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Best Mex-Mex restaurants in Dallas area?

my first choice would be Los Torres - the owners are from Sinaloa. Highlights for me (so far) are the tacos with barbacoa roja (a mixture of beef and pork with a red sauce) or tripa. The tacos ahogados are filled with goat and melted cheese, and then drowned in a goat broth (birria). Be sure to ask for hand made corn tortillas on your tacos.

El Ranchito, which twinwillow mentioned, focuses on NorteƱo cuisine. The cabrito is pretty good, and some people like the mollejas (I haven't tried them).

There are two places that come to mind that focus on Veracruz-style food. Both are a little more "fancy", but not excessively so. One place is Mesa, which twinwillow also mentioned. The other is called Veracruz Cafe which serves "Mesoamerican, Mayan, Huasteco & Aztec Cuisine". I haven't been to Veracruz very often, but they have some nice looking stuff.

If you're down for a taqueria, in addition to Los Torres, I like La Nueva Fresh & Hot which is really a tortilla company, but they served delicious tacos de guisado, both green and red (among others). You could also check out http://thetacotrail.com/

Mar 23, 2015
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

Brief visit to Dallas from UK

You could also consider trying a chicken fried steak, which is a Texas (or southern?) specialty. The last time I tried them (a while ago), Allgood Cafe and Ozona had good versions.

Feb 25, 2015
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

Brief visit to Dallas from UK

Knife has been running a dry aged foie gras that sounds amazing. They also have really flavorful steaks in a variety of cuts, both inexpensive and ridiculously pricey. Their burger is fantastic too.

twinwillow has the local bbq right. In case you're not familiar with the Central Texas style of bbq, it's worth pointing out that it's mainly about meat, smoke and salt. BBQ sauce is a secondary element (if not discouraged). The main focus is brisket, and you should ask for fatty brisket.

I disagree with his burger recs, though. Chop House is not very good in my experience. Hopdoddy is good... but not really worth an out of town visit. I haven't tried Adairs. My suggestions, aside from Knife, would be CBD Provisions, Boulevardier, Neighborhood Services and if you want the gritty Deep Ellum vibe, I'd recommend Angry Dog as an alternative to Adairs. Of course, you'll find lots of opinions about burgers.

Small Brewpub has a couple of cool meat items: a sausage-stuffed pig trotter, boudin balls and an excellent salumi board.

If you're coming after March 2, I strongly recommend Luscher's Chicago Style Hot Dog Joint (or whatever it will be called). His hot dogs are incredible... seriously. I'm not a hot dog fan, but these are outstanding - the product of a Chicago native transplanted to Texas, they're smokey and unctuous like BBQ, and unlike any hot dog I've had in Chicago or anywhere else.

You could also check out some Mexican. A couple of things come to mind. If you go to Los Torres taqueria get the barbacoa roja tacos (a mixture of beef and pork) and a taco ahogado (cheese and goat meat, smothered in a goat broth). Their tripas taco is really good too. You could also go to El Ranchito for the cabrito, which is basically a pile of pulled goat meat and some tortillas. I also really like carnitas... but I'm having a tough time thinking of a place that makes carnitas worth seeking out.

CBD Provisions also has a whole roasted pig head, which is pretty good. Lots of meat on it, and crispy skin, served with tortillas and salsa.

Feb 24, 2015
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

Great food w/ great cocktails

your post motivated me to go back to Small last night. Here are some pictures of the food.

Salumi plate with crespone, "goatwurst" (texture somewhere between chicken liver pate and rillettes... but goat!), an awesome head cheese that was set pretty loose so it just melts in your mouth, black pepper salami, chicken rillettes topped with a cashew gelee (kind of a mousse-like texture) and n'duja. The pickled carrots and celery were great too!

Pig trotter with salsa verde, a white bean chow chow (basically sauerkraut and benas) and fermented strawberry. The skin was crunchy/chewy, and the fennel sausage stuffing delicious. Great texture and flavor contrasts on this dish.

Cappelletti: she milled some of the grains that go into their stout and used that for part of the flour in the pasta. The sauce is milky, based on a farmer's cheese called Nena from Kenny's Farmhouse, topped with crisped culatello, fermented broccoli greens and dollops of egg yolk.

Feb 20, 2015
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth
1

Great food w/ great cocktails

Remedy: despite that I really am not a fan of "upscale comfort food", I have found over the course of 3 visits that I really like Remedy! Pretty much everything I've eaten there has exceeded my expectations for deliciousness. It's still comfort food... so you won't find anything super "interesting" here, but it's all really good. I love the house-made sodas. I've also had three cocktails here, and haven't liked any of them - they were all too sweet for my tastes. Of course, I've read plenty of good press about the cocktails, so maybe it's just me.

Proof + Pantry: very good cocktails here. Having said that, I haven't been blown away by anything on their menu of signature drinks (or whatever they call them). But I find that if you chat with the bartender (or with the owner) they can often put together something delicious. I have also found that the deliciousness varies with the bartender. The food is quite good. It's also quite expensive.

Small: I like this place a lot so far. I think the chef (Misti Norris, formerly from FT33) is making really cool food, although I've only tried a few things. The fried mushrooms (yes) are awesome and all of the house-made charcuterie I've tried has been excellent as well. I really need to try the pig trotter... it looks and sounds fantastic. You really can't beat the cocktails here - Benj also used to be at FT33 and is one of my favorite bartenders in Dallas. He keeps a pretty small, curated stock of liquors rather than the encyclopedia of spirits that most other places carry. But his selection has always exceeded my capacity... so no complaints. I've only tried a couple of beers so far, and they're reasonably good but nothing notable as of yet. Note that the kitchen is closed two nights of the week... I think Tuesday/Wednesday, but I'm not sure.

I went to The Woolworth for drinks once, and the bartender didn't know what a Martinez was. The drink that I did have was not all that great. The menu looked boring.

Feb 19, 2015
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

Valentines Day 911

I think it might be difficult to get reservations this close to Vday. I'd also point out that the most interesting places won't be making their most interesting food for special days like this. That said, I'd try FT33, which has the most interesting food in a fine-dining(ish) atmosphere in Dallas. You could also try Lucia, but your chances of getting in there are pretty slim.

I would also consider looking into The Standard Pour. It's mostly been a bar, but the new chef, Cody Sharp, has been posting some really really nice looking entrees on facebook. And if you're not hung up on the atmosphere, you could also consider Small Brewpub on Jefferson. It's a nice place, but really designed like a brewpub - eg, a big open room with bench seating. But the chef, Misti Norris, was sous chef at FT33 and is doing some really nice stuff (crispy pig trotter, really great in-house charcuterie, etc) and once mentioned to me that she might do a Vday menu. A list of other possible suggestions - maybe less likely to blow your mind, but still places that I like:
Casa Rubia
CBD Provisions
Stock & Barrel
Proof & Pantry
Boulevardier
and I suppose you could check out The Mansion, but it will set you back some $$$

Feb 06, 2015
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

Japanese Whiskey

I noticed both the Yamazaki 12 and 18 on the shelf at Proof & Pantry last night.

Feb 05, 2015
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

Steak Frites

Nick Badovinus and Jeff Bekavac have always been very forthcoming with information like that. I'm pretty sure they'd share if you asked either of them (although I don't know if they'd want it posted online). It's also possible that your server would know.

Feb 02, 2015
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

Italian Sausage in DFW?

I haven't tried it yet, but I'd check out Luscher's Italian Sausage (available at the Green Grocer). His hot dogs are phenomenal... so I'd expect good things from the sausage as well.

Jan 29, 2015
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

Japanese Whiskey

I know Tei An has a few.

Jan 29, 2015
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

top 5 coffee shops

The three places that roast their own beans are Houndstooth, Ascension and Cultivar. I think Houndstooth is currently the best - they carry both Tweed (I think the roaster is associated with the shop) and outside brands like Counter Culture and Supersonic. Ascension has pretty good cold brew (I haven't seen any at the other places) They carry other brands as well as their own beans. Cultivar is mostly good for espresso, in my opinion.

Other decent places (although a notch below the three above) are Mudsmith, Oddfellows and Method.

Jan 24, 2015
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

Bbq in/around Dallas in the evening

Hard 8 in Coppell could be an option. I haven't been, but I've heard that it's reasonably good. They're open late, and it's close to DFW - so either day would work for you.

Jan 12, 2015
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

Missing Tasting Menu Restaurant?

Jan 06, 2015
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

Missing Tasting Menu Restaurant?

Nobu. It's also worth noting that Spoon is now closed.

Nonna occasionally has a "tasting of pastas" listed as an entree on their menu. I'd check in advance, but they'd probably be willing to do that any time.

I know you are looking for a Saturday night dinner, but I figured I'd mention that FT33 does a tasting menu on Tuesday-Thursday. Actually, I've read that they will serve a tasting menu comprising smaller portions of menu items on Friday and Saturday. Also (I'm not sure what qualifies as a "tasting menu" but..) Carbone's has a Sunday night fixed course dinner every Sunday, and Nick and Sam's has a "Sunday Supper" on the last Sunday of each month.

Jan 05, 2015
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

Essential Dallas-Fort Worth Restaurant for First-Time Visit By New York Foodies

I've had the tasting menu twice at FT33, and both times it was fantastic, with really interesting and unexpected combinations of flavors and textures. I can imagine that it's not for everyone... for instance, most recently it was probably 80% vegetable-focused. If you're looking for a meaty meal, it might not be satisfying. And it changes constantly, so I might have had a very different dinner than you did.

the CBD pig's head is also a good idea.

Dec 16, 2014
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

Essential Dallas-Fort Worth Restaurant for First-Time Visit By New York Foodies

demigodh's suggestions are generally good. My additional input:

For my personal taste, I'd recommend against any of the "fancy taco" places. You will have a much better taste experience at an authentic taqueria or the like. I'd recommend La Nueva Fresh and Hot, which is a tortilleria (get either of the guisados) or Los Torres (barbacoa roja, tripa, tacos ahogados). Note that La Nueva doesn't really have much in the way of seating, so you might end up standing on the corner or eating in your car.

Also, I'd strongly recommend against the whole "fancy southern" genre. I will say that of the ones listed, I've only eaten at Pyles and Smoke... but I've heard plenty of feedback on Fearings (and not much about Tim Love's places). In the end, they're moderately expensive and frankly not all that good. Smoke might be the exception - but personally I'd go to FT33 over any of those. Will you be disappointed with FT33, coming from NY? I can't really say - I haven't eaten in NY for over a decade. But I'd take my chances there over (for instance) Pyles. In particular, if you're here on Tues, Weds or Thurs, FT33 has a fantastic tasting menu.

out of curiosity, what places in NY seem like they might be similar to, (and potentially better than) FT33? It would be interesting to see what they have going on.

I'd also cut Komali from the list, which has never failed to moderately disappoint me. I like Mesa and Meso Maya, and also (for texmex) Mr. Mesero.

Dec 16, 2014
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

Solo Dining in Downtown

Fearing's definitely has a bar, and the last time I was there SP had some counter seating. I'd probably recommend taking a cab - it's not necessary, but it won't be the most scenic walk.

I would probably skip both of those places, though. I'll admit that I've never been to Fearing's, but the reports I get from friends that I trust say that it's over priced and not really all that interesting. I feel similarly about Stephan Pyles. Depending on what you eat/drink, it might be tough to keep the bill below $50.

My recommendations for stuff that you don't get in Philadelphia would be either MesoMaya (a Mexican restaurant that I quite like) or Stampede 66 which is another Pyles place. I'm not crazy about Stampede 66, but but it's pretty good and has a kind of Texas kitsch aesthetic. Pyles also has pan-Latin American restaurant called San Salvaje which has some interesting dishes - basically elevated/refined versions of typical food from a variety of South American countries.

I also like CBD Provisions, but I'm not sure that it's anything all that drastically different than what you might find in PA... except perhaps their chili, which is fantastic - it's only on the lunch menu, but they might be able to hook you up. The bar downstairs in the same building, Midnight Rambler, has some pretty cool cocktails as well.

Nov 12, 2014
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

Dallas Restaurant Suggestion for Vegetarian

twinwillow's recommendations are pretty casual venues. If you're looking for something more upscale, then I'd suggest FT33. Matt is really good with vegetables - I recently ate the chef's tasting, and the first 5 of 10 courses were completely vegetarian. The next two had some meat components, but were definitely vegetable-focused. The final savory course was meat, and while delicious, it was far from my favorite part of the menu. His vegetarian preparations were interesting and satisfying, and really utilized the range of flavors of the vegetables. I definitely noticed the absence of meat, but only because I was impressed at how little it mattered. Of course, the tasting menu might be more than they're after... but on the current menu, 2 of the 6 appetizers and 2 of the 6 entrees are vegetarian (or basically vegetarian - I'm sure they'd remove the bacon from the gnocchi dish).

Nov 09, 2014
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

Cheap Eats in and around Downtown Dallas

there's not a lot in the way of cheap (and good) food that's near the Omni. Your best bet is to hit Deep Ellum, which is right on the edge of your limit... about 1.5-2 miles away. There you have Cane Rosso for Neapolitan pizza, good burgers at Angry Dog and Twisted Root, bbq at Pecan Lodge, Monkey King Noodles, and good CFS at Allgood Cafe. Aside from Monkey King, I can't think of any ethnic foods worth trying.

There's also a texmex restaurant called El Fenix... not the best ever, but it's ok for a local chain. Right next to El Fenix is Meso Maya, which is good - but I wouldn't call it cheap.

I'll also mention CBD Provisions and Tei An, which are not cheap restaurants, but I think you could eat well at a pretty reasonable price if you order carefully. For instance, the soba noodles at Tei An only cost something like $8, and I think a bowl of chili at CBD is similarly priced.

cattlemens vs del frisco + itinerary review

some random thoughts/comments:

1) If you are interested in chocolate I'd recommend Kate Weiser in Trinity Groves. I prefer her stuff to Dude, Sweet... although they're very different. Dude, Sweet seems to have more creative and interesting combinations, but I always find that they fail to deliver in flavor. Kate Weiser has some interesting combinations as well, but they're less adventurous - but in my opinion more delicious.

2) Carbone's has way better cannoli than Jimmy's.

3) I've only been to Pepe and Mito's once, but I was thoroughly unimpressed. If you're after texmex, I'd head to Mr. Mesero, which I think is fantastic - although the atmosphere is a little more upscale. If you're looking for a more laid back environment, I'd probably go to Mia's... and I know that some on this board like Gonzalez on Jefferson in Oak Cliff.

4) Nonna Tata is a nice place, and the food is good, but in my opinion you're not really missing out on anything special. It's a quite good version of "red sauce Italian", although frankly I think that Carbone's is better (same chef/owner as the restaurant Nonna here in Dallas). Personally I'd take Lucia or Nonna (Dallas) over either Carbone's or Nonna Tata (FW) - but that's just a style preference.

Oct 24, 2014
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

4 Days in Fort Worth

I like Shinjuku Station and Woodshed Smokehouse. I'd also be inclined to try AF+B based on reviews (although I wasn't enormously enthused about the chef's food at Bolsa, it would probably still be worth a try). Nonna Tata is also pretty good ("red sauce Italian") but it's byob. I've also heard very positive reviews of Revolver Taco Lounge.

Oct 08, 2014
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

One Night in Dallas (Downtown).... I need EPIC

coming from OC is specifically why I didn't recommend Tei-An. While I like the restaurant a lot, I've heard enough complaints about unmet expectations to realize that the omakase experience is not reliably stunning. If you don't get lucky (or go with a regular) then you're likely to get served food that seems pretty "standard" (although of high quality). In the traditional spirit of omakase, it's more geared towards regulars where the chef has a sense of what you'd like and is willing to push those boundaries.

Oak is a good suggestion. I can't vouch for the food - I haven't been since the chef change, and I wasn't really blown away by Zenner's cooking at Belly & Trumpet - but it did recently get good comments from Leslie Brenner (for what that's worth). And I find that dining room a bit more stuffy/formal than the other places I mentioned.

Oct 03, 2014
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

One Night in Dallas (Downtown).... I need EPIC

I haven't eaten there either, but yes - I've heard that they do. None of the food-based reviews have sounded impressive, though.

Oct 03, 2014
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

One Night in Dallas (Downtown).... I need EPIC

what kinds of things knock your socks off? Some of the best restaurants in Dallas are a bit less on the formal/glitzy side. For instance, Lucia has a pretty casual, neighborhood feel to it but produces some of the best Italian-style food I've eaten. FT33 is a "modern farm to table" restaurant, and the atmosphere is concordant with that... personable service and some very nice elements of style, but no white table cloths, they play hip hop music, etc. Spoon or Knife wouldn't be bad choices either.

Those are the places I'd recommend, but... if you're in the mood for something more formal, then I'd echo Dallas Alice's suggestion of the Mansion - specifically the chef's tasting menu (I haven't had it, but I've heard good things). Interestingly, Dallas doesn't have much in the way of really formal dining venues. I can't think of any place I've eaten here that requires a jacket and tie. And I've heard that even the Mansion has begun to relax the atmosphere in their dining room.

Celebration Dinner on a Sat. night in Dallas

that sucks that you didn't have a good experience. I think that many of the issues you describe can be attributed to differences in taste - for instance, I've had the soba ice cream with black honey and kinako (the powder on top) and I think it's a phenomenal dessert. And, for me, the texture and flavor of the soba noodles are quite good and quite authentic. That said, I can see why it might be too bland/subtle for some people... and there's no saving tuna with a mushy texture. I've always found the quality of Tei-An's raw fish to be stellar, but sorry it wasn't for you.

Sep 28, 2014
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

Celebration Dinner on a Sat. night in Dallas

FT33 will do a "tasting menu" assembled from smaller portions of menu items, even on a Saturday.
http://eatsblog.dallasnews.com/2014/0...

Tei An's omakase is another delicious option, and I've heard that the tasting menu at The Mansion is fantastic. Bijoux's is ok, although I haven't been for a year or so. Local also has a tasting menu but I have no data on its quality. Casa Rubia does not, but the food is good and tapas give a similar effect.

Sep 26, 2014
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

Dinner near the Kay Bailey Hutchinson convention center

CBD provisions and Meso Maya (Mexican, if that's sufficiently "basic") would be my top choices in that area. Savor or Lark on the Park are also OK. You're also a ~5' ride away from Nonna, which is one of the best Italian restaurants in Dallas, and about the same time to FT33, which is modern farm-to-table.

Tlacoyos

I think I saw a pambazo on the menu at El Come

Sep 08, 2014
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

This board is awfully quiet

I agree that it is unfortunately quiet here. There was a time when this board saw much more interesting discussions. I know a few of the people largely responsible for those discussions that have either left the city or no longer participate here because of the general decline in depth and quality of what gets posted.

But, that said, I don't think there's a better option with regard to Dallas restaurants. I keep up with the local food media (DMag, CultureMap, DMN, Escape Hatch, Crave, etc.), but that's mostly just information about what's opening, where and when - not so much interesting discussion. I haven't found any other Dallas-focused boards or blogs that seem worthwhile.

Sep 01, 2014
gavlist in Dallas - Fort Worth

Foodie Dinner in Dallas

I have never been very even vaguely excited by Bolsa's food (although cocktails are great). Boulevardier has both good food and cocktails. But, having said that, I think it would be a mistake to choose either of those over FT33 or Lucia.

depending on how busy they are, FT33 will put together a tasting menu on the weekends - 5 courses of smaller portions of items from the regular menu. Yes, the weekday chef's tasting is incredible - but if you've never eaten there before, I don't think you'll be at all disappointed by the regular menu items.
http://eatsblog.dallasnews.com/2014/0...

With regard to Lucia, my approach is to generally stick with appetizers and small portions of the primi (pastas, risottos, etc). The secondi can be very good, but I find that they occasionally become a bit monotonous. I'm overstating this a bit - they are delicious - but still find the smaller portions more engaging.