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Dec 19, 2000 11:08 PM

dallas eats-what's new and exciting?

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going to big d this winter,anybody got new and exciting restaurants? bbq, mexican-regional,nice vietnamese,even real fish-yeah i KNOW it's landlocked but you can't fault me for trying....please, no chains, and yes, ft worth is fine with me...thanks

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  1. Unfortunately, Dallas has pretty bland food and is limited as far as ethnic cuisine. Chains rule here and are beloved. Even the TexMex is pretty blah. As far as Thai food try Bangkok City(B-) for Mexico City style tacos go to Taco Diner(A-), Jewish style deli-Gilberts(A), Chinese is AWFUL!!, Indian is pretty much nonextistent but Taj Palace is good, pizza...hahahaha,Italian don't even bother. Brazilian Rodizio places are good(Fogo de Chao & Texas de Brazil).Dodie's has very authentic Louisiana cuisine too. Good luck in Chili's/Fuddruckers/Bennigans/Red Lobsterland.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Ken G.
      Jerry Stevenson

      This may be coming late to the discussion, but I can't see someone call the Dallas restaurant scene bland without refuting the claim. As somebody who travels all over the world and loves a good meal, Dallas is far from bland. It's a great place for a chowhound to visit or live - you just need to know where to look. And that includes some gems of ethnic food. Yes there are a number of chains, but I see that in every major city I visit. A true chow hound learns to ignore them and search for the real deal. Here are some of my favorites in the Dallas area:

      -Pasand Indian Restaurant in Irving rivals some of the best meals I've had in London. The curries are to die for.
      -La Valentina restaurant is a fantastic Mex-Mex restaurant to off-set the overabundance of Tex-Mex (not that there's anything wrong with that when your in the mood, it might be a chain, but Uncle Julio's fajitas are a frequent craving of mine; try El Norte in Plano for something off the beaten path -- great chips and salsa)
      -Mi Piaci has wonderful gnochi and fresh pastas
      -Pacific Rim in Plano has fantastic noodle dishes and asian cuisine.
      -The Bavarian Grill in Plano has terrific German food and, of course, a great selection of beer
      -Cafe Istanbul is fantastic for a bit of Turkish food
      -Cafe Ishmir is another great med joint
      -The Green Room in the Deep Ellum area offers fantastic gourmet fair without the stuffy waiters.
      -All of this before getting into the well known establishments of Star Canyon, Citizen, AquaKnox, Cuidad, The Mansion, The Grape, Abacus, Voltaire, and dozens of others. All great bets for a wonderful meal.

      Dallas has more restaurants per capita than New York City. Sure, New York would win any day for more diverse and gourmet cuisine, but the Dallas food scene is far from bland. There are some real gems here -- you just need to do some digging; which is what being a chow hound is all about.

      Happy Dining!


      1. re: Jerry Stevenson
        Jerry Stevenson

        Slight correction -- Pasand, the Indian restaurant I mentioned, is in Plano/Richardson area, not Irving.

        1. re: Jerry Stevenson

          A group of us soap opera message board girls are planning a trip to Dallas next year, and I like to plan ahead!
          I am looking for the BEST, AUTHENTIC Mexican restaurant Dallas has to offer! NO CHAIN RESTAURANTS! I noticed El Fenix mentioned, is that a chain? Please don't anyone mention On The Border, or Pappasita's, that is the worst frozen swill I have ever eaten!
          Most of the girls coming are from out of state, I don't want to be embarrassed by crappy food!
          And believe me, I can tell by the first taste of salsa how the rest of the meal will go!
          The only chain restaurant we are considering is Joes Crab Shack, only because Dallas is landlocked, and it's a fun place to go for lunch!
          If anyone knows of a great seafood/Cajun place, I would appreciate the name/location!
          And a good bbq spot for lunch couldn't hurt either!

          1. re: Sammie

            Javier's for fine Mexico City style dining

            La Calle Doce (almost downtown, at Skillman/La Vista)
            for just regular mex food.

            How about Daddy Jack's for your Cajun. The lower
            Greenville location is funky and busy. I've taken
            real foodhounds there.

            1. re: Sammie
              Mary L Marquis

              La Margarita Mexican Resturant @ 2922 N. Beltline
              Irving (just south of Rochelle Rd in small strip center on east side of Beltline) is the best we have found. After years of looking, we found this little jewel about 6 years ago and now, we have to have our fix at least once each week. Ambience is not perfect,
              but you can't beat the food and service. ENJOY!

              1. re: Sammie

                Best mexican in Dallas is Mi Cocina--but that is a chain in two cities so I suggest Matt's Rancho Martinez on Gaston ave.

        2. Unfortunately, I've not been able to find a place that serves great Asian food in Dallas. Houston on the other hand with places like Kim Son and Nit Noi is better. Most people I've talked to here recommend PF Changs, I don't. I recommend a plane ride south.

          With that said, there are other places here that's pretty good. For seafood, I've heard great things about Cafe Pacific and Aqua Knox. Fogo de Chao and Texas de Brazil are nice places for meat of all kinds. Cafe Istanbul and Zizikis are nice places for Middle Eastern cuisine.

          Haven't been over towards Ft. Worth much but I've heard good things about Angeluna.

          Good Luck

          1. There are some decent finds in Dallas, but you have to get off the main strips of town and know what you're looking for.

            1) Sonny Bryan's - the original is on Inwood Rd. They only serve the meat until it's gone, so you have to get there by 11:00 am to really beat the rush.

            2) Angelo's and Railhead are the bbq joints to hit in Fort Worth.

            3) The mexican food is good. El Fenix is an institution. Try Uncle Julio's, Mattito's, La Hacienda Ranch or Mi Cocina in Dallas. Try Joe T. Garcia's, The Original, Mexican Inn or Benito's in Fort Worth.

            3) For real Texas-style fried catfish, you must go to Top Cat. Old style, big-haired counter help and no diet drinks. The one in Irving is the real deal.

            4) For Fried Chicken, try Babe's (in Roanoke), Bubba's (by SMU) and Brothers (by Baylor Hospital).

            5) Good homesytle cooking can be found at Mama's Daughter's Diner or Celebration. If you're looking for something a bit more gourment, try Rooster. It's home cooking with a flair in an old house with lots of style. very good.

            6) Snuffer's for burgers.

            7) Tin Star is pretty interesting for unique Mexico City-style tacos.

            8) Tons of great steakhouses - Del Frisco's, III Forks, Chamberlain's, Pappa's Brothers.

            That should get you through a week or so.