What are the must-eat texas/Dallas foods?
I will be visiting Dallas in January and have never been to Dallas or Texas. Are there any Texas or Dallas foods that I should make sure I try while I'm there? Or any restaurants I should be sure to try that are unique? I'm not interested in the best, like ethnic dishes that are available in many cities, but want to try some foods popular in the region. Also please on the inexpensive side. I have no knowledge of the neighborhoods but will be staying near the airport and will have a car and GPS. OK. So the must visit Dallas restaurants. Thank you. I did look through the other threads, but they were sort of more specific. Direction to a thread similar to mine would be helpful. Thank you so much! Will be visiting Jan 10-13th
The two food types most indigenous to Dallas (and Texas) are BBQ & Mexican. ("Tex-Mex").
BBQ: Others will chime in here but the two best and, my personal favorite BBQ joints are,
1. Pecan Lodge.
In Shed #2 at Dallas Farmers Market. Open 11:00-3:00 Wed.-Sun. GET THERE EARLY!!! No later than 10:30 AM. There will be a line!
2. Slow Bone. Same hours as above but they tend not to sell out as early as Pecan Lodge.
As far as Mexican and Tex-Mex are concerned,
Dallas has so many good ones, I'll leave the recommendations up to the others here.
I'll suggest some of my personal favorites if I don't see them recommended.
In Dallas, if you ask 50 people what their favorite Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants are, you'll get 50 different answers.
These links might help answer some of your questions...
Also, Chicken-fried steak. You might ask the other hounders to recommend a good place since my family tends to just settle for Black-Eyed Pea. BEP is ok and not expensive, but there are more "artisanal" versions of CFS out there (elk, buffalo...). Chicken-fried chicken is a variation. At least at BEP you can sample all the go-alongs, like the squash casserole, turnip greens (ask for pepper sauce), and mashed potatoes with cream gravy, and corn bread. They usually have a cobbler for dessert, too. Peach is indigenous.
Babe's Chisken Dinner House is actually very good for fried chicken and also serves chicken-fried steak, fried catfish, and a few smoked things. There is an outpost in Carrollton, 1006 West Main Street, 75006.
Whiskey Cake 3601 Dallas Parkway, 75093, in Plano has a version, I believe. Many people like the place, which uses locally-sourced, farm-to-table ingredients. It isn't far from the airport if you take 635 (LBJ) to the George Bush Turnpike, east to Dallas Parkway. A few miles but no stops.
I think Dallas has pretty good Cajun food, though it's borrowed from our neighbors to the east. I'm not sure where the best Cajun places are near the airport. Razzoo's is a chain and is kinda fun, big portions, close to the airport (on 635 between Olympus and MacArthur), but there are better places. Check Yelp or Urbanspoon for a list and ratings for restaurants near where you are staying. Addison Isn't too far away, but there are many decent restaurants along MacArthur in Irving.
If someone asks you if you'd like a coke, they don't mean, "do you want a Coca Cola?" They're asking you if you want a soft drink. This sometimes confuses visitors to Dallas. Get a Dr Pepper. Or, order a Margarita.
On the off-chance that the weather is icy while you're here, best to stay close to your hotel. Even if you know how to drive on ice, no-one here does! Stay off any high bridges at all cost!
This (short list) link might be helpful for people unfamiliar with Texas' iconic chicken fried steak.
Of the above, I'd recommend Babe's, Norma's, and Allgood Cafe as being the best on the list.
I'd also consider The Mecca.