By Steven Doyle
Angry Dog has been serving up excellent burgers since 1990 in its Deep Ellum digs. Although most famously known for its giant sloppy hot dog and a pretty damned good chicken fried chicken sandwich, it also does a terrific half-pound burger loaded up with jalapenos, grilled onions, bacon and more. Order medium rare for a bit of the pink.
Blitz Pick: Maple & Motor
Pluckers Wing Bar has several location in the DFW area, and is a national chain. But that is where the similarities to bad chicken wings drops off. These babies are fresh, never frozen, and made in house. The chicken itself are these huge, meaty beasts that are pretty delicious and served draped in a variety of sauces. The hot gets hotter as you plow through your plateful. Wash the wings down with a great local brew like the Peticolas Velvet Hammer.
Blitz Pick: Quaker Steak & Lube
Your choice for pizza is a strong one with the winner being Campisi’s. Known for its early years with alleged ties to a certain Italian syndicate, this was Jack Ruby’s last dinner before taking out Lee Harvey Oswald. He no doubt went for the spaghetti and meat balls, and probably ordered up a nice pie that is oval, smoky and crispy thin. This Dallas institution makes a solid pizza.
Blitz Pick: Il Cane Rosso
Best Asian Cuisine
Royal Thai has been open on Greenville Avenue serving its famous Thai dishes for more than 20 years. It was Dallas’ foray into this type of cuisine, and has stayed on course as the city’s favorite ever since. Particularly wonderful are the shrimp and pork dumplings that are not to be missed, along with Tom Kha Gai soup that is tangy spicy chicken soup with galanga, lemongrass, mushrooms, coconut milk and chili paste. Don’t miss the house specialty, Gaeng Ped Yang, which is a roasted duck served with a red curry base.
Blitz Pick: Howard Wang’s Uptown
The reader’s choice for Tex-Mex was Chuy’s and they do serve up a sturdy mess of enchiladas, fajitas, and the usual Tex-Mex suspects. For happy hour order one of the very well-priced margaritas and get an assortment of sauces to go with your chips, including queso, beans and the requisite salsa. Did we mention the prickly pear margarita? Yes, that is terrific. Big portions at a great price tag.
Blitz Pick: Desperados Mexican Restaurant
Jimmy’s Food Store makes the best sandwiches in Dallas. Look to this tiny true Italian market located in a rugged section of East Dallas which once was the Little Italy of Dallas. Now standing solo, it offers plenty of great Italian ingredients and the largest selection of Italian wines in the state of Texas. Check out the deli located in the back of the building and grab one of the many sandwich selections such as the Italian Stallion, house-made meatball subs or the best muffaletta outside of New Orleans.
Blitz Pick: Uncle Uber’s Sammich Shop
Bob’s Steak and Chop House is a sturdy steakhouse choice with several locations in Dallas and Plano. The original was opened in the 1990s by Bob Sambol who excelled on service with the theory that if he made a great steak people would return. He also plated the steaks with his legendary single carrot which is still in practice to this day.
Blitz Pick: Nick & Sam’s Steakhouse
Best Italian Restaurant
Jimmy’s Food Store is back on the list, this time as your favorite Italian restaurant. Although not a typical Italian restaurant and more of a market, you can find homemade pastas, the best price on Parmeggiano Reggiano, and the most terrific home-made meatballs ever. There’s also some fine Italian pastries baked in house.
Blitz Pick: Lucia
Pecan Lodge is definitely our finest BBQ haunt in Dallas. Pecan Lodge is located at its new location in Deep Ellum with expanded service, bar service and always a line to dine. The brisket is moist and supple with its obligatory smoke ring and juicy bits of fat striations throughout. Go for the house-made jalapeno sausage, it is amazing stuff. Most forget that they also make a hell of a good fried chicken. Order that as a side to the BBQ.
Blitz Pick: Pecan Lodge
Your choice for best seafood is Big Shucks, and it is actually very good. Look for a lot of fried fare such as fried oysters, catfish and shrimp, but the place also serves up oysters on the half shell, and in season one of the better messes of crawfish around. Gumbo!
Blitz Pick: Rex’s Seafood Market
Best Comfort Food
Babe’s Chicken is one of those places that has become legend over time. There are many locations around Dallas and Fort Worth, and is a relative to Bubba’s in Park Cities. Here you will be served fried chicken family style with a choice of side such as from scratch mashed potatoes and creamed corn. Do not miss out on the freshly baked biscuits. Pass on the watered down plain lettuce salad.
Blitz Pick: Sissy’s Southern Kitchen & Bar
Best Local Beer
Deep Ellum Brewing Company might be the little microbrewery that could in spite of all the controversy that surrounds it. Sure it has changed brewmasters. Some of the brews have even been temporarily retired. It has even endured the tagline for its Dallas Blonde ale: “Goes Down Easy.” DEBC is our reader’s favorite and that’s all that matters. If you’re a novice we recommend their Deep Ellum IPA.
Blitz Pick: Franconia Brewing Company
Best Beer Selection
Want beer? Want a hella large beer selection? The Ginger Man on Boll Street has been serving up just that in DFW for many years, way before beer was made locally and uber cool. Walk in The Ginger Man and you will enter this portal which seemingly transports you to an English pub, replete with its dark woods and even darker lighting. There are plenty of brews on draught and in bottles made from breweries here locally and around the world. So if you like beer, head over to The Ginger Man, which will be happy to serve your needs.
Blitz Pick: The Flying Saucer Addison
Best New Restaurant
Our readers selected Blind Butcher as restaurant of the year, and this is saying plenty as we had so many new restaurants in Dallas which could have easily taken this title. Here you will enjoy a huge selection of amazing draft beers and cocktails. The chef makes these crazy good sausages of many varieties and serves up a whole host of poutine, that odd potato, cheese curd and gravy transplant from Canada. The version with the duck is amazing. No, super amazing. Order anything on the menu and you will be most pleased and possibly even humbled.
Blitz Pick: Table 13
The breakfast at Oddfellows is big, bold and yes, a bit beautiful. Located in Bishop Arts among many fine bars and restaurants, Oddfellows has a giant menu to please anyone. We love the red velvet pancakes, the duck chilaquiles, and the chicken and waffles. Probably the finest example of chicken and waffles in Dallas. Do not forget to order up a basket of Oddfellows beignets for the table. Even if you are by yourself.
Blitz Pick: Oddfellows
Best Food Truck
The food truck scene in Dallas hasn’t been as glorious as it should be. Most likely because the city has its head up its ass about the various laws and restrictions placed on the mobile kitchens. But we still manage to have some seriously delicious fare coming out of a few trucks in Dallas, including your choice, Cajun Tailgators. Look for some cool food straight from Louisiana, and done up right. Definitely order the crawfish pistolette, a dough that is stuffed and fried into little balls of lusciousness. Also a great gumbo, po boy and fried gator.
Blitz Pick: Easy Slider Truck