100 Favorite Dishes, No. 11: Scallop Ceviche At Stephan Pyles

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To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2012 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.

Ceviche may be one of Dallas' most abused dishes. Until a recent meal at Stephan Pyles, Mesa served the only version I've been impressed with here. Recent versions at Komali, and Urban Rio up in Plano have produced flat boring dishes that taste more like supporting elements (often bland tomato purees, huge hunks of avocado and other vegetables) than the seafood this dish is supposed to celebrate.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 12: Berkshire Pork Belly with Japanese Plum At Sharaku

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Sharaku says Kurobuta; I say bacon
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2012 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.

Let's not get sucked into semantics of Kurobuta versus Berkshire when discussing this swine. It's the only way to avoid getting sucked into burdensome discussions of genetics, prefecture, trademarking and import law. We all know Kobe isn't real, so let's just assume that Kurobuta, when applied to pork, falls into the same family of marketing spiels designed to get you to spend a little (or a lot) more on fancy cuts of meat.

Let's keep things simple instead, and just say the "pork" served at Sharaku is very good.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 13: La Victoria's Breakfast Burrito (Smothered In Salsa)

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To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2012 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 can get breakfast burritos all over Dallas but the only way you'll get to have breakfast with Vicky is if you sit at the bar at La Victoria. The small counter with a handful of bar stools may be one of the best places in Dallas to drink a warm cup of coffee out of a thick rimmed mug, and fork and knife a burrito stuffed with eggs, potatoes, cheese and roasted chilies.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 14: Potato Pancakes At Kuby's

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To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2012 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.

Latkes? The first random thought that bloomed from my subconscious was that these potato pancakes taste just as good as the best latkes I have ever encountered. The comparison was easy to make. Kuby's doesn't lean heavily on mashed potatoes for their pancakes, but instead use coarsely grated raw potatoes. The tubers are lightly accented with herbs, molded into perfectly round cakes and fried to order.

Often, potatoes fried in oil become greasy and heavy, but these were as light as potato cakes can possibly be.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 15: Zanata's Grilled Cheese And Tomato Soup

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To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2012 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.

Should you find yourself in need of a trip to downtown Plano on a three-day weekend you might want to bring something to eat. Like the antique shops and artists studios full of old ladies learning to paint bad Van Goghs, many of the restaurants are closed here on holidays. Plano's shops and some of the restaurants grasp tightly to tradition and many are closed on Sunday, too.

Not Zanata, though. On a sleepy Monday afternoon while everyone else was recovering from whatever backyard bash punished them the day before, this small pizza place with a suave dining room was open for business, catering to all of four customers.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 16: La Duni's BLTA Pop Over

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To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2012 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 know. Never thought I'd see back-to-back popovers on CoA's hundred favorites either, but I'm smitten with La Duni's BLTA popover. The sandwich is a stellar riff of the classic we all know well, and nails every ingredient almost perfectly. When tomato season kicks into full gear in the coming weeks, this thing should be stellar.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 17: Pesto Chicken Salad on a Popover at Dream Cafe

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To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2012 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.

Chicken salad slides in right behind tuna salad for the most boring sandwich stuffer known to man, which is a shame since it can actually be interesting if some thought is put into it. Most cafes and delis poach a bag of frozen chicken breast, chop it up with a little onion and celery, dress it with mayo and call it a day. It's just lazy.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 18: Paan At Taj Chaat House

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To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2012 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.

A recent trip to an Indian grocery in Carrollton had me longing for paan. We'd just eaten a boatload of cheap curry and were looking for something light to finish the meal. We eventually found the digestive, after trying two or three sweet shops, at Al Markaz just down the road. The paan we got there was terribly boring, but it reminded me of Taj Chaat House's version, which is delicious and much more intense.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 19: The "Sliced Leg Of Lamb" At Ziziki's

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To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2012 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.

See that knife sitting on your table? Ditch it. Toss the fork aside, too, lest you be branded as fancy. Ziziki's tries to bill this dish as sliced leg of lamb, and while technically it is, the nomenclature neglects a more simple and honest description of what lands on your table slathered in yogurt and topped with onions: This is a gyro.

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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 20: The Black Bean Dip At Gloria's

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Jesse Hughey
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2012 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've never had much control with chips and salsa at Tex-Mex and Salvadorian restaurants. It takes two, or maybe three chips before I've dripped a little salsa on my table or a menu. When the first basket of chips disappears I do my best to wave it off, but I'm often not the only person at the table, and many times the servers are just too persistent anyway.

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