Ten Dallas Restaurants You Should Be Eating at Right Now: Fall 2014 Edition

Categories: Best Of Dallas

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Oh, Nonna.
For the past few months we've been nibbling like rabbits on vegetables while visions of ourselves in bathing suits flicker on the projector screen in our brains. But now there's a snap in the air, and skimpy clothes and frail fabrics will slowly take the back seat to wardrobes with bulk. You could hide a lot underneath your old, favorite sweater -- two or three cassoulets-worth.

So dig your coat out of the back of you closet and abandon all shame. Here's where to eat in Dallas, now:

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Luna Cocina Might Make the Best "Mom Tacos" in Dallas

Categories: Eat This

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You need to get on these crispy tacos from Luna
Unless your mother kept a five-pound bag of masa in her kitchen and scratch-cooked Mexican dishes every day of the week, your first introduction to tacos was likely crafted in part by the folks at Old El Paso. I bet you can still picture those pre-formed taco shells warming in the oven while a mixture of ground beef and the contents of a sodium-heavy spice packet simmered away on the stove.

The table was set with a bowls of shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes and a plastic cup of sour cream with a spoon handle protruding from the top. And there was salsa, usually old El Paso as well, in medium and spicy versions, neither of which was very hot.

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It's One of the Most Expensive Burgers in Dallas, and Still One of the Best

Categories: Burgers

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Sara Kerens
Nice to see you again, delicious burger.
A few minutes go by at Deep Ellum's Local when I have the entire restaurant to myself. When I walk in, the music's playing, candlelight's on the tables and I can hear plates chattering in the hallway. It's like I walked into someone's duplex, too early for dinner. I made for the bar, where I was quickly set up for one of the most expensive burgers in Dallas.

If you haven't been to Local--It's a precious metal in Deep Ellum. It's a little food sanctuary. It's nested in the worn wood and brick of the old Boyd Hotel, right across from Mama Mia's, and it serves focused, smart food. I stopped by to see if the burger is still worth its $22 price tag, in this Great Postmodern Age of the Dallas Burger. I really do know what you're thinking: No burger should be this much. No burger is worth this much. What is it made from--Time Warner Cable bills? It'd be easy to toss it.

Don't. Instead, get this burger.

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Snap Kitchen Keeps Invading Dallas

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Taken from Snap Kitchen's website

Snap Kitchen has been slowly invading Dallas since this summer, opening its first location in Uptown and then opening three more around the city since. Another location is planned for Fitzhugh. The latest location to open is on the corner of Preston and Royal, in the same shopping center and Royal China and the new TJ's location.

It's an interesting concept. From the outside it looks a lot like a 7-Eleven. There are open coolers with trays of food at the ready and other coolers with plenty of drinks. There's a microwave. You could almost see yourself dropping in for sixer of Budweiser and a pack of Marlboro Golds, but there's none of that sort of thing around here. Snap is all about making you better, not making you worse.

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Some of Dallas' Best Chefs Will Pair Their Food with Beer at the HopChef Competition

Categories: Food News

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via HopChef
Chefs + beer = what could go wrong?
Craft beer is more popular than ever, which means that chefs have been as interested in creating dishes that pair beautifully with an IPA or witbier as they were previously in cooking to suit fine wines. Local gastropubs and fine-dining restaurants alike are bulking up their beer selections, and the industry's taking notice. Dallas-brewed beers made a strong showing at the Great American Beer Festival this year, and a highly-respected national brewery has also started to take notice of what chefs are doing in Dallas.

New York-based Brewery Ommegang is known for its solid lineup of traditional Belgian-style beers, and it's challenged chefs across the country to cook dishes that complement the flavors of these brews. Previous stops of the HopChef competition have been in Philadelphia, Miami, and Boston, and the brewery is bringing its challenge to five of Dallas' brightest chefs on November 3rd at 3015 Trinity Groves.

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Dallas' Burger Boom Is Over, Thank God

Categories: Food News

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Catherine Downes
Is the age of the burger coming to a close?
I've been poring over local-restaurant news while trying to lay out my restaurant-review plan for the rest of the year, and the list I've compiled is strangely void of burger restaurants. I couldn't be happier.

Don't get me wrong. I love burgers. (Especially this one.) But there are only so many feelings one can have, so many words one can use to describe a charred hunk of ground beef tucked inside a white-bread bun.

See also: How I Picked the Best Burger in Dallas

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Bet the House, Denton's Newish BBQ Spot, Is Selling Out Fast, and for Good Reason

Categories: First Look

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Photos by Kathryn DeBruler

The Five Commandmeats Lesson #1: "sold out" signs at BBQ restaurants are what distinguish the truly hungry from the peckish.

Bet the House BBQ is sold out. The sign on the front window says so in clear, authoritative lettering. Having never let a sign deter me before (stop signs? more like, what signs?), I try the door. It's unlocked. Inside there are a few tables that run along the long counter where brisket is sliced and fixins get fixed. Behind the counter stands a woman who informs me that she has to get started on preparations for the next day, but that there's just enough BBQ left for a small order.

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Five Awesome Food Events in Dallas This Weekend, October 16-19

Categories: Events, Food News

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via Facebook
Every Thursday, the Dallas Farmers Market -- newly renovated and bustling with vendors -- stays open late. For vegetable lovers, these extended hours represent a rare opportunity to get their late-night-produce-groove on, while others see the combination of food trucks, an open-air market and beer and wine vendors as prime "milling" territory. So whether you need some fresh tomatoes for your sauce or you just want to get saucy with some tomatoes, Market After Dark is just the event for you.

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The Improbable Success of the Texas Veggie Fair

Categories: Events

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Life is good when you're snacking on a vegan corn dog.
It's pretty impressive if you think about it: Gathering 7,000 vegetarians and otherwise curious omnivores together to celebrate meat-free living might be hard enough, but to do it in Dallas? Texas is a land that celebrates steakhouses, where smoked beef brisket is its own food group, and where beans aren't beans until they've been whipped with lard.

Maybe -- maybe -- you could imagine some like-minded weirdos in Austin, but here in Dallas, most of us don't recognize vegetables unless they've been squeezed into juice. At least that's the prevailing wisdom.


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Knife Is One of America's "Best New Restaurants"

Categories: Food News

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Catherine Downes
This guy is really good with meat.
For all of the fit-throwing, cursing, and discussion about food critics in Dallas, we've kind of lost sight of the fact that John Tesar is actually an incredible chef. The controversy surrounding you-know-who's three-star review of Tesar's second Dallas restaurant Knife may have died down, but the hype for his "modern steakhouse" has only just begun.

Yesterday, Esquire held its annual Best New Restaurants In America awards, and Knife was the sole finalist from Dallas. This is Tesar's second appearance on the list: His seafood restaurant in Preston Center, Spoon, was a winner in 2013. Clearly, Tesar and his utensil-themed restaurants have dazzled both food critics in Esquire's employ over the past two years.

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