Your 2013 Dallas Restaurants 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.
Tacos from La banqueta would be on anyone's Dallas bucket list.
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.
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.
El Ranchito's beef fajitas are some of the best in Dallas.
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.
If you were to leave Dallas, you would miss the sushi here.