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

Categories: Best Of Dallas

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Catherine Downes
Hungry? You will be eventually. And when those grinding stomach noises rise up from within, you'll have this list printed out at the ready.

Here are 10 restaurants that I've dined in, reviewed, or otherwise written about and enjoyed in recent months. Put them in your regular rotation, and never go hungry for great food again.

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Dallas' 6 Best Spots For Late-Night Eats

Categories: Best Of Dallas

And they mean it!
It may be hard to believe if you spend too much time in Dallas, but there are actually cities in this world that never go to sleep. Individual people may get a few winks here and there, but at any given hour the streets are breathing. You can get egg rolls at 4 a.m. as easily as you can get a steak at dinner time, and not to turn the screws too much further you can have it all delivered, too.

Not so in Dallas, the city that sleeps and then some. Try to get a bite to eat after a show downtown and you can find yourself relegated to hot dogs and Twinkies. It's only recently that a few restaurants began to lure us away from our local corner store, and not just with steam table tacos, but with real food. Here are six spots that will sate your late-night hunger with food that tastes good at any hour of the day.

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The Nine Best BLTs of Dallas

Nick Rallo
The BLT at Keller's Drive-In makes hearts, wax paper transluscent with grease joy
To me, this will always be the sandwich mom made. After those days of itchy grass-legs and punching mosquitoes in the face, this was the sandwich that hit the plate: thick sourdough slices, bacon crisp as a bay leaf, tomatoes, the mayo knife sweep, and cup-slice of iceberg. For its simplicity, it's a sandwich that remains untouched by the foodie deconstruction era and Dallas' best are all mightily bucking overcooked trends. You'll find no truffle oil here.

Finding Dallas' best BLTS requires some binoculars: You have to try to look past some of the sparkling gems on these local spots (in other words, MAN it was tough not to order the burger at half of these spots). A couple of years ago, Food Critic Guy said the best BLTs are made during the summer and at home. Here are the BLTs of Dallas that'll make you think twice about staying in. Also included: a bacon meter that measures bacon crispness on a 1-10 scale (1 being floppy; 10 being Frosted Flakes crispy). So, bacon:

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Dallas' Five Best Chinese Restaurants

Categories: Best Of Dallas

Poor Ralphie should be so lucky.
Christmas is getting close, which means you should be finalizing your plans for Christmas Day dining. Many of you still cook at home, frittering away over some roast that you'll likely mess up, but you should ditch the goose, forget the crown roast of pork and let someone else do the cooking for once. You don't have to be Jewish to enjoy the Chinese-food-on-Christmas tradition. The Parker family enjoyed roast duck for Christmas on account of those filthy Bumpus hounds 30 years ago, and this year it's about time you followed suit.

Here are are five great Chinese restaurants for Christmas or other any other day.

First Chinese BBQ
Forget your conception of "traditional" Chinese food, you won't find that here. First Chinese BBQ focuses on Cantonese cooking from the southern, coastal part of China. Expect a lot of seafood, a lot of organ meat (marinated pig's intestines?) and zippy egg rolls. It's time to expand your Chinese food palate.


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Jim Cantore, Here's Where To Eat In Dallas While You're Covering The "Storm"

Categories: Best Of Dallas

Holy Smokes! Jim Cantore, welcome to Dallas!

Your passion for extreme weather precedes you, and your arrival has struck fear into the hearts of Dallasites everywhere. It's true! Many locals are terrified of inclement weather that doesn't involve tornadoes, and completely unaware of how to best respond to a thundersnowflake. While I'm calling bluff on this whole icepocalypse thing, I'm still pretty excited you're here. You know, just in case.

So button up that super-parka and get out there and do what you do best. And when you get hungry here are some spots where you can stop and refuel, withsome pointers for some potentially amazing footage for fun.

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Dallas' Five Best Thai Restaurants

Categories: Best Of Dallas

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Catherine Downes
It's kind of gross outside lately. Perhaps we're about to pay for what was a relatively mild summer with a long and brutal winter. At least we don't have the Super Bowl to worry about this go around. Instead we can focus our attention on remedies that warm us from the inside out. The curries, stir-fries and other dishes of Thai cuisine hit with a heavy dose of chili that can make our skin pink and our noses runny -- just like a long walk through the snow.

Eat up. The green shoots and flower buds of March are far, far away.

Pakpao Thai Food (pictured above)
If heat is your thing, Pakpao is a good place to be. Curries here are inherently spicy, not because you've ordered one through five stars but because heat is inherent in many of chef Eddy Thretipthuangsin's recipes. If you don't want hot, ask a waitress and you'll be happily pointed towards dishes that are more mild. If you want hotter, go with the green or massaman curries. If you want hotter still, Thretipthuangsin has a condiment or two made especially for you.


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Dallas' Best Margaritas by Neighborhood

Categories: Best Of Dallas

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Courtesy Meso Maya
Meso Maya's avocado marg.
Patio weather might be a little spotty as fall stumbles into Dallas. Rather than sweat through your pumpkin lager on the sunny days, we've compiled a list of the best places to get margaritas in this town. Because until those crisp breezes show up for long enough to pull out the hot toddys and Bailey's, the marg is still king in this city.

By neighborhood, here are our favorite places in town to get this cool, limey, tequila-y treat. All come equipped with salt and questionable decision-making.

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Dallas' Five Best Bars for Drinking Alone

Categories: Best Of Dallas

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Oh, you sad sap. Why are you sitting on your sofa nursing a whiskey bottle in solitude? Has your significant other suggested you take some time to grow as a person? Have all of your friends booked a weekend trip in tandem and left you? Maybe if you got out a little bit more you'd actually have a few more friends to choose from.

Or maybe you're on business travel and you've found yourself flying solo in Dallas. There's no need to lie in bed with airplane bottles and vending-machine mixers, catching up on Netflix reruns so you can remain culturally relevant back at the office. Get out of your hotel room and do something. And by something, we mean drinking at one of the following bars, which are perfect when you find yourself drinking on your own.

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Dallas' Five Best New Restaurants of 2013

Categories: Best Of Dallas

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Photo by Catherine Downes

For the past few weeks, it's felt like a new restaurant has opened, or has announced its intention to open, every day. Trinity Groves is set to glob new restaurants onto the scene like Chipotle line-workers, and Deep Ellum has experienced an overnight renaissance with two noodle restaurants, Monkey King and Tanoshii, plus Glazed Doughnut Works, a new Alligator Café location and WORK. The Rustic just opened in Uptown on one side of the Central Expressway, and Mesero Miguel just opened on the other. The Front Room at the Kimpton in Park Cities is in the middle of a renovation effort that will offer a brand new dining room and menu, and CBD Provisions at the Joule just finished theirs.

If you've got a thing for trying out new restaurants, you're about to have plenty to choose from. Before you charge forward, though, you might take a glance back. To all of the newcomers that open in the remaining months of the year take notice: these are the five best restaurants that have opened so far. Take your best shot.


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Dallas' 10 Best Places for Vegans and Omnivores to Eat Together in Harmony

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As we've previously discussed, being a vegan in Dallas isn't a miserable and lonely existence, so long as you know how to navigate eating situations involving friends, family and coworkers.

A crucial piece of information to have in your back pocket is a restaurant list. But not just any restaurant list. Some meat eaters expect to eat meat at every meal and sometimes in more than one way. I love Spiral Diner and Kalachandji's, but if your eating company thinks they need meat lest they die, those places are a non-starter.

But there are plenty of places vegans and omnivores can both eat a meal that they'll enjoy. Here are 10 of Dallas' best.

Anvil Pub (above)
Anvil offers a variety of options, because Daiya cheese easily transforms many items into vegan dishes. That means vegan sandwiches, pizza, nachos, chili, and more. Basically all the foods that go well with ice cold beer, which they conveniently serve on tap.


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