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In-N-Out Burger in Dallas Debate: The Sequel

While the In-N-Out Burger rumors burn out of control, a loyal Disher suggests we open a different can of worms. Hear him out.

So, an interesting corollary to this In-N-Out debate would be “well, what other restaurant institutions in Dallas are over-rated”?

I’d throw the sacred Campisi’s on that burning altar.  Why do they consistently pack them in?

Perhaps Primo’s. Don’t get it.

Definitely Goff’s before Harvey sold it.  Why would anyone put up with his sh*t?

Burger House, an institution with an ordinary burger.

Snuffer’s.  I just don’t get the attraction of those nasty cheese fries.

What About Harry’s: I like Harry himself, but darn, it stinks in there.

Mi Cocina.  $8 to $10 margaritas?  And people pack the place.

Patrizio’s … bad service, generic pasta, great location.  And still proclaimed as a great date place.  Really, I don’t get this one at all.

Wow, I’m handing my keyboard over to this dude. He sure asks a lot of questions for a guy from New Jersey. Go. Fight. Wynne!

  • fonzie

    m @ April 28th, 2010 at 9:42 am

    “I’m fairly certain Campisi’s didn’t invent thin crust pizza.”

    I’m fairly certain you’re debating something restaraunts you’ve never been too. I in no way implied that Campisi’s invented thin crust pizza, i did say if you don’t like thin crust pizza you won’t like it. My point was several popular restaurants in the Dallas area have sprung up making damn near the exaxt pizza, from the taste down to the shape. I have lived in many cities across the country and have yet to run into another pizza like campisis, but somehow Dallas has multiple places that serve that style. So yes it is a knockoff, and no I don’t have a problem with it, but that is what makes it an institution.

  • Emily

    I know it’s actually in Ft. Worth, but Joe T. Garcia’s is the most overrated place I can think of in the area.

    I agree with many on your list, but Snuffer’s cheese fries are heaven on earth.

  • Clark Kent

    You know the old saying ” Build It, Fill It With Douches, and They Will Come!” (see Ocean Prime – have not heard one good thing yet the place is printing money…..for the short-term).

    This is one of the best topics ever!

    First let me say, I enjoy Campisi’s and I will throw in I Fratelli’s too. These are not traditional pizzas – they are not NY, Chicago, etc etc. Its Dallas’ version of pizza and for what its worth, its pretty good pizza. So please stop the comparisons because its comparing apples to oranges.

    Chuys – I don’t get it! People stand in line for hours for this food. Its very average and there are too many better options in the area.

    Louie’s – Pizza is ok, not outstanding and I’m even comparing it to comparable pies (see above).

    Mi Cocina – Food can be good, but $10+ drinks is out of line.

    Add Cyclone Anaya – will never return after getting stuck with paying $14 FOR A FROZEN MARGARITA!!!

  • acrow

    Somewhat off topic, but the $10 and $14 drinks at Mi Cocina and Cyclone Anaya discussed above remind of the $17 chicken enchiladas (just plain old sour cream enchiladas)I had a Luna De Noche last week. Ridiculous.

  • Matt D

    Sprinkles. Granted not a restaurant but I have to say it.The cupcakes are OK at best and yet there is always a line out the door. And yes I realize they give away cupcakes to twitter friends. Still doesn’t warrant waiting in line for a mediocre cupcake.

  • m

    fonzie @ April 28th, 2010 at 10:56 am
    “I’m fairly certain you’re debating something restaraunts you’ve never been too.”


    Anyway, I happen to like thin crust pizza but just don’t think Campisi’s pizza (or other dishes) live up to the hype. Don’t get your panties in a wad. I haven’t had I Fratelli’s pizza in maybe a year but last time I had it I thought it was much better than Campisi’s. It’s not the style I have a [problem with, it’s the quality.

  • rrt

    @acrow – you are correct — luna de noche is SO overpriced. I don’t get it.

  • John

    I am still curious how average can be painful.

  • Mark


    This topic went so long I finally had to throw in my two cents, so WRT the places mentioned so far….

    Mi Cocina: As mentioned to Nancy in response to a FrontBurner post in 2003, they act like they’re doing you a favor by letting you eat there.

    Burger House: Burgers are OK. The guy who runs the store on Campbell is an A-hole.

    Campisi’s: Living off their rep. Prego now makes a better Campisi’s pizza than any of the Campisi’s locations.

    Mama’s Daughters: Never figured out what people found so special about MDD.

    Bob’s: Not what it once was, but still better than, say, Silver Fox.

    Twisted Root: Good fried pickles, good root beer, decent turkey burger, nothing really worth standing in a long line for.

    Snuffer’s: NOT the best cheese fries in town IMHO, and not any other reason to go that I can see.

    Chuy’s: Once great near the river or on North Lamar in Austin, they’ve expanded themselves into mediocrity. There’s a Chuy’s in Waco now, for Pete’s sake. What’s next, Wichita Falls? The Plano location is particularly bad, and you have to make a special request for table sauce.

    El Fenix: For such a small chain, I’ve never understood why the quality at EF can vary so much. Some locations are consistently great at what they do. Others are horrible.

    Pizza by Marco: Excellent, but I wonder if the expansion bug is about to bite them.

    Mooyah: Don’t understand the fuss here, either. Not great, not bad.

    Joe T’s: Back in the early-mid 70’s, when if memory serves all you could get was “the dinner” and beer, and probably Coke in a bottle, the patio at Joe T’s was a great dining experience. It’s no longer the 70’s.

    Luna de Noche: A slightly friendlier Mico clone. Not worth the trip except for the Sunday brunch, which is pretty damn good for $8.95.

    And to add a couple of my own….

    Casa Milagro: So good when it first opened, so average now.

    Tupinamba: Underrated. I’m constantly surprised by the number of people who not only have never been but have never even heard of Tupy’s. The enchiladas are not exceptional, but much of the menu is top notch.

  • acrow

    Campagnia (sp?) pizza is also very underrated. The pizza is fantastic and the restaurant is BYOB, but somehow gets far less hype than inferior rivals like Fireside Pies, Olivella, Coal Vines and Grimaldi’s.

  • tinkerbell

    Amen to Sprinkles!!! Dry, odd tasting, meh. Can’t figure out how they charge what they do.

  • Jay

    I think you have to consider where IN-N-OUT will stand. People pay for Goff’s or Burger House to get a better burger than Mcdonalds. It’s a couple bucks more but considerably better. IN-N-OUT provide a perfect median between the two. A pretty good burger at a lower price.
    And by the way…
    Mia’s beats out Mico’s any day
    And no one has mentioned the best sandwiches in Dallas are from Great Outdoors

  • laurie

    Late to the discussion, but I so agree with all of you.

    Campisis and Ifratelli serve St. Louis-style pizza, not done very well. Same with their toasted ravioli, but we’re 600 miles away, so you take what you can get.

    Javiers–everything is way too salty

    On the Border and Chilis–used-to-be-decent chains that are now horrible.

    I think people in the Park Cities have very mediocre taste in food. Hence Penne Pomodoro and most other restaurants in Snider Plaza and HP Village (except I do like Cafe Pacific)

    Celebrity Bakery cookies and cakes(I like their sandwiches, though.)

    Cindi’s–I cannot believe they have so many locations.

    This is very cathartic. We usually have to keep these opinions secret.

  • JohnG

    Laurie, The pizza may be in a similar shape, but IMHO, Campisi’s and Imo’s (the St. Louis Style) are distinctly different styles of Pizza. Campisis’s is its own style. Dallas style, if you will.

    Imo’s distinguishing feature is the oddly tasty stick to the roof of your mouth almost nacho cheese (or pasturized processed cheese product?). Campisi’s has much more normal cheese.

  • Kris

    I love Burger House on Mockingbird, and it doesn’t make me an idiot or one of the “Sheeple” that love stuff just because of the hype. I love it because it belongs uniquely to Dallas, has been in our Lakewood area neighborhood for decades, is owned by a nice local family, and is a very decent burger for a fair price.

  • mikenfrisco

    Overrated: Pei Wei!

  • Clark Kent

    Pei Wei, considering the price point and quality its pretty good. Now if you say its parent PF Changs, now thats overrated.

    Two more places Dallasites always mention:

    – Barbecs – I don’t get the hype!
    – Highland Park Cafeteria – Why was there such a big fuss about this place reopening?

    Would like to give a shoutout to a great buffet in Richardson’s – Afrah! Food is great, always fresh, clean, great selection

  • A. B.

    Barbecs used to be great–I think management changed a few years ago and the food is awful now. Same thing happened to Patrizio’s. Used to love it. Now I can barely tolerate it.

    Campisi’s, Houston’s–I just don’t get it.

    Pizza by Marco–amazing, but I haven’t been in a while so hope the expansion doesn’t hurt them. Best pizza I had ever had in Dallas.

    @ Mark re; Tupinamba–you are RIGHT ON. Great Mexican food. I wonder if their love of the Texas Aggies is a deal-killer for some?

    Personally, I love Gazebo Burger–various locations. They make an amazing turkey burger.

  • acrow

    Add CHIPS on Lovers Lane to list

  • LizP

    Jay you are so right about the Great Outdoors for sandwiches!!! Best I have eaten and I am
    a sandwich snob

  • Seven

    @Laurie: if you haven’t already, try 5th St Pizza in Allen for STL pizza. KSHE on the walls and Cards on the tv. It’s not Imo’s, but it works for a fix in between visits home. Too bad it’s all the way up in Allen. Central Market may still carry Provel cheese.

    Marco’s is the best thin crust pizza in Dallas.

  • laurie

    @Seven, thanks for tip! I went to college in STL and still get cravings for authentic toasted ravioli. I also miss the (low-brow) Pasta House Company salad. Mmmm