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Oct 29, 2001 02:42 PM

Vital Dallas (part one)

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Intro and caveat: I recently found myself in Dallas for a few days, primarily to give a speech. This is a report of my chowing. I call it "Vital Dallas" only as a play on my chosen nom de internet. This, by no means, is meant to be a summary of definative Dallas resturants. In fact, one of the interesting things about my Dallas trip was my slim chow preparation. Typically, when going to a new city, I would do plenty of research to avoid a single less than delicious meal. Aside from wanting bar-b-que, I had no other pre-planned destintations this time. Fate did me well. In my limited exposure, I came away pretty impressed with Dallas.

Thursday night I arrived early enough to hook up with my former Big 5 cohorts. We went for the kind of dinner much appreciated by highly paid professionals with fully loaded expense accounts. That is, we went for steak. Someone had tipped us off to Chamberlains in the close-in suburb, Addison. Everyone from the valet parkers to the hostess, to the wait staff applied gracious southern hospitality that stereotypes Dallas. The food generally matched the service. Of the appetizer assortment, the crab cakes and sesame shrimp tasted a bit too similiar to catering pass arounds. The gigantic iceberg wedge with blue cheese provided a better opener. I had prime rib. It did not feature the lucscious softness of some prime rib, but did have a nice beefy richness. I finished with bread pudding. A tawny port hoisted upon me by my bill paying, ex-collegue cut through the excess sweetness of the desert.

I spoke on friday. after a brief drive through dealy plaza (which looks just like zapruder shot it), we repaired to the oddly named deep ellum. we enjoyed super delux margaritas at st. pete's dancing marlin. the drinks, served in pint glasses, went down as easy as a new orleans hurricane, deceptively easy. luckily i paced myself.

from the gentrfying deep ellum we went west, to monied oak lawn, very much the dallas of prime time tv. we arranged dinner at super-trendy, super hot, pan asian, steel. we needed to wait until 10 pm to get a reservation. to hold us over, we ate tapas at st. pete's. the wings were decent enough.

i could not believe how steel packed them away so late at night. in chicago, few resturants would teem like this at 10 pm. on top of that, we still needed to wait for a table to open. it was worthwhile. across the table we sampled many of steel's dishes including vietanmese carpacio, wok fried squid with three chili dips, a "hot pot" (really just a big bowl of soup kept warm at the table, no actual self-cooking), korean beef and a parade of sushi. we enjoyed all, and we enjoyed the scene that seemed more like one of the coasts than what i expected in dallas.

so far, so good

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  1. This looks like it was written by a combination of Ignatious Riley and e.e. cummings. Couldn't finish part one - as bland and thick as Bennigan's cheesecake.

    7 Replies
    1. re: LazyMF

      was there actually anything substantive you wanted to say about the post?

      1. re: zim


        I am assuming that you are a Chicago area resident from your posts on the Chicago board and I also am making an assumption that you and Vital are buds. If not disregard the following.

        Having read some of Vitals Chicago posts, he was more to the point than in this thread. I too had trouble putting up w/the prolonged non-food oriented text. I believe that is all the poster to Vital's post was stating, although not in a very nice way. Found it cute that you were CYA your bud.

        1. re: Sweet Willie
          Vital Information

          Yea, it was kinda cute for Zim to defend me. Then again, maybe Zim and I are the same person. I mean, I get sick of using the "vital information" handle...

          Actually, I'm more than willing to "just take it" as they would say on my favorite radio show, Who Ya Crapping (Thursday morning 11:30 AM WSCR AM 670). When you post as much as I do, with a name that I use, well, you got to expect:

          a)not every post will be a home run (or even a hit)
          b)not everyone will agree with your tastes
          c)people will think I'm a bit full of myself.

          One final point, I was so impressed with what I ate in Dallas, that regardless of whether people liked my post, I was dissapointed that it did not generate some more discussions. Lakewood Landing and Clarke's Outpost are especially worth it.


          1. re: Vital Information

            I read in the Dallas Morning News that many Dallas area chefs like to make the trek to Clarke's BBQ.
            So I tried it. I wasn't impressed and didn't feel it was worth the drive to Tioga. (I live 30 miles away.)

            My favorite Dallas area brisket is Sonny Bryan's.
            My favorite pork & smoked Turkey is at Red, Hot & Blues. Both these places are chains, but that doesn't diminish the quality of the food.

            My all time favorite BBQ is Goode Company BBQ in Houston, not sure if they are still open.

          2. re: Sweet Willie

            Sweet Willie,

            You are right I am a chicagoboy, and so I was drawn to this post from another chicago poster (which i saw through hotposts) and read it.

            I probably am guilty of putting too muh non-related food info in there as well, but for me at least I like those sort of details, and make for more interesting reading - some of my favorite chowhound posts are my favorites because of these details (check out thi's great posts in LA for instance). But really what I was annoyed by was the lack of food related disagreement, if for instance the person had said "that restaurant blows" to me that seems like a legitmate disagreement and should be added. But the type of "snappy one-liner" it embodied I can find on numerous other newsgroups which I choose to not participate in for that same reason. I would do the same for any poster, even you Sweet Willie.

            so back to the food, since we're on the texas board (and not on the not about food or site talk board where we probably should be)-I'll give one for houston:

            sheikh chilies- Indian kabobs and chaat open til 1am

        2. re: LazyMF

          I'm not sure how you you guys got the idea that we're like judges at a diving competition here, holding up rating signs for the success of posters and postings.

          Three thoughts:

          1. don't judge (aside from chow) lest you yourself be judged

          2. you are frightening the heck out of newcomers and "lurkers" who will be even less likely to chime in with their chow finds for fear of incurring a bad reaction. If we're gonna grow this rather inactive board (for the good of all hounds who live in or visit Texas), some serious Texan friendliness and hospitality is called for rather than rude, acerbic knocks.

          3. I thought the posting was highly entertaining, personally. Low on actual tips, but totally chowhoundish.

          Can we please review food and not people?


          1. re: Jim Leff
            Vital Information

            Low on actual tips! well if chowhound had a "bold feauture" to highlight resturant names...

            but then again, i should take that to site talk!!

            (and where are we on winky faces, ok?)


        3. I agree, Chamberlain's is spot on when it comes to a good Texas steakhouse experience and I find their wine list to be excellent as well.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Scagnetti

            Two things:

            First, I enjoyed the missive from Vital. Thank you. I wish more would take a better interest in their scribblin's here.

            Second, I have had that bread pudding. Can be a bit sweet. Here is a video of Mr Chamberlain from the old series Greaet Chefs Great Cities. Find Chef Richard around 17:30

            1. re: DallasDude

              I also find it refreshing to resurrect an 8 year old thread to give us an opportunity to reflect on where we are at and where we are going gastronomically wise.