You would think that frying up a tater tot would be something any idiot could do correctly. Oil meets potato, done. But unfortunately, this is not the case. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve had to eat a mushy, stale, lifeless tater tot, I’d have enough to run for president (and I’d probably be more qualified because of it than other current presidential hopefuls). So, if you’ve ever had a Napoleon-Dynamite-sized hankering for these golden nuggets of pleasure, I’ll make it simple for you, the best in the city can be found at the house that Jack built, our loveable, Maple and Motor.
Everyone knows that M&M puts out some killer burgers. That’s a given. But it’s really pretty difficult to go wrong at this place. Practically everything I have eaten there is exceptional. I’ve even licked the floors and it tasted good. But the tater tots have become a guilty obsession of mine over the past few months, an obsession that is too delightful not to share. These tots are not winning any prizes with the granola-loving, tree-hugger health food crowd, but this is Texas, people…and here we embrace obesity like a soft snuggly teddy bear.
Nothing says “thank goodness those little brats are back in school again” like a taco. And where else on earth are you going to find a meatloaf taco besides Good 2 Go. The “School Daze” taco may be a an homage to the thousands of school lunches across the country serving up a questionably eatable mystery meat loaf with instant mashed potatoes flakes, but luckily the love poured into this brilliant creation is unmistakable and the flavors are more than splendid enough to cast away any scarring memories of school cafeteria food from your younger years. And this meatloaf can be enjoyed without having to endure the company of “Stinky Joey” making musical farting noises with his armpits or “Billy Braces” picking broccoli out of his head gear for 15 minutes ( I do, however, miss the chocolate milk).
When D named this year’s best bartender in Dallas, we didn’t judge based on who could mix up a drink the fastest or who amazed us with Tom Cruise in Cocktail style tricks. We said Danny Versfelt was the best in town because he’s the kind of guy who will get to know you, beyond just what you’re drinking. Since Danny V. gets to know so many of you, we thought you ought to know some things about him, beyond just how well he prepares your drink.
Where you’ll find him
Al Biernat’s on Oak Lawn. He’ll be behind the bar every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night starting at 4 p.m. and Wednesday during the day. Picture what you think a friendly Irish Catholic guy with some 25 years of Dallas bartending experience would look like and that’s him. Or just look at his photo.
His bartending mantra is…
That the bartender is the host of the party. Someone told it to him in his second year of bartending and it’s stuck in his head ever since. As the host, he’s got to make sure everyone feels welcome and satisfied. He circulates, making conversation and filling glasses, not for patrons, but for guests.
He’s got more to say.10 Comments »
The donut is America’s unsung hero.
For decades these delicacies have been fueling this nation’s finest law enforcement officers, and without them your streets would be overrun with all kinds of riffraff. Countless early morning board meetings have been brightened by the magical combination of sugar and fried dough. And where would Homer Simpson be without his signature pink icing with sprinkles? Not season 587, I assure you!
Despite their iconic nature, frankly speaking, truly exceptional donuts are not easy to find in Dallas. I don’t think I am alone in my sentiments towards the Dallas donut scene. While this city is surely not lacking in the sheer number of independent donut shops, it is eerie how incredibly similar and mundane most neighborhood shops have become.
But for the valiant donuteer, all hope is not lost. I have scoured this land for three years searching for something extraordinary. Of course, it would be unrealistic for a person to try every donut shop in this city (and still live to tell about it). So I’ve hunted for suggestions from every corner I could think of (blogs, Chowhound, Yelp, Urban Spoon, magazines, newspapers, Twitter, Facebook, the cops at Waffle House) and ate my way through enough donut shops to personally ensure the future of Lipitor. Luckily, fantastic donuts do exist in this city.
Here I present to you, in no particular order, the five best places for donuts in and around Dallas.
The owner, Jay Jerrier, kindly welcomed me into his kitchen near the end of a busy lunch hour. Before my arrival, I expected to be clumsily cooking in the safety of a kitchen in a back room somewhere. This was not the case. The pizza oven is right in the middle of Cane Rosso, and I had no choice but to take the risk of embarrassing myself in front of the entire restaurant.
I’m starting to think that Jay Jerrier is basically the culinary King Midas. Everything the man touches is nothing less than gastronomic gold. It’s not good enough that, essentially, the entire city of Dallas is certifiably psychotic over his pizza. (Personally, I have had at least three auditory hallucinations while eating his pizza, in which my “Paulie Gee” spoke to me, telling me to give all my money, the deed to my home, and my first-born child over to Mr. Jerrier) Jay continues to offer this city a seemingly endless string of brilliant dishes including hot, succulent sandwiches, house-made pastas, and rich, creamy gelato. With the addition of the burly, bearded wunderkind, Matt Reddick, to the Cane Rosso kitchen, there is no telling what adventures are in store for diners able to painfully pry themselves away from the pizza.
Matt has been charged with running “the left side of the menu,” and while he may not be the big man up front, sweating in front of the scorching pizza oven, he is no less working miracles in the back.
Read on! It only gets better from here.
For my 12th stop on the list of Things Every Dallasite Must Do, I went to Mattito’s for some of their Bob Armstrong dip. Armed with insider knowledge, I planned to impress the waiter with my Dallas savvy when ordering the off-menu dip.
As soon as we were seated, our waiter offered to get us drinks and asked if we would like to order some Bob Armstrong dip. My bubble was burst. I convinced myself that merely saying, “yes please,” instead of asking what it was still gave me an aura of being in the know, but it was far less satisfying.
All of my disappointment melted away when he came back with a bowl of queso, guacamole, ground beef taco meat, and a dollop of sour cream, ready to be thoroughly mixed with the accompanying spoon. Though probably not the most original mixture of ingredients, it is delightful, and much better than just plain queso. I had to remind myself to eat it with tortilla chips instead of digging in with a spoon.
I’m not sure how Teresa Pullen managed to eat 2 pounds and 14 ounces of the mixture in last year’s Bob-eating contest on Cinco de Mayo. Today’s happens at 5 p.m. After sharing a bowl — along with more than a few baskets of tortilla chips and one of Mattito’s unsettlingly bright blue Rumbaritas — I could not bring myself to order an entrée.
I did, however, finish by ordering a plate of two sopapillas dusted in cinnamon sugar with a dish of honey to dip them in. Sounds like a balanced meal to me.
Lisa Collins is a D Magazine intern.
I know it’s embarrassing, but I’ve only done 4 of the Things Every Dallasite Must Do. This only encourages me to set out and accomplish as many as I can. First on my to-do list is: Eat chicken fried steak at Babe’s in Roanoke.
There’s something about coming to Roanoke to eat at Babe’s chicken that really sets the mood for fine dining. Of course, “fine” is a term used loosely, considering Babe’s in Roanoke has been around for 18 years and your chances of running into a local hillbilly greatly increase when walking in. But regardless of the way the restaurant looks, you know for a fact you’re going soon to be eating your weight in chicken or chicken-fried steak, as those are your only two options on the menu.
Though the restaurant has nine locations now, I’m partial to the original in Roanoke, since I live only 5 minutes down the road from it. So it came as a shock to me when I realized I had never actually ordered the chicken-fried steak. Time and time again I would resort to my usual order of fried chicken, but on Monday night, I ventured off and ordered what was said to be so legendary. Continue reading "The Dallas Must-Do List: Eat Chicken-Fried Steak at Babe’s Chicken Dinner House in Roanoke"
Need more information? Click here.
Otherwise, get to it.2 Comments »
Have you ever known a Stephan Pyles restaurant that you didn’t love? In a recent post– Which Dallas Restaurant Would you Revive?–Dishers showed lots of love for Chef Pyles’ concepts.
First we loved Routh Street. The Baby Routh, the restaurant that signaled the uber-upscale Routh Street wasn’t going to play well in the early 90s recession. Star Canyon, with its brilliant in its food, energy, and design came along in the mid-90s. I admit I didn’t quite get AquaKnox in the late ’90s but recently Chef Pyles is delighting Dallas with Stephan Pyles, Samar by Stephan Pyles, and Fuego at Stephan Pyles.
Which one is your favorite? Have you “had” them all? Tell us.8 Comments »
In this battle-axe of an economy, where even having a job is worth popping a cork over, you have to carve out every cause to celebrate that you can. I chose to celebrate yesterday’s successful (read: bloodless) completion of my first day on the 21st floor by scooting over to the Knox-Henderson La Duni for Street Tacos loaded with fat chunks of mahi and perfectly muddled Margarinhas. Both of which made me wish I were first in line for tonight’s Chef’s dinner with Chef Julia Lopez (who, incidentally, won me over a couple weeks ago when, in a refreshing show of humility, she appeared at my Northpark tableside to personally make amends for a kitchen mishap). My guess is that the mojito tasting and “surprise entertainment” alone will be worth the $42 admission!1 Comment »
It was fun, although too many wines were from California in ambiguously-labeled bottles at this weekend’s Dallas Wine Trail. The highlight for me was:1 Comment »
It’s a simple breakfast, whipped up to share with co-workers. It’s Athens mini fillo shells, Yoplait thick and creamy vanilla yogurt, with fresh blueberries. It’s among the lighter options in our collection of Dallas breakfasts.
Share your photos at email@example.com.
We’ve had a host of new entries to our collection of Dallas breakfasts. I’d thought I was going to feature this one today, because I can think of few things in this life less appealing than slipping a slimy sea creature down my gullet first thing in the morning.
But then arrived the photo at left. The contributor suggests that watermelon and bacon make great substitutes when you don’t have cantaloupe and prosciutto on hand. I link, you decide.
For those who prefer their breakfasts cute as a button, here you go.
Remember to keep sending your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org Comments »
At left, you see a sausage, egg, and cheese burrito (origin unknown), with salsa and a cup of coffee.
Snap a photo and e-mail it to email@example.com.
Elizabeth Johnstone, a member of this summer’s talented intern army here at D HQ, wasn’t satisfied merely to read that the best sushi in Dallas can be found at Yutaka Sushi Bistro. Being a curious sort, and having studied film at NYU, she was driven to make a short film wherein she would go head to head with master sushi chef Yutaka Yamato in a culinary battle over the construction of the finest California rolls in town.
Call it Iron Chef: Best of Big D.2 Comments »
First of all, I wanted to thank you for the feedback about the best beer selection and best cocktails. Your ideas were right-on—and, yes, we did a little “research.” So it’s time to vote for your favorites, in these categories and 15 others. Remember to vote once a day, every day. Hop to it.
I know the SideDish nation is full of opinions. (I am putting that gently.) So I encourage you to vote once a day, every day for your favorite restaurants, wine bars, caterers, and more in our first-ever Best of Big D Readers’ Choice Poll. If you need a reminder, just look up and to the right, next to that big red D. We’ll be promoting the contest for as long as it’s running. Today marks the beginning of food and drink, but you can also vote for your favorites in nightlife, shopping, and services. Don’t see your favorite on the list of nominees? Then write in your own. Can’t wait to hear what you have to say.
This just in from the Burguesa peeps: the tunnel location is officially open at 1201 Elm St., in Renaissance Tower. Apparently it all came together pretty quickly. The space was still Crystal Grill as of Saturday, but by 6 am Monday, it was Burguesa.6 Comments »