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Jun 30, 2013 12:11 PM

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?

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  1. 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.

    1 Reply
    1. re: twinwillow

      Please share your favorites by name! Love to add them to my list of spots to try!

    2. I'd say chicken fried steak qualifies.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Jon G

        Oh, ya! And biscuits & gravy, too!

        1. re: twinwillow

          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.

          1. 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.

            1. re: twinwillow

              Oh yes, I know you're from Dallas, a legend in fact.

              1. re: James Cristinian

                Thank you. But I would hardly consider myself a "legend".

                There are however, certain posters here who are indeed deserving of being labeled a legend.

            2. 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.

              1. re: JimGrinsfelder

                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.

        2. 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.

          3 Replies
          1. re: demigodh

            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!

            1. re: twinwillow

              Twin, last Monday I had a pastrami and chopped liver at Reins Deli in Vernon, CT, said to be the best between NYC and Boston, but it was not as good as the Deli News on Preston Rd.

              1. re: Veggo

                Thanks, Veggo. That's what I've been trying to tell everyone.

          2. Things we do well:
            Regional Mexican
            Sichuan Chinese
            Taiwanese - maybe
            Indian (Southern and Vegetarian)
            Fried Foods
            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

            Regional Chinese

            Asian Fusion
            Southern (might get some backlash)

            8 Replies
              1. re: twinwillow

                As with comparisons it is not always fair to compare one city over really depends on your personal preferences. You might prefer the Pakistani places we have here in Dallas/Fort Worth over the ones in Chicago.

                1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                  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.

              2. re: LewisvilleHounder

                @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.

                1. re: demigodh

                  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)

                2. re: LewisvilleHounder

                  Everybody keeps saying we have good Chinese in Dallas. EXCLUDING the suburbs, where within the Dallas city limits does this good Chinese food exist?

                  And please don't say Royal China.

                  If someone asks me about good Tex Mex restos in Dallas, I don't send them to Arlington.

                  1. re: Scagnetti

                    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.

                    1. re: Scagnetti

                      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.