Your 2013 Dallas Restaurants Bucket List

Categories: Whimsy

La Banqueta Daisy.jpg
Tacos from La banqueta would be on anyone's Dallas bucket list.
Moving is a strange thing. Flashy and exciting visualizations of the road ahead overstimulate, while a library of warm memories prompts longing as you realize you will never have those experiences in the same way again. Sure, you can buy a plane ticket and revisit plenty of them, but those experiences will never be yours in the same way. You can't go home again.

So when @eliseparramore tweeted that she was leaving Dallas for New York City, and that she was willing to trust me with some of her final meals, I jumped on the opportunity to create a bucket list. Not only is a bucket list a compelling way to say goodbye to a city you're about to leave, but it's also a great way for those of us who remain to take stock the things that can make life great. Every day should be prioritized with a list of our favorite things -- yet we never seem to make the list until we're forced to.

Thumbnail image for El Fanchito Fajita.jpg
El Ranchito's beef fajitas are some of the best in Dallas.
So Elise, I must prescribe Tex-Mex. It pains me to say it -- especially since tortilla bloat and frozen margarita hatred make it hard for me to enjoy many of these restaurants -- but there's a well-worn path between DFW Airport and the more popular Tex-Mex restaurants in Dallas for a reason. Ask any Dallasite what they crave after an extended period away, and they'll tell you it's Tex-Mex. El Ranchito in Oak Cliff does a good job of folding enchiladas and fajitas into a menu filled with authentic Mexican food, and if you have your own favorite you should visit it too.

If you were to leave Dallas, you would miss the sushi here.
Don't worry about the steakhouses (you'll find better ones where you're headed) but there's something special about the sushi scene in Dallas. Low real estate costs and an excess of disposable income, along with a nearby international shipping hub give us access to some really amazing seafood. Sure, you'll find the same high quality in New York, but you'll pay (oh, will you pay) through the nose to eat it. Dallas' sushi scene is as humble and approachable as it is very good. When you sit down to a $26 tuna roll in Midtown you will miss the sushi here, as much as you miss refried beans. I'd suggest Teppo and Tei An for some of the best the city offers.

Location Info

El Ranchito Cafe & Club

610 W. Jefferson Blvd., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

Teppo Yakitori Sushi Bar

2014 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

Tei-An

1722 Routh St., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo

6131 Lake June Place, Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

Lucia

408 W. Eighth St., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

Babe's Chicken Dinner House

104 N. Oak St., Roanoke, TX

Category: Restaurant


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23 comments
gabe48
gabe48

Amazing steaks cooked over Mesquite wood at La Hacienda Ranch on Preston, best is the large filet, the flavor from the Mesquite is amazing.

Patrick Trotter
Patrick Trotter

Why are you telling me what's on MY bucket list? Arrogant.

Lisa Khuong
Lisa Khuong

Thank goodness I have stretchy pants, Ana Santellana! Haha

Ana Santellana
Ana Santellana

Lisa Khuong Tony King Khuong ....I think we should make our way through this list!!

xmantx
xmantx

Decent list, so funny how people think they are so superior when it comes to food. Give it a rest. Why aren't you out writing in a blog or a food critic. Shutup already.

cbs2528
cbs2528

You cannot be serious about this: "Don't worry about the steakhouses (you'll find better ones where you're headed).... " I love me some NYC but never in the history of ever have they served better beef than Dallas (I'm looking square at you Peter Luger). That is a myth (although Quality Meat is a good attempt at Al's.

Dallas bucket list should include Al's, Fearings and Rise (thre distinctly uniqe Dallas restaurants). That and custard at Harry's.

MattL11
MattL11

"You should eat tacos" should be on the Texas state seal. 

AllKnowingTVguy
AllKnowingTVguy

This article is mind-numbing and recreated monthly in various Dallas publications. Mundane. Always the "Dallas Restaurant must-do-list". According to Scott Reitz, tacos seem to define this cities restaurant scene as this unfocused article is saturated with taco suggestions.

Daniel Vaughn isn't the end all-know all of barbecue either. Most of his great choices are what an average Joe already knows. Pecan Lodge is no secret. I wasn't aware Babe's in Roanoke has uprooted and now within Dallas city limits and for that matter - the Village Bakery in West.

An ultimate slap in the face to someone moving from Dallas...drink Shiner - which has nothing to do with Dallas. Scott, have you ever had a Velvet Hammer from Peticolas or Local Buzz from Four Corners? Either it's relatively easy to be a food critic for the Dallas Observer or the publication is happy allowing lackluster content to be viewed.

dallas1845
dallas1845

These lists are all such garbage. For all the sudden praise from DO for Pecan Lodge, surprised it didn't make your authoritative cut. I've lost all faith in DO's food critics.

AllKnowingTVguy
AllKnowingTVguy

@cbs2528 Scott's credibility is absent at this point. You can redeem yourself hopefully soon.

scott.reitz
scott.reitz moderator

@cbs2528 I'm very serious. I've not been blown away by the steaks I've had here, and the sides that accompany the beef have been for the most part terrible. If I were leaving Dallas, the steak houses are one of the things I would miss the least.

monstruss
monstruss

@MattL11 That would fit lot better than "Thanks for the Mexican food, now get the fuck out"

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

Lighten up... Scott's a food blogger not a food critic.

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