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New york foodie, never been to dallas, Please help

  • m

First time in Texas! i will be there for one day only - bkfast, lunch and dinner.

looking for:
Dinner - the best Dallas has to offer - company is picking up the tab

authentic tex mex lunch - down and dirty joint would be great.

good local joint for breakfast


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  1. Mark,

    I would strongly suggest the Mansion on Turtle Creek for dinner. Primarily because it is totally unlike anything you have in New York. In my opinion, Dallas's other fine dining restaurants would mirror fine dining anywhere. I really don't have suggestions for lunch or dinner. Downtown's a long way from Plano.

    1. Can't help you with dinner, that's not my scene. For a good tex mex lunch there is Cuquita's on Henderson or Las Cazuelas on Columbia or maybe Main St.

      For a good breakfast you will not do much better than a Sysco-truck experience anywhere but Dream Cafe, which is a little precious and very eager to make you buy some dishes a la carte to make a really full beakfast. I find this annoying but they have good orange juice.

      For your better Dallas Sysco-truck fare, I like Lucky's on Maple, John's Cafe on Greenville, Mama's Daughters' on Industrial (or maybe Irving) Blvd, and The Mecca on Harry Hines. The food does not vary widely between them, but the atmosphere is respectively: urbanite well-off, similiar but with actual jobs, cops and bail bondsmen, and what the hell?

      Another breakfast possibility is a Taqueria. I love me a chorizo-and-egg taco and a bean-and-egg taco on flour tortillas for breakfast, with maybe a ham quesadilla too if there is someone to split it with. This adds up to a hell of a lot of food btw, for about 3-5 bucks.

      1. Mark.........I second Plano Rose on Mansion on Turtle Creek......Chef Dean Fearing has some tremendous food preparations to offer at MOTC. The restaurant is in a beautiful old mansion on Turtle Creek near downtown Dallas. The hotel is a very fine place to stay as well. The food features great southwest food preparations such as Lobster Taco's and on and on.......great place with a great atmosphere.......good luck.

        1. Although I also recommend the Mansion, and agree that most other fine restaurants in Dallas would not differ from what you can get in NY, I think York Street (on Lewis St. in East Dallas) is as worthy as the MOTC (although the ambience is decidedly less grandiose).

          For Tex-Mex, go to Avila's on Maple.

          I second Dream Cafe for breakfast, but if you want to go downscale, try the Original Market Diner on Harry Hines -- their biscuits and gravy are great.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Dallas Alice

            thanks for the recommendations.

            one question - is Mansion on Turtle creek very romantic? I am traveling with a woman business associate and not looking for romance!

            1. re: mark r

              One of the most romantic restaurants in the U.S. including Daniel, Jean Georges, Babbo et al. In fact it's more romantic than JG but along the lines of Daniel. Babbo is busy busy unlike MOTC.........

              It's located in an old mansion right off Turtle Creek in a great room with a very nice bar and dance floor next door........good.........last time I was there I sat next to Troy Aikman and his young lady friend.

          2. m
            Mike C. Miller

            I would dissent on Th Mansion. Not even one of the top five restaurants in Dallas, if you ask me. I ate there for the first time in quite a few years back in July and was slightly disappointed. Good, but not great. Very formal and stuffy, too, at least to my taste.

            Personally, I'd opt for either Lola (if you're a wine drinkier) or York Street. Food at both is very, very good with a slight nod to York Street, in my mind. But while you certainly can get very good wine at York Street, Lola has an incredible wine list with extrodinarily fair prices. I would put the list at Lola up against any in New York, except perhaps Veritas and Cru. And it will beat the pants off either of those two as far as price is concerned. List, and menus, are on line at www.lola4dinner.com.

            Local, in Deep Ellum, is also worth a mention.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Mike C. Miller

              MCM has posted about a number of high-end restaurants in Dallas, and probably has more experience with them than I... but I disagree with his 2/3 of his recommendations. I've been to York St. twice (granted, once was RW) and to Local 3 times and have been consistently under-impressed with both (despite a strong desire to like both restaurants for various reasons). I'll probably give York St. another try or two, but personally I can't recommend it.

              Lola is fantastic. If you have the time and can get a seat, get reservations for the Tasting Room (search for The Ulterior Epicure's recent review). It's a long but outstanding dinner. Lola has a great wine list too - good to know if your company is footing the bill. The atmosphere is comfortable (somewhat casual), but not necessarily romantic.

              If you want something more formal, you might check out Aurora or Nana. If you want something more Dallas-specific Pyles or Fearings are probably good choices.

            2. I'm a transplanted New Yorker who is back frequently. Definately York Street hands down. Alice Waters goes there when in Dallas. The Mi Cocina chain good Tex Mex different than you're use to.. Stephen Pyles is a studied Southwestern-Mexican flavor to fine cusine if you want to part with some cash go. Lucky's for breakfast on Oak Lawn. Serious like mama made mexican Cuquita on Henderson breakfast all day. Have Chicken Fried Steak.... Not hard to find.

              1. Mark,

                I would go with the rec for Mis Cazuelas if you are in the Deep Ellum/Downtown area

                Down and dirty eh? Taqueria El Paisano (Lombardy and Brockbank) trust me the best simple tacos you will have. No one mentions it because they have never been (even to the area). Two meats and two tortillas no more than $1.47 a taco. Al Pastor with everything a few dabs of the "red salsa", some of the fresh table salsa and chips a horchata and you are set. I would definitely go for lunch!

                Another place that is more popular with the Parkland/UT Southwestern crowd is Escondido. This is literally a hole in the wall place. Go for the Jaquins Jacks special (no. 2)($8.95) at lunch and you will be yearning for a nap and a light meal afterwards. It is located on Butler St between Harry Hines and Maple Avenue.

                Local for Breakfast would be La Duni Latin Cafe. Never a bad mention there!

                Best Dallas has to Offer
                This will be the second or third rec forLola....or Tasting Room at Lola....that is about all you need. Chef is a member of Slow Foods, and it shows. Food is the best I have had in Dallas and I have been to York Street also. Great inexpensive wine selection. Ask for the house made salumi also!

                2 Replies
                1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                  I'm confused. Everyone is suddenly responding to a post from 2005! Let's get something new started. : )

                  1. re: pizzaQTpie

                    Missed that...thanks for pointing that out...Could we have this one removed????