Besides Great Tacos & Brisket...
Ruling out fancy food (Fearings, Pyle, etc...) for the moment, I know of Dallas as a city with excellent Taquerias and BBQ Brisket.
What other foods/cuisines are well represented and worth checking out in the Dallas metro when compared to other big cities?
Things we do well:
Taiwanese - maybe
Indian (Southern and Vegetarian)
Pakistani (Chicago is the only place better)
Things we don't do well:
Italian for the most part
Scandinavian (Swedish, Finnish, Latvian, Norwegian)
Czech (Kolaches/Koblasnikis are not a cuisine)
Central and South American
None of the South American cuisines are very well represented
Lacking on everything except Ethiopian
Southern (might get some backlash)
Certainly true! For example, I've always preferred the Chinese food in NYC to Dallas. But, I don't live in NYC so I'm very happy to enjoy what we have in Dallas. After living in Dallas for 50 years now, I've long gotten over trying to compare the food in other cities to the food in Dallas.
@LH - Couple questions/follow ups. First, and most importantly, where is there good Trini food in Dallas? I am willing to drive. Taste of the Islands is the only one I know of and if that's what you're referencing than I will politely disagree. However, I'm hopeful there's another place to satisfy my doubles and roti cravings.
Why do you say we don't have good Korean? Between the H-Mart area and Royal/35, I find Korean food in Dallas is pretty strong.
Finally, quick note, I agree with the hmong/lao/burmese observation, especially after a trip to Minneapolis last year. That said, i did just discover a burmese store at plano road and walnut hill called Sunrise Grocery. It's next to a thai restaurant, Tukta Thai. I've only been once but they had a few prepared offerings. I had a shrimp and sorrel thing that was delicious, though very much an acquired taste.
Knowing LH, I would say it might be more of a personal taste preference. I don't recall any occasions (if ever) where he's been blown away by Korean food, regardless of dining in Dallas or not.
Vietnamese and Indian are points I'd argue on that list - while I do like some meals I've had here, the high points for both don't approach memorable meals in Houston and I tend to hold back cravings for whenever I go down there because the concentration of quality is stronger.
I would also add Japanese as something we do well (Teppo, Tei An, Keiichi etc). Landing a seat at Keiichi's counter is harder than getting a reservation at Lucia now.
The diner near the Magnolia theater in Uptown might actually be pretty promising, but I haven't felt like doing a super late night meal in a while (they are open 24 hours)
To be fair, if we're having to confine to Dallas city limits itself, the only things that would stand out are tacos, burgers, BBQ, and Japanese. Pretty much all of the good ethnic places are in the suburbs. Also, he was specific about the style - Sichuan Chinese meaning Royal Sichuan, Sichuanese, Little Sichuan, etc.
I don't know if that was a reply meant for me Scagnetti but I believe the original poster was speaking in general terms of what the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex does well, I could be wrong. I am not sure I am qualified to answer your questions though.
Strictly comparing to other places I have lived (Atlanta, NY and D.C.), I think Dallas does really well with the following: Mexican (in addition to tex-mex), Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Ethiopian (not D.C. good but still better than most), Nepali, Indian.
For me, what is sorely lacking, in quality not quantity, are: Mediterranean (Italian, Greek, Spanish and all Middle Eastern cuisines), Japanese, Caribbean, South American, deli, and probably a few more that aren't coming to mind. Of course, this entirely depends on where you are from and it's not necessarily fair to compare Dallas to NYC but my expectations are high and I find the city lacking in some regards.
I totally agree about some of the cuisines you mention that we are lacking of, somewhat.
We have some excellent Middle Eastern food but not enough Turkish, Persian, or Israeli.
We are mostly lacking,
Greek. The Greek food in Dallas is a joke. I've eaten real Greek food and Ziziki's is not Greek food. Stratos Greek Taverna is a bit closer to the real thing.
Spanish. Real Spanish! Like, Cafe Madrid when they FIRST opened so many years ago and his late mother & father did all the cooking. Before the owners divorced and SHE got the restaurant.
Caribbean. Almost totally lacking with the exception of, Elaine's Kitchen.
And of course, deli. Real New York City deli!
Houston guy trolling the Dallas board, check us out too, very diverse cuisines. You seem to be from Minnesota, check out the DFW Tex-Mex scene. I keep seeing places in other parts of the country that have restaurants that do "Tex-Mex", but when I read the menus it does not resemble Tex-Mex at all. You need to be in Texas to get the real deal.
re: James Cristinian
As you've replied to my post, I'm not sure if you mean me or the OP that might be from Minnesota.
I'm from Dallas where we've got lots of Tex-Mex. Most Dallas Tex-Mex ranges anywhere from very good to excellent.
However, my personal favorite is Casa Milagro in Richardson.
re: James Cristinian
I am the OP and a Minnesotan. We have good Ethioipian & Vietnamese and our Korean is limited, but some of it is very good. I've had terrific Korean in the NW suburbs of Chicago.
Our Chinese is not wonderful. We've got some reasonable Sichuan and a few places that offer decent food, but nothing like I can get south of San Francisco or in NYC.
When you guys say Tex-Mex, I think immediately of Enchiladas, Fajitas, Chimichangas and Chiles Rellenos. I think I'd rather have Veracruz Mex or Taqueria Mex, but I'm leaving room for the possibility that I don't really understand Tex-Mex.
The menu from Casa Milagro does indeed include most of what I think of as Tex-Mex but it also has some other things that look really interesting like Puerco Cascabel.
What you said you think of being "Tex-Mex" is what I think most Dallasites think of as Tex-Mex as well. Although, I think chimichangas might be more of a California thing.
So, I think we're all pretty much on the same page, there.
We do have a great Mexican restaurant in Dallas that serves the foods of Veracruz. MESA.
Without naming individual favorites,
Dallas is loaded with great, Indian, Thai, Chinese,
(including, Cantonese, Taiwanese and Szechuan) Vietnamese, Middle Eastern, South American, Central American, and Japanese restaurants.
And, we actually have a few damned good Italian
restaurants. Although, just a few.
We are truly, a very diversified city.