100 Favorite Dishes, No. 11: Bun Bo Hue at Don Que

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Catherine Downes
Plenty of iron in this bowl.
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.

Bun bo hue is a brash and angry angry bowl of soup. Filled with a murky, brown-colored broth that smells of funk and shrimp paste, it hides hunks of pork blood pudding, a meaty pig's knuckle with bones and connective tissue and slippery tapioca noodles that require advanced chopsticks skills.

If you're used to eating pho, the polite soup that says please and thank you, bun bo hue is a soup that shows up unannounced and downs your favorite bottle of booze before parking on your couch for a slobbery nap.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 12: Emporium Pies' Pies

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No Star Wars jokes allowed.
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.

It's the quintessential ending to just about anything: Something sweet that might otherwise induce a nap, paired with something bitter with a bit of a jolt to keep you moving. The pairing works so well that the folks at Emporium Pies decided to stuff them both into a pie tin creating Java the Hut, a caffeinated cream pie that comes with a buzz.

The only problem is you can't have a slice because Java the Hut was a summer pie and has since been removed from the menu. Mark your calendars toffee-bottom-with-an-espresso-filling-pie-lovers: you can see it again next June if you're lucky.


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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 13: Hanger Steak and Eggs Taco at Good 2 Go Taco

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Hanger steak and eggs done the taco way.
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.

This is not your every day breakfast taco. Before Tamale House closed in Austin, you could make a reasonable argument that it was worth the three-hour drive just for those loosely scrambled eggs. Factor in a warm tortilla and scratch-made salsas and it was worth the same distance as a walk.

But Tamale House did close, and its shuttering has shifted the breakfast taco galaxy. It may not be the best example of taco simplicity, but it is a damn fine example of fill up your belly, quickly and efficiently. Meet Good 2 Go Taco's Paris in Texas. And you don't even have to fill up your tank to get one.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 14: Chicken-Fried Steak at Babe's

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I could have worn this chicken-fried steak like a helmet.
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 best thing about Babe's, no matter what location you visit, isn't the chicken-fried steak or the fried chicken alone, but how they plate them both. Grab as many of your friends as you can, wait for a table and you'll soon see what I mean.

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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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