The Cheap Bastard's Ultimate Guide to Eating like a Total Cheap Bastard in Dallas
For this week's cover story, Alice "The Cheap Bastard" Laussade provides an extensive and profane guide to, as she puts it, her "favorite restaurants in Dallas where cheap meets delicious (without meeting diarrhea)." It follows. Also, now you can Cheap Bastardize freakin' anything.
Dan Zettwoch Click to see the full Cheap Bastard cover
White Rock Coffee
4216 Abrams Road
The Starbucks drive-through on Northwest Highway has a singing barista. Guess that's cool if you like to start your morning by busting barista noses. If someone singing at you before you've had your coffee sounds like the worst marketing idea ever, check out White Rock Coffee. Drive up and get you some caffeine. Order a White Rocker (latte with caramel and white chocolate), then brag for the rest of your life that you got face-banged by Bret Michaels.
Big Mama's Chicken N Waffles
9810 Forest Lane
At Big Mama's Chicken N Waffles, you can drive through the line or walk up to the window. Either way, you're paying cash only. So bring your bills and order the chicken and waffles. Do not stray from this order. Repeat: Do not be a doofus.
When you look at the food pile they serve up, you'll think, "It's just chicken and waffles. I mean, seriously, how good can it [bite] AWMAHAGAD THAT'S WHAT MY MOUTH LIKES!" Eat it.
T C Shaved Ice
Dan Zettwoch It's time to find the stuff in this thing! Click to embiggen and play
10999 Garland Road
TC Shaved Ice offers a unique variety of flavor options, including, but not limited to, "tigers blood" (pretty sure it was strawberry plus coconut), "dreamsycle" and "raspbery." A large shaved ice costs less than three bucks (cash only), but brings you 100 percent relief from even the flop-sweatiest of Texas summers. Plus, you'll probably see a hooker.
11625 Webb Chapel Road
Fried fish? Yuh huh. Drive-through or dine-in, the crispy, so-hot-out-of-the-fryer-it'll-melt-your-face-off-Iron-Maiden-or-Indiana-Jones-or-Total-Recall-style fried catfish fillet and fried shrimp basket comes with fries, tastes better than Brad Pitt looks in Legends of the Fall and will cost you about seven bucks.
Note: Seafood Shack won't let you order a margarita from their drive-through. I asked. Research.
6537 E. Northwest Highway
Amuhrika is the best place ever. And that is, in part, because of Keller's. Here, you can drive up, put the car in park and order a burger, beer and even cigarettes while your engine is still running for absolutely no reason. While you suck down a cheeseburger, drink in the scenery: 20 chicks in the bed of a pickup, cyclists in spandex, a motorcycle gang or three and the best artist's rendering of a hamburger with "special dressing" ever.
Cool & Hot Tacos
930 E. 8th St.
There are nine things you need to know about Cool & Hot. Here they are, in no particular order:
1. Great tacos. Get picadillo.
2. And snow cones. Snow cones!!
4. Credit cards: Yes.
5. Scenic tire-shop views.
6. Breakfast tacos all day, which is stunning because:
7. They're open 24 hours Thursday through Sunday
8. Butt cracks!!!
9. Drive-through or walk-up. If you walk up, sit on their patio and play "Cat Calls: Love 'Em Because They Make Me Feel Like a Special and Respected Lady."
6857 Arapaho Road
When it's hot dog time -- and really, when isn't it hot-dog time? -- check this place out. It's cash only and there's no seating inside, but they have the neon relish and Vienna beef your stomach seeks. A Texas Dog will cost you next to nothing and comes loaded with mustard, tomatoes, jalapeños and something called "salarysalt."
Dog Stop also serves shaved ice. So, theoretically, you could ask them to put dreamsicle syrup on your hot dog. Oooh -- or you could order a shaved ice with hot dog syrup. "More mustard, please!" Oh, that'd be gross? Right. Because a hot dog isn't assholes and elbows to start with.
Egg Roll Hut
4509 Columbia Ave.
You've driven past Egg Roll Hut a million times, and you probably had no idea you were missing out on the best chocolate malt in Dallas. The Internet will tell you to try the chicken fried rice at the Egg Roll Hut, and to the Internet, I say, "INTERNET WRONG!" Pass on the egg roll, the burger, the chicken-fried steak basket ("with homemade gravy") and get the chocolate malt. Egg Roll Hut takes credit cards, offers delivery and is open late. If you drive through, bring a buddy. On a scale of safe-looking to scary-looking, Egg Roll Hut is Ron Perlman.
Buffet, Real or Imagined
2014 Irving Blvd.
Chicken-fried steak or chicken-fried chicken. Whatever you order at Mama's Daughters', make sure it's something-fried-something and you're guaranteed to leave happy. In this most perfect diner ever (packed with bitchy waitresses and super nice old dudes) they have daily "Meat & 3" specials, which all include a meaty entrée and three sides (I always go mashed carb, fried carb, cheesy carb). Is it sensible to include three side items with every giant entrée? Fuck yes, it is, darlin'.
Sweet Georgia Brown
2840 E. Ledbetter Drive
Did you hear that? That was the sound of Tony Horton screaming, "NOOOO!!!" Darth-Vader-style as you walked in the door of Sweet Georgia Brown's. This place is a buffet-style Mama's Daughters'. Plus barbecue. It's the polar opposite of Spiral Diner. I dare you to ask them if the have a low-carb option here. Wait -- I undare you. Don't get concussed. "Sir, why is there a beef rib sticking out of your forehead?"
When you order, they put your food straight into a Styrofoam container fit for carry-out, because -- let's be real here -- if you eat three sausage links, plus two scoops of greens (Holy Soul Food Jesus, get the greens. They're at least 40 percent meat), plus two scoops of mashed potatoes, plus two scoops of macaroni and cheese plus cornbread all in one sitting, you're the exception to the motherhuggin' rule.
The buffet here will run you around $14. Which ain't a bad deal for the three meals you'll get out of it.
4436 Lemmon Ave.
Taj Express looks kinda busted from the outside, which makes stupid people scared to go in there. Sweet.
Smart people get to eat all the naan, papadams and creamy, cheesy spinach stuff they can stuff in their mouth holes. The all-you-can-eat buffet costs about $8 per person, changes daily and offers just a few entrée options. Sometimes it's tikka masala day, sometimes it's tandoori chicken day, sometimes it's korma day. Embrace the random.
Tortas La Hechizera
13531 Montfort Drive, No. 127
Do not order El Aragon at Tortas la Hechizera if you generally feel inadequate. Found on the "Las Peligrosas" section of the menu, this bigger-than-Meatloaf's-moobs sandwich is packed with beef fajita meat, poblano peppers, raw onion, tomato, sour cream, avocado and the meltiest cheese ever. It's better than seeing jeggings on a fat cat.
Wingfield's Breakfast & Burger
2615 S. Beckley Ave.
Every time someone orders the triple bacon cheeseburger at Wingfield's, an angel goes, "Are you fucking kidding me? C'mon, you guys."
Here's the Wingfield's drill: Walk inside this tiny, tiny building (which only holds about six people, uncomfortably) and order a burger and a drink. Do not order fries. In this case, fries are a waste of precious burger stomach space. (And the burger you're about to eat is Jessica-Simpson's-current-ass big.) Pay cash. Wait for about 10 minutes, until you hear your name yelled.
Bring the food back to your car and Dyson it. (There's no seating inside. You could stand in there and eat your burger at the people who are waiting in line, though).
Next: Calorie Bombs and hangover cures.