mine was good but I should have followed the advice on the board more closely regarding drink choices at Ascension.

              And then, before I knew it, I was on my way home. I have many more places I'd like to hit - thanks again for the recommendations. I guess I will just have to make another trip to your fair city.

              Many thanks, DFW Hounds.

              1. re: sushiforbreakfast

                Thank you for letting us know where you ate and how much you enjoyed our suggestions.

                Glad you enjoyed your stay in Dallas.

                As we like to say, "Y'all come back, soon".

                1. re: sushiforbreakfast

                  So pleased to read of your successes!! And do come back!

                  1. re: sushiforbreakfast

                    mmm, brisket hash. didn't see it on the menu last time i went but will keep an eye out. did bring home some chopped brisket, which was quite wonderful (house made pickles never hurt).

                    glad you enjoyed your trip!

            2. One more to ponder for breakfast. Very close to the Anatole, try the Original Market Diner on Harry Hines Blvd.
              Great for breakfast!


              4 Replies
              1. re: twinwillow

                Another great looking breakfast spot, thanks! My DFW cup runneth over.

                Never having been to Dallas but having been to more than a few conference hotels, I expected maybe one or two hound-friendly spots near the hotel - and now I have a bushel thanks to you all.

                Dallas hounds rock, thanks again.

                1. re: sushiforbreakfast

                  On behalf of Dallas' Hounder's, thanks for the compliments.

                  All of the above Hounder's (including myself) are "regulars" here and you can trust their opinions and comments as "gospel"

                  Eat well and prosper!

                  Btw, where do you live?

                  1. re: twinwillow

                    Thanks, twinwillow!

                    I'm a native New Yorker now living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, by way of Boston. Don't hesitate to ping me back if you ever have cause to visit the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill) - we have a few decent spots around here, too.

                    Thanks again for the great advice!

                    1. re: sushiforbreakfast

                      Thanks. I'm an ex-New Yawka, too! But I've been happily living here in Dallas for fifty years this July.

              2. I think you would be disappointed driving all the way to White Rock Coffee. I have never liked their coffee and I live near them. I was happy when Stir; now Cultivar, opened down the street. Cultivar is inside Good 2 Go taco (Peavy Rd at Garland Rd) - not near the Anatole, but an excursion if you want to see the east side of Dallas. Yes, we have trees and a lake!!

                Ascension is getting a lot of buzz. I haven't been yet.

                Since you'll be close to Oak Cliff, Smoke does a good breakfast (I like that I can get house smoked salmon with my egg dishes). Oddfellows is really good a different way; I prefer the coffee at Oddfellows, though, where I can get a cortado.

                2 Replies
                1. re: pepper131

                  I think that Cultivar does a slightly than Ascension for espresso and cappuccino, and probably for buying beans as well. As I mentioned above, the beans at Ascension have tended to be more darkly roasted than I prefer, although this seems to be improving.

                  On the other hand, my experiences with brewed coffee have been better at Ascension - I've only had a brewed cup once at Cultivar, so it could have been atypical, but it was extremely unimpressive. I'd also say that Ascension is a much nicer shop, with a more comfortable atmosphere if you're planning to relax and enjoy your coffee.

                  Mostly I didn't mention Cultivar, or Oddfellows (which also makes good espresso drinks) because they're not nearly as close to the Anatole as Ascension, which is ~2 minutes away. Any of them would be good choices, imo. And all can provide you with a cortado.

                  I agree with your food recs - if you're willing to drive down to Oak Cliff for breakfast, Smoke and Oddfellows are excellent choices. Smoke's house-made bacon is fantastic, and I love Oddfellows' huevos rancheros!

                  1. re: gavlist

                    Smoke being considerably nearer to the Anatole than Bishop Arts' Oddfellows.