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Mar 9, 2013 09:22 AM

Dallas with Teenagers

Haven't been to Dallas in years and have no idea where to begin to plan our food itinerary. Will be there next week for a conference and bringing along two teenage boys. Last time I was in Dallas Del Frisco's was the big place to go and get a steak, but I haven't seen it mentioned lately. Is it still good? What about the restaurant at the Mansion at Turtle Creek?
I have those on my list, but am wondering if are other places that have surpassed them over the years.
We are staying in downtown at the Hyatt Regency and will have a car.
For lunch, we only have limited time, so we need some places that are close by. I think one day we will try Pecan Lodge ( and probably two days since everyone love BBQ). Any other suggestions for good BBQ, tex-mex, or burgers for lunch in downtown area?
Dinner is up in the air. As I mentioned, we had planned on Del Frisco's and the Mansion, but I am not certain about these. Someone else mentioned the restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton?
We'd like a nice (aka fancy) dinner one night and the others don't necessarily have to be so. Also, are there any gourmet food stores downtown where I can get some take-out and/or snacks?
Thanks so much for any help you can offer! :0)

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  1. Excellent BBQ at Pecan Lodge! The best in North Texas. Just remember, they're only open
    Thur-Sunday 11:00-3:00. Sunday before church lets out is the best time for not having to wait very long on line.

    I'd definitely consider Fearings Restaurant in the Ritz-Carleton for your "splurge" meal. Many consider it the best in Dallas.

    The Mansion is still always great, too!

    I like "Chop House Burger" on Main Street downtown. Excellent burgers.

    A very short ride to Deep Ellum on Commerce Street is Cane Rosso. The best Neapolitan pizza this side of Italy. You and the teens will LOVE it! It's a "must eat" in Dallas!

    You should consider Senor Bean in downtown for Tex-Mex. They're getting some good buzz lately.

    1. I agree with twinwillow and I'd also add the following.


      Meso Maya just opened next door to El Fenix just north of downtown. Great Tex-Mex and Mex-Mex.

      Mi Cocina has several locations around town. The closest to downtown is in West Village at McKinney Ave. and Lemmon. It's a Dallas institution, so it's hard to leave it off the list.


      I wish there was more great BBQ in Dallas. Pecan Lodge is about as good as it gets in Dallas proper. I love Hard Eight BBQ in Coppell, but it's about a 30-minute drive from downtown. If you are flying into DFW, you may want to make a stop on the way in or out, if it works with your schedule. It's only about 5 minutes from the airport.


      Stampede 66 - New Stephan Pyles restaurant just north of downtown featuring "cowboy cuisine"

      FT33 - Very inventive regional American in the Design District featuring chef Josh Valentine from Top Chef. Great craft cocktails. Prices do push the high end of what I would define as mid-range, though.


      Stephan Pyles - Very similar to Fearing's at the Ritz, but downtown location and food is a bit better IMO

      Abacus - Asian fusion by Kent Rathbun. Must-try lobster shooters and amazing decor.

      Nick & Sam's - If you want to do steak one night, I'd recommend this over Del Frisco's, which is pretty far away.

      I hope that helps!

      1. Great recommendations already. I would also add:

        Twisted Root for really good burgers, sides, shakes and homemade root beers.

        Mia's Tex-Mex off Lemon Ave. Try the brisket tacos!

        1. Thank you so much TXMandy, hypemnd and twinwillow! These are great suggestions! We've got four days, so we should have time to get to quite a few of them.
          Two more questions if you have a minute.
          Would you choose Fearings over the Mansion for the "splurge" dinner?
          How long is the wait usually at Pecan Lodge? 15 minutes, 1/2 hour? I'm trying to put schedule together and want to allow enough time.
          Really appreciate all your help. I will report back when we return.
          Thanks so much!!!!

          12 Replies
          1. re: boyzmom11

            I've only been to Pecan Lodge twice and the wait has been 45 minutes both times (your mileage will vary). The good news is only one/two people need to stand in line to place the order. The rest of the crew can wander around farmer's market to kill time while waiting for a call that the food is here.


            1. re: boyzmom11

              Gee, The Mansion or Fearings? That's a really tough call. Very different cuisine from each other

              Yet, both deliver five star quality. The Mansion is a bit more "old school" but chef Bruno Davillion turns out really incredible food.

              Dean Fearing has a newer, fresher approach with a (very) slight Texas twist.
              I think your teens would possibly enjoy Fearings a bit more.

              In short, I'd get dizzy trying to make a choice between the two. Although personally, I'd choose Fearings. His "buzz" here on Chowhound and elsewhere has been fabulous!

              Pecan Lodge is usually mobbed during lunchtime. I'd want to be there at 11:00 for sure. No later! I've waited (standing in line) as long as 50 minutes or as short as twenty minutes. I recently read somewhere that someone waited 80 minutes on line! As I said above, Sundays before church lets out is a good time.

              Also, just across from Pecan Lodge is "Ain't No Mo! Butter Cakes". They sell sinfully good mini bundt cakes in a myriad of flavors.
              Great for dessert! I highly recommend their Tres Leche version with raspberry sauce.


              1. re: twinwillow

                Thanks Twinwillow. I think I will get the menu info. and let the crew vote on Fearings vs. the Mansion. As for Pecan Lodge, I will plan to be there before 11:00 and get in line. Unfortunately, we can't go on Sunday, but we'll get there as early as we can on the weekday that we end up there.
                The mini bundt cakes sound terrific! Tres Leche with raspberry sauce?! Sounds fantastic. (Yes, sweet tooth here :0). Thanks so much for all of your advice. We are looking forward to a great time. Looks like the weather is going to great as well!

                1. re: boyzmom11

                  Great! Please write back and let us know how you
                  all did.

                2. re: twinwillow

                  I'd pick Fearing's over The Mansion even without the teen boys in the equation. Even more so with them. And contrary to what hypemnd said, I think Fearing's food is better than Stephen Pyles, although it's as much a matter of taste as anything.

                  I think you should also take a look at Nona (Italian) and, if you can get a reservation, Lucia (Italian). Spoon is a relatively new, seafood focused restaurant. Only been there once, but it was promising and interesting.

                  1. re: Mike C. Miller

                    Wow, Lucia's must be great - no more reservations for the month of March and no Friday's or Saturday's left in April. Guess we'll have to get to that one on our next trip to Dallas!

                    The crew decided on Fearing's over the Mansion for dinner.

                    Am now looking for a lunch spot that is close enough to the Hyatt Reunion to grab a very quick lunch. If there is anything close by that you could recommend, it sure would beat having to eat "hotel" food. Thanks so much for your help!!! We really appreciate it.

                    1. re: boyzmom11

                      Yes, keep Lucia in mind for next time. Being aware of the long wait for reservations is probably why most of us never recommended Lucia. I know,
                      that's why I never mentioned it.

                      For your non hotel "quick lunch" downtown, I had previously recommended Chop House Burger and, I still do. Excellent burgers and, right in the middle of downtown on Main Street.

                      1. re: twinwillow

                        I had recommended Twisted Root Burger earlier, but Chop House is another great recommendation! FYI... If you have adventurous teenagers, the burger of the month at TRoot is "PB &J"... Peanut Butter & JalapeƱo. :-)

                        1. re: twinwillow

                          Thanks Twinwillow, TXMandy and foiegras. While my younger teen likes his burgers plain, the older one and dad will really love this place. The PBJ Jalapeno is something they will have to try. Looked on their menu and you can order on-line, so if I send it in before we leave the hotel it should save time.
                          I'll let you all know how it goes.
                          Thanks so much!!!

                        2. re: boyzmom11

                          it's also very small. there are a few walk-in seats at the bar that you could probably get with enough determination.

                          i feel it's a challenging menu ... i've had fantastic things there, but have also been surprised by some very strong flavor profiles that i wished had been more fully described.

                          1. re: boyzmom11

                            It's not as good as Pecan Lodge, and it's not great BBQ like you get in Central Texas, but you might want to try Sonny Bryan's BBQ on Inwood, which isn't too far from your conference. It's better than serviceable, and on good days, not bad at all. Brisket and sausage are probably the best way to go. It has the authentic atmosphere of a real BBQ joint and an undeniable lack of pretension. (But by no means skip Pecan Lodge to eat here unless you just can't eat at PL because of the length of the lines.)

                      2. re: boyzmom11

                        we waited an hour all told at pecan lodge, & they had run out of several things already. you'll want to be very strategic & go as early as possible. if you can go early on a weekday, that might be best. i prefer the vinegar-based bbq sauce.

                        i like pappas bros. for steak.

                        if you're considering ft33, good to know that the menu looks a lot odder than the food really is. i was there over the weekend, & still thinking about the buckwheat noodles with chicken livers & buttered breadcrumbs i had.