100 Favorite Dishes, No. 61: Reuben at Kuby's

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Kuby's serves up a Reuben sandwich that shows some restraint
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.

Everyone loves a Reuben; it's what the sandwich will do to your waistline that's a concern. Cooks heap them with fatty meat, slather the bread on one side with enough Russian dressing that it squirts out the back and then butter the other side to a glossy sheen. This is all in addition to the three or four slices of cheese that melt down somewhere in the center.

Luckily for those of us with dependencies, Kuby's puts together a rendition that bucks the trend for heft and grease. The German deli located in Snyder Plaza makes a Reuben you could almost argue is comparatively healthy.

Could, but shouldn't. Stuff your face instead.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 62: Cabrito a la Parilla at El Ranchito

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El Ranchito will get your goat.
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.

You will know El Ranchito is special before you even get through the door, because there's often a line running out of it along Jefferson Boulevard. These aren't gringos waiting for fajitas while they twiddle their thumbs, but locals from the largely Latino neighborhood, and every time one of them opens the door loud mariachi music pours into the streets.

You can order fajitas if you want to, but the reason to come here are the authentic Mexican dishes the owners prepare with care. Tripas, mollejas (sweet breads) and an authentic beef stew are just a few of the dishes served here that hail from Northern Mexico and blow away your standard sour cream enchilada. Then there's the cabrito a la parilla.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 63: Cinco Leches Cake At Mesero Miguel

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How many milks can one cake handle?
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.

"Do you think I have a shot?" I asked the bartender at Mesero Miguel as she slid the plate across the table. "You'll finish it," she answered quickly, without giving my question much thought. I'd just plowed through two servings of chips and salsa without any help, then upended an entire plate of enchiladas. The cake looked burdensome, so I looked up at her again. "You will!" she assured me.

It only took one spoonful and I believed her pep talk. The slice was big but it was as light as a milk-flavored cake-cloud. I turned my attention to more vexing issues, like how you get cinco leches into a traditional tres leches cake? And just how many leches does any leches cake need, anyway?

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 64: Banana Flower Salad at Mot Hai Ba

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One of the most refreshing lunches to be had.
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.

I feel like we should take a breather here guys. After two cheesesteaks, a chicken fried steak, three orders of chicken wings and loads of other meat dishes, this list is getting weighed down with a lot of animal protein. It's time to take a cholesterol break and lighten things up for a change.

Mot Hai Ba celebrated a first anniversary recently and overhauled the menu significantly. I got excited to try some new dishes when I heard the news, but I was also worried that some of my lunchtime favorites would no longer be an option. If you've had the banana flower salad you might have had a similar reaction. Who knew lettuce could be a revelation?

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 65: Brian Luscher's Post Oak Red Hot

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It just may be the best hot dog you've ever tasted.
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 hot dog will never be the same. Seriously, every machine-pressed, synthetically cased, mass-produced hot dog you've ever eaten is about to be thoroughly destroyed the second you're handed a Luscher's Post Oak Red Hot. You don't even have to take a bite, you just know your hot dog experience is going to be epic the second you lay your eyes on that slender, wrinkled link.

That natural casing toughens up as it cooks on the grill and yields with a satisfying snap to reveal coarsely ground, intensely seasoned beef. The tubesteak might be good enough on its own, but Brian Luscher decides to throw everything in the hand-crafted, hot dog accouterments arsenal at these things, starting with a locally baked bun.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 66: Suadero Tacos at La Banqueta

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As good as ever, they are.
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 when the La Banqueta on Carroll Avenue closed? I was pretty sad, and to cheer me up a few people tried to convince me that the suadero tacos served at the Gaston Avenue location were just as good. They weren't just as good, though. The suadero at the Gaston location was fattier, softer and didn't have that same crunchy texture that makes you wish you'd ordered five tacos instead of four. It tasted limp.

So I went months without suadero tacos, an act that cause me great discomfort and fueled my longing for salty morsels of simultaneously chewy and crunchy beef. By the time that Alberto Neri's replacement location opened up just across the street, I saw tacos on the backs of my eyelids when I lay down at night.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 67: Bulgogi Cheesesteak at Say Kimchi

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This isn't just another cheesesteak
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 hard to figure out even where to begin with this thing, so it might be best to first describe the sandwich Say Kimchi tries to mimic. The cheesesteak: the famous blue collar sandwich popularized on the streets of Philadelphia, which has since clogged arteries across the country since its invention. The blend of meat and cheese, supported by an emulsion of steak juices and grease that's been worked over on the flat top for a few hours, is one of the greatest flavor combinations to ever grace a commercially baked roll.

Whiz with (with onions) has been the standard order, one of just few options available, since the dawn of cheesesteak time, but that's beginning to change in the era of food trucks, where mobile, young cooks are continuously getting more crafty.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 68: Birria Tacos at Los Torres Taqueria

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Lori Bandi
Torres got your goat!
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.

Contrary to popular belief there is an Oak Cliff beyond West Jefferson Boulevard. Dining options are scant this far south but you can find some excellent birria tacos should you stumble upon Los Torres Taqueria.

There is goat and then there's succulent goat spiced with cloves and cinnamon, made with love and authenticity in a local family restaurant. And then there's hand-made tortillas cooked to order. Just the sort of tool you'd love to use to shuttle tender goat into your face.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 69: Chicken and Waffles at Jonathon's

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Sorry, Erdeljac, it's just that good.
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.

Every chef has one. Some chefs have entire menus full of them -- that dish that they're just not in love with making anymore but that their customers have fallen completely in love with. Try and take it off the menu and pitchforks ensue, or worse, they end up with an empty dining room.


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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 71: The Chicken Wings at Teppo

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Put down the blue cheese
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 there are a few more to come, this is the first reader recommendation that really grabbed me, likely because it was a chicken wing (I ate 435,000 of them in college, and twice that after), and also because it's served at my favorite neighborhood sushi restaurant. There isn't a lot that comes off the charcoal grill at Teppo that isn't delicious.

You'll see a lot of chicken meatballs shuttled around the dinning room, and they're certainly worth eating, but these chicken wings accomplish something I've not often seen from poultry appendages. They're actually kind of amazing.

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