The Italian Beef and Tallow-Fried Fries at Luscher's Red Hots: Because We Said So

Categories: Eat This

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Scott Reitz
This is not health food
I don't get, nor do I deserve, a lot of sympathy in my work. As soon as my face winces -- before I even get out a word of complaint -- I'm met with a barrage of facetiousness. "Oh, poor food critic guy eats out on someone else's dime." I pay, though, people. I promise.

Like those days when I'm not super careful about my dining plan and somehow manage to schedule a meal at Luscher's Red Hots after doing a first look at Spork -- all of this after reviewing a Tex-Mex restaurant. It's times like these I catch myself fantasizing about savoring a single parsley leaf with a fork and knife, but instead find myself ordering an Italian beef with french fries.

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Kolache Haven Is Kolache Heaven

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Photos by Kathryn DeBruler
#kolachefilter
Kathryn DeBruler searches far and wide for DFW's most interesting breakfast food. Come along.

In Texas, Kolaches are a thing. There are at least four festivals honoring the Czech pastry in our great state alone. The most famous kolaches hail from West, where legend has it that city revenue is driven almost entirely by sales of the sweet and sometimes savory buns. But for those of you who don't feel inclined to load up the car and high-tail to it to West, there are any number of kolache shops in the DFW area that should satiate your craving. My favorite is a shop called Kolache Haven.

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Sushi Robata's Ramen Is So Good They Could (but Shouldn't!) Rename it Ramen Robata

Categories: Eat This

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Michelle
Don't sleep on Sushi Robata's ramen. Sleep in it. Makes for easier slurping.
Michelle learned to love ramen as a teenager, growing up in Singapore and traveling around Asia with her family. Brian is newer to the scene: He didn't even try instant ramen in college. Together, they're hunting for DFW's best ramen.

The Shop: Sushi Robata

The Atmosphere: Everybody who knows their Japanese food loves Sushi Robata, one of North Dallas' favorite destinations for good sushi that won't leave you bankrupt. (The other, Fujiyama, is almost exactly a mile away.) Its decor is modern, with Japanese motifs like bamboo and cherry blossoms. The lighting is warm and welcoming, appropriate for dates or dinners with friends. We'd both been to Sushi Robata several times before, seated at its tables or at the counter which runs the full length of the dining room. But we'd never gotten around to trying the ramen.

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Sunrise Asian Cuisine: Dallas' Best Discount Sushi House for Poor, Sleepless Drunks

Categories: Drinking, Eat This

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Amy Silverstein
Sunrise Asian Cuisine is a great restaurant to eat cheap sushi, but it's even better as a restaurant to test your dining companion's character. An uptight, square person will be alarmed by things they may have heard while dining at Sunrise Asian Cuisine, such as "We've lost our liquor license" or "We ran out of salmon." They will be suspicious of the restaurant's food "happy hour" deal, which actually lasts for 16 hours, and the quality of the raw fish they're getting at a price so cheap. They will be annoyed that it takes the waiters forever to bring out the food, even when the restaurant is empty. And if you're friends with one of those super-squares who insists on vetting Sunrise through Yelp, there's a chance they may ignore the restaurant's many positive reviews and fret on the one review that says a whole table got food poisoning, or the one that says they found a bug in the water, or the one that says the women's restrooms were out of toilet paper for two hours and nobody cared.

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Jarams Donuts Are Transcendent, Like God with Powdered Sugar

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Photos by Kathryn DeBruler
Heavy breathing

"He went to Jarams." These are the words every woman dreams of hearing. For so many, they represent the culmination of a lifetime's worth of hoping, planning and dreaming. What little girl hasn't pined away for the day when she, too, would get the big, white donut of her dreams? I am referring, of course, to Jarams Donuts.

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Dallas' Six Best Veggie Burgers

Categories: Burgers, Eat This

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Nick Rallo
Old Monk's veggie burger, which is good and nearly impossible to order when surrounded by cold beer and beef
One of the most challenging things you can do, as a person with free will and time to roam the Earth and eat things, is to sit and enjoy the taste of a veggie burger. Questions break the mind-dam and flood in: Why shape vegetables to look like a burger? Why am I eating this if I can, or have the will, to eat a meat burger? Oh hell shit, is this mayo vegetarian?

More importantly: Is it even possible to get a good vegetable burger? Hey, what was that deathly shriek I just heard in the wind?

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Slurping Up Maki Boy on a Hunt for DFW's Best Ramen

Categories: Eat This

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Brian Reinhart
The ramen at Maki Boy.
Michelle learned to love ramen as a teenager, growing up in Singapore and traveling around Asia with her family. Brian is newer to the scene: He didn't even try instant ramen in college. Together, they're hunting for DFW's best ramen.

The Shop: Maki Boy in Irving

The Atmosphere: A Christmas wreath hangs in the front entryway at Irving's Maki Boy, and the cash register is adorned with little stuffed Christmas penguins wearing knit scarves. The mint bowl is an old Halloween bucket. Someone has painted flowers and birds on the walls, then surrounded them with framed photos of coral reefs. A slot machine in the corner emits a steady tenor beat, and the restaurant speakers loudly blare a Zumba workout playlist. The private dining room's curtain has talking cartoon cats. Above the bar, there's a single bottle of Veuve Clicquot Brut, with a little sign saying NOT FOR SALE. Right next to the Veuve is a Turkish flag, which makes sense, because the owners are Korean.

So basically the atmosphere is perfect and we love it.

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The Fried Okra at Ten50 BBQ Is Better Than Your Grandma's

Categories: Eat This

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Amy McCarthy
It comes in a paper basket, but it's still better than Grandma's.
It takes a lot to make the best version of a Southern dish. Everyone is willing to fight to the death to preserve the honor of their grandmama's hot water cornbread or collard greens, which means that saying that something like fried okra is better than something your Granny would cook for Sunday supper is a huge statement. Fortunately, the fried okra at Richardson's Ten50 barbecue is up to the challenge.

Fried okra is a surprisingly complicated dish. It has to be extremely fresh when fried, otherwise it turns into a soggy, slimy mass. It must be breaded properly, or the crispy flour coating will fall away before you're even able to dip it into your ranch dressing. At Ten50, they've figured out the perfect flour-based batter that ensures a crisp, light bite of okra every time.

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Defending the Honor of the Patty Melt at Dallas Grilled Cheese Company

Categories: Burgers, Eat This

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Nick Rallo
Dallas Grilled Cheese Company's patty melt hit NASA-accurate meltedness
If there's a Valhalla-like hall for great sandwiches, the patty melt should have a seat. When it's done right, it's a perfect thing: A burger inside a melted cheese sandwich, balanced with onions as soft as butter, built, at its best, on thick, earthy rye. Back in college, one of my favorite things to sit down with, after the tougher weeks, was a patty melt and an icy Shiner Bock at Milo Butterfingers. It wasn't the best sandwich ever; it was just what it needed to be.

So, Welcome to the Big House of Cheese (and Bacon). That's what the small square of butcher paper says, hung up like a carnivore's scroll near the lacquered wood bar, where I had the best patty melt at a grilled cheese-focused restaurant in Dallas. I was the only one at the bar on a weekday night. Bluesy rock clanged around the room. As we've mentioned before, at the Grilled Cheese Company you can add bacon to anything for two dollars. I'm not sure how you add bacon to onion rings, but CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. Wait, now I'm realizing I should have asked to add bacon to the water. CHALLENGE REVOKED.

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Meddlesome Moth's Porridge Is the (Sort of) Healthy Brunch Alternative You're Looking For

Categories: Eat This

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Scott Reitz
This ain't your mamma's instant oatmeal
I always feel a little out of place at brunch, if only because it's a ritual I rarely indulge in. But when our plates hit the table at Meddlesome Moth recently, I felt downright awkward. Heavy, meaty breakfast dishes surrounded me, including a short rib hash just down the table and a hunk of fried chicken with jiggling poached eggs dead ahead.

There was a burger within eyesight -- a massive, cheese-draped patty on a bun the size of a saucer. I, for once, had attempted to take the higher road. I'd ordered the porridge and my bowl landed like a screeching record. "You got what?" several of my brunch brethren asked. I felt like I'd pegged my jeans in the wrong decade.

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