If there were such a thing as being too awesome, you, our readers would be it. Your overwhelming show of support for the restaurants, bars, concert halls, beers, and stars of Dallas that you love brought the Blitzies to an official place at the table for the city’s “Best Of” issues. You cast your votes and spiritedly debated your choices on Twitter and Facebook – a few of you even yelled them in parking lots. We welcomed the votes of the Highland Park sushi connoisseur and the sloppy joe food snob, who lives in that apartment with the funny smell. Both the commuting sports talk radio listener and the barefoot music festivalgoer were an equally important part of this democratic process. You brought to us your huddled masses of readers who were tired of being relegated to the position of afterthought behind the opinions of so-called experts who think their picks matter more than yours. Shame on them. In these pages your choices get top billing – even when we don’t particularly agree with you. Yes, there were times when our minds were in one accord with the selections and others when your choices made us curse into pillows and heave anything unlucky enough to be sitting on our desks at the wall. But that was half the fun of it.
Your voting style was a representation of our great city: competitive, bold and at times opinionated, sincere, and when it wanted to be, completely unpredictable. So thank you for making this an astonishing year for the Blitzies. You showed us the way with every thumb tap on the iPhone, click of the mouse or index finger jab to the tablet. Take a bow and bask in your greatness.
This one is indeed for you.
C. Craig Patterson
Editor-in-Chief Blitz Magazine
2013 Blitzies – Food Winners
Best Burger – Burger House: We’re stoked to announce the winner of Best Burger is a straight-up, Dallas-born, bred and fostered institution. Established in 1951 right here in Big D, this family-friendly spot has everything from a classic made-to-order flat-top grilled burger to an uber messy double cheeseburger topped with chili and a free bonus of grilled onions. Pair either with fries so tasty you can buy their signature seasoning to take home and put on well, everything.
Blitz Pick: Maple & Motor
Best Wings – Angry Dog: We’re not the first to award Angry Dog “Best Wings.” That’s because these suckers are seriously legit. Established in 1990, this spot has weathered the ups and downs of this ever-evolving neighborhood and never branched out into a chain making it a true Deep Ellum staple. The wings come in orders of 10 or 20 and are classic bone-in, no-breading style available in “regular” or “superhot” with celery and bleu cheese. If you ask nicely they’ll hook you up with chicken strips dipped in the sauce if you’re the anti-bones type.
Blitz Pick: Sauced Wings
Best Pizza – Grimaldi’s: 100 years of coal-fired brick oven realness beckons you to this posh pizzeria. Though it boasts an extensive wine and beer selection, the other food offerings are limited keeping the focus on the pies: mozzarella produced from milk from free-range cows and 20 toppings including homemade meatballs and Kalamata olives. One of our favorites is swapping out fresh tomatoes on a traditional Margherita style pizza (mozzarella, tomatoes and fresh basil) with the sun-dried variety.
Blitz Pick: Serious Pizza
Best Asian Cuisine – Thai Tanee: Don’t let the outside of this BYOB Thai eatery fool you. It may look like a hole-in-the-wall on the outside but it has the feel of a cozy café on the inside. With lunch specials starting at about eight bucks and a delightfully extensive dinner menu with all your favorites like Pad Thai, Green Curry, and Tom Yum Soup the price points are super affordable. Cool bonuses include battered and fried Corn Patties as an appetizer, Hot Jasmine Tea and Black Rice Pudding.
Blitz Pick: First Chinese BBQ
Best Tex Mex – Mia’s: Arguably the site where the now indispensably sacred brisket taco was invented, Mia’s is a 30-year tradition among us Dallasites and it’s not difficult to see why. If you’ve got a hankerin’ for Huevos Rancheros for brunch, a margarita with your people on the patio or the fiery satisfaction of a homemade Relleno or Ribeye Fajitas, they’ve got you covered. This place is great for a casual family meal or quick bite and cold cerveza before a late night out and about.
Blitz Pick: Gloria’s
Best Sandwich – The Bayou Market: Genuine Louisiana roots make The Bayou Market not just a Lewisville fave but rather a Metroplex one. While we could talk about the unreal Cajun-style cuisine, we chose to hand the place Best Sandwich based on the Po’ Boys. The selection ranges from low-country standards to French Quarter badassery and everything in between for less than $10 a sandwich. The Cajun Turkey you can order from Bayou Market for your holiday gatherings also is sold sliced onto one of these bad boys and damn, is it good!
Blitz Pick: Uncle Ubers Sammich Shop
Best Steakhouse – Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse: A steakhouse is defined by it’s take on tradition and Del Frisco’s has an exceptionally sophisticated and exceptionally expensive take. Sometimes, though, necessity dictates that you put a significant dent in your life savings on one meal so, if you ever find yourself in that situation this would be the place to do it. Glamorous Belvedere martinis, 1,200 wine selections, oysters on the half shell, 16-ounce Veal Porterhouses and $11 sides of asparagus are just the tip of this luxurious iceberg.
Blitz Pick: Pappas Bros.
Best Italian – Mi Piaca: After some legal drama earlier this year Mi Piaca re-opened at a new location in Park Cities. As delicious as the food is – and it is delicious – the atmosphere is what makes this restaurant truly enjoyable. This is the kind of place you go to feel really special with modern Italian food, pasta made in-house daily, phenomenal wine and killer service making any visit seem like a celebration. And though the black spaghetti might seem a little goth (black from a special squid ink) it’s absolutely stunning and super tasty.
Blitz Pick: Villa-O
Best Barbecue – Pecan Lodge: This place has only been around a hot minute but ours is not the first award it’s received. Smoked brisket, ribs, pulled pork and sausage are offered in two or three combo options with one side (mac n’ cheese, fried okra or pinto beans) and a roll. There is nothing healthy on the short, yet effective, menu which we ultimately find refreshing since no one really goes to a BBQ joint for green beans or low-fat potato salad.
Blitz Pick: Lockhart’s Smokehouse
Best Seafood – S & D Oyster Company: Even if you never go to Uptown make this your one exception. Seriously. It opened in 1976 by Southern Methodist University-graduate Herb Story after being completely unimpressed by the seafood Dallas had to offer. He personally sought out Gulf Coast fishing vessel captains to procure suppliers of the freshest seafood possible and that tradition continues today. In a neighborhood known for passing trends this place has maintained consistent quality in simple, incredibly fresh seafood and appeals to a cross section of people not common on McKinney Ave.
Blitz Pick: Daddy Jack’s
Best Beer Selection – The Ginger Man: For those with discerning palates look no further than the Ginger Man to serve your beer needs. The ambiance is a given but it’s the beer selection that makes a visit to this place much like Christmas. From local brews to imports from faraway lands Ginger Man hits the spot. When you have your own beer blend you know you’ve done it right.
Blitz Pick: The Ginger Man
Best Comfort Food – Babe’s Chicken Dinner House: It’s been 20 years since the Roanoke location opened and since then Babe’s has grown to legendary status. The menu has subtle changes based on location but when it comes to fried chicken and chicken fried steak no one does it better. Bring family and friends, dress comfortably and loosen your belt ‘cause that’s what it’s all about!
Blitz Pick: Babe’s Chicken Dinner House
Best Local Non-Chain Restaurant – Smoke: Chef Tim Byres changed the game in 2009 when he opened Smoke. Back then it was a new concept and today it’s still going strong, cool, hip and 100 percent Texas if you know what we mean. Entrees such as the bricked Cornish hen and dry rubbed pork spare ribs are a must. If you get up early enough on the weekend go there for brunch. For those who enjoy adult beverages we recommend the 901 homemade cocktail. Trust us.
Blitz Pick: Ellen’s Southern Kitchen
Best Local Beer – Franconia Brewing Company: During the recent rise of North Texas breweries Franconia proves it has staying power after opening back in 2008. Boasting a brewing heritage dating back to the 1800s, this place does Bavarian brews better than anyone else. If you happen to see the Hefewizen on tap anywhere ever do not hesitate to order the largest container you’re legally allowed to purchase. If you can’t find it anywhere either move somewhere cool or just head up to the brewery for a tour!
Blitz Pick: Rahr & Sons Brewing Company