Dallas' 50 Most Interesting Restaurants, No. 14: Smoke

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So, this will end your day.
Leading up to our annual Best of Dallas® issue, we're counting down the 50 most interesting restaurants in Dallas. These spots bring something unique or compelling to the city's dining scene, feeding both your appetite and soul. Find more interesting places on our all-new Best Of app for iTunes or Android.

Smoke chef Tim Byres has a reputation for heavy cooking, and it does him a bit of a disservice. His brunch plates have been rumored to put unsuspecting customers in a three-hour coma; his burger is outfitted with bacon, and crowned with a deep-fried egg and a massive jalapeño; his restaurant's signature dish is called the "big rib" and it delivers in both physical size and caloric density.

People have their lipid profiles and figures to worry about, and Thanksgiving is celebrated once a year for good reason. But you should know there are lighter plates available, too, and they won't weigh you down. Seared scallops, grilled quail and the bricked Cornish hen will let you float out of the dining room while you check your iPhone calendar to book your next return visit, and the small plates pack huge flavors, while maintaining restrained proportions.

What makes Smoke special though is not what is cooked but how it's cooked. Byres' obsession with antiquated techniques has revived kitchen practices that might otherwise go the way of pie birds and butter churns. The kitchen is anchored by a massive, wood-burning stove that isn't just a showpiece -- it's the heart of the restaurant. Much of the cooking here is fueled by wood, and the subtle kiss of combustion scents everything. (Including you.)

Bread baking, pickling, sausage curing, and other arts have seen a renaissance across the country, but here they're revived in a way that that seems especially earnest and genuine. Byers takes your palate on a historic journey using southern flavors and demonstrates why throw-back cooking is more than just hip or interesting -- it tastes delicious, too.

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Like you stood a chance of ordering anything else.

No. 50: Joyce and Gigi's
No. 49: East Hampton Sandwich Co.
No. 48: 20 Feet Seafood Joint
No. 47: Taj Chaat House
No. 46: Mot Hai Ba
No. 45: La Nueva Fresh and Hot
No. 44: Pera Turkish Kitchen
No. 43: Tom's Burgers and Grill
No. 42: Mughlai
No. 41: Russian Banya
No. 40: Off-Site Kitchen
No. 39: Bachman Lake Taqueria
No. 38: Carbone's
No. 37: Babe's
No. 36: Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo
No. 35: Zaguan
No. 34: Royal Sichuan
No. 33: Spoon
No. 32: Bambu
No. 31: Pecan Lodge
No. 30: FT33
No. 29: Keller's Drive-In
No. 28: La Pasadita
No. 27: Ten Bells Tavern
No. 26: El Ranchito
No. 25: Cafe Urbano
No. 24: Nova
No. 23: Jeng Chi
No. 22: Omi
No. 21: Tei-An
No. 20: Jonathon's Oak Cliff
No. 19: Yutaka and Sharaku
No. 18: Local
No. 17: Ibex
No. 16: Pakpao
No. 15: Chennai Cafe

Location Info


901 Fort Worth Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

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Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

Never been back after 2x of inedible meat



I think it's a must to get a side of their assorted pickles.


@Sharon_Moreanus That might be a more useful comment if you told us what made it inedible.  There are so many ways food can be inedible.  Raw.  Burnt.  Overcooked.  Bad flavors.  Infested with vermin.  Too spicy.  Tasted like meat.  All fat.  No fat (I loves me some marbling I do!)  Not really sure what species the meat was from.  The rat hair crust set me off.

See?  LOTS of reasons to find food inedible.  And for (almost) all of them, someone in the area will say, "But that's the way I like it!"

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