100 Favorite Dishes, No. 15: Veal Bolognese with Pappardelle at Urbano

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Catherine Downes
Comfort food of the highest order.
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.

Comfort food means different things to different people. Most of the time it's hearty dishes that warm you from the inside out -- soups, stews and fried things all fit comfortably into the classification of comfort food. Another requirement, though, is that the dish resonates with something from the past -- in addition to being filling, it also has to evoke certain memories that are comforting on a spiritual level. This is how food soothes us.

But some dishes are so damn comforting it doesn't matter what you grew up on. And while I'm sure Italian people who grew up with a nona rolling out pasta in a kitchen perfumed with simmering tomatoes will especially appreciate the bolognese at Urbano Cafe, this is comfort food that easily speaks to everyone.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 16: The Chicken Scratch at Chicken Scratch

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This is biscuit is a complete breakfast.
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.

Truth be told a good biscuit is best with just a bit of butter and, if you're craving sweetness, a drizzle of honey. Served this way and pulled fresh from the oven and a good biscuit can be the best thing that happens to you all day.

Or you could throw your whole kitchen at a biscuit, which is exactly what Tim Byres does with the Chicken Scratch he serves at Chicken Scratch. It's a snapshot of most of the menu, all served up in a single pie tin.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 17: Campechano at El Come Taco

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When two meats collide, we all have campechano in our eyes.
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.

Briskizo? Brisketzo? Chorisket? Trying to come up with a word that effectively conveys the loving marriage of brisket and chorizo is a hard thing to do. But when creations taste this delicious, you want to get it right.

Campechano: That's what they're called here. When you walk up to the counter at El Come Taco, proudly declare you'd like seven or eight Campechano tacos. Limes come with every taco regardless of your order, but don't forget to request cilantro and onions.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 18: Steak and Eggs at Meddlesome Moth

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It's time to revisit this breakfast classic.
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.

Steak and eggs are a throwback plate. The kind you'd order before smoking half a pack of cigarettes at your desk at the office before lunch. At lunch, you'd nibble on olives and slug bask two or three gin martinis thinking you were living a life of balance. Nobody remembers what happens after that.

Then heart attacks happened, and now you have a bran muffin. And those vintage breakfasts are looking pretty stale. Two eggs alongside a beat up strip steak sliced a half-an-inch thick and cooked till it's leather. You're fondly calling A1 right now, aren't you? Stop.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 19: The Ham Sandwich at Vagabond

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Melted cheese in the middle, and liquid cheese everywhere else.
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.

The recipe for a classic Mornay sauce calls for a measure of butter and flour, stirred together over low heat until lightly browned. Milk is then whisked into the mixture along with other seasonings, and for the finish, an absurd amount of cheese is stirred in until it's melted completely. This is how most macaroni and cheese recipes that are worth their weight commence. It's also a major component in Vagabond's ham and cheese sandwich.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 20: The Smoked Salmon at Zen Sushi

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Scott Reitz
This isn't the smoked salmon sushi you've been used to.
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.

The smoked salmon you see pictured above demonstrates exactly why you should sit at the bar when you dine at a sushi restaurant: the position lets you pick at the chef for tailored recommendations. The first hurdle you might have to overcome is convincing the chef you're not a novice who prefers California rolls and spicy, mayonnaise-soaked tuna. You can try by ordering some mackerel, uni and squid for starters, and then ask for whatever looks best. From then on out, you'll be set.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 21: The Cuban at ¡C. Señor!

Bottom right: that's your sandwich.
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.

Have you checked out ¡C. Señor! yet? The tiny sandwich shop opened in the tiny stand-alone building that used to hold El Padrino on Davis Street. El Padrino moved a few blocks south to Jefferson Avenue near the Texas Theater, in case you're wondering, and now the red and white walk-up that's not much bigger than a food truck is filled with the makings for some excellent sandwiches.

I tried the ropa vieja alongside the Cuban when ¡C. Señor! first opened up, and more recently Nick dropped by and then gushed about their burger, except for his bun being stale. In short: this is a good place to grab some meat and melted cheese betwixt two pieces of bread. But today we'll discuss the Cuban.

See Also: ¡C. Señor! Has a Weird and Delicious Burger, Like Oak Cliff Needed Another One of Those

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 22: Fish Tacos at TJ's

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Redfish tacos at TJ's.
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.

While everyone else is focusing on the brand new TJ's in Preston Royal, pay the Highland Park location on Oak Lawn Avenue a visit for the fish tacos pictured above, unhampered by crowds. You may be tempted by the tilapia tacos on the menu board because of their low, low price, but skip them. Tilapia is cheap for a reason, and boasts the flavor of Wonder bread.

Check out the tacos served on special instead. When I visited a while back, redfish was on the menu board, but I've encountered tuna, too. Whatever fish is available, go with it. You're about to enjoy what are probably the best fish tacos in Dallas.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 23: Causa Limena at San Salvaje

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Catherine Downes
There's all sorts of secrets lurking inside that golden potato terrine.
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.

Stephan Pyles' San Salvaje might be the most interesting restaurant in Dallas right now. The menu tackles Mexico and, moving south, every Latin American country down to Argentina. The expansive map allows Pyles to conjure all sorts of dishes you've never even heard of, embracing seemingly endless flavors.

Like that causa limena, pictured above. You didn't even know what this Peruvian potato terrine was before you started reading this post, and if you did, you've likely never seen one quite like this.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 24: The Reuben at Cock and Bull

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House-cured corned beef for the Reuben win.
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.

Remember the Reuben sandwich way back at No. 61? I touted the fact that I finally found a version of this deli classic that wasn't a kick in the gut. If you're the type that wants your corned beef on rye to be as guilt free as possible (anyone?), head back to my post about Kuby's. If you believe in decadence, statin drugs and faithfully going to the gym tomorrow, read on.

But do so at your own risk.

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