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Your Top 10--DFW


Kevin72
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So there's lots of threads here about what are the best restaurants in the DFW area. But where do you go most often when you eat out for dinner? What are your reliable standbys?

What prompted this is that my wife heard that when people go out, there's usually a running list of seven (?) places they most often choose from to go to. I've been googling for 20 minutes now trying to word the question right and come up with a source but have been unable to, if anyone can confirm this or has the source handy please pass it along.

To make it a little more interesting though let's make it an even 10, and let's keep it as going out for dinner, as lunch and breakfast standbys complicate things a bit. Choose the places you feel are most reliable, places you've been to several times and usually get a good meal. if you can, state why you like them or favorite dishes or memories there or whatever. They don't have to be in any order, and honorable mentions are welcome.

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Here's mine. This is why I put in the caveat that they don't have to be in any order, since I couldn't figure out what order they'd be in (quality? most frequently ate at?). So, sort of but not really in order:

10. Snuffer's (Many locations including Addison and Plano)--This is our once a year, "who needs to live til they're 90?" place to go and just break the calorie bank. My wife and I have both had some not-serious medical procedures done where you had to fast beforehand, and this was our choice both times to go eat at as soon as the anesthesia wore off! Cheese fries with ranch, cheesburger, the whole magilla. Tied or honorable mention in this category is WingStop, which I guess we actually eat at more often, but I just remembered it and I don't want to rearrange my list! :biggrin:

9. Cafe Sarajevo, aka Broadway Pizza (Carrollton)--Haven't even been able to get in the door at Fireside yet, so for now this is my choice for pizza. And really I'm sure they're not even in the same category: this is more the gooey, guilty-pleasure pizza place and not the high end artisinal pizzas at Fireside. The owners are, obviously, from Sarajevo and are making manuevers to overhaul the place to more reflect their heritage. They FINALLY got a bar in there and last time we were there had a number of entrees from that area. I felt guilty just sticking with the pizza.

8. Caravelle (Upper Greenville and Main (Beltline))--We eat here more frequently for lunch, but usually can't resist swinging by on our way back from Houston driving up 75. I love Vietnamese and this is my choice for best in Dallas.

7. The Green Room (Deep Ellum)--"Low" on the list because it's more of a splurge, high-end dining sorta restaurant, so we don't eat here that often, but when we have the means and/or occasion, it and the next two are our three that we most often pick from to go to. Some of the best quality meals of my life have been there. But it is a place where you can definitely tell when the head chef is off that night. The dishes, while well-executed, just don't "sing" creatively like they do on, say, Friday or Saturday nights. Also, the last two times we had been the service was pretty curt and perfunctory.

6. The Grape (Greenville)--Like Green Room, a special occasion type place. Love the seasonal changes in the menu, especially in the Spring. Baked brie is of course the must-have every time we go.

5. Mi Piaci (Addison) --An annual frustration I get to endure when the Dallas Observer does its best of issue is seeing Mi Piaci get snubbed as Critic's Choice for Best Italian. Instead, the honor usually goes to the criminally overrated Arco Doro/Pomodoro. I've been three times and each time have been disappointed to the point of being angry. Anyways, rant over, Mi Piaci is my best Italian pick. It had been in sort of a lull but when we went last summer for the first time in a while it was excellent all around, particularly the service.

4. Jinbeh (Several locations including Frisco, Irving, and Lewisville)--Our go-to for sushi. Regrettably the outlet in Irving is so far from Plano; their range of entrees and appetizers is much more wide-ranging.

3. Dodie's II (Carrollton)--Once the weather cools off I start getting twitchy for oysters, so we head here once every few weeks from November-April. A friend of our's used to work there and introduced us to the owner, who always greets us warmly when we go.

2. De Tapas (Addison) --if there's a "happy place" for me in all of DFW, it's sitting on the patio at De Tapas in fall or spring, a plate of their cured meats, olives, and cheeses laid out before me, and I'm working on our second pitcher of sangria. Nothing mind-blowing but so comforting and homey. It gets authenticity points from me since we've been many times and have only heard Spanish being spoken at tables nearby. Had our rehearsal dinner here and everyone raved.

1. Zorba's (Plano)--Another Dallas Observer frustration is watching them fawn over Ziziki in place of Zorba's. This is number one because this is the first place we think of when one of us says "Let's go out tonight." We've gone here twice a week sometimes. Whenever we've taken visitors or friends here they've loved it. My job was particularly stressful last year and whenever it got too much to handle, that night we'd go here with a bottle of red to kill. Went there last Saturday and saw that they are rightfully expanding, and I think have even applied for a liquor license. I'm a bit ambivalent about it: happy for them and their business, but sad because I love bringing a bottle of my own to places.

That's it. Again, a "best of" list would be different, longer, and include a few places not mentioned, and even exclude some of the ones I've got above.

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New to the DFW area myself, and have yet to find a decent French joint. Last one I tried was Lavendou, which was overpriced given the quality of foodstuffs and frequent kitchen guffaws, but desserts were not without merit. Jasmine (in Plano) is great for Thai. York Street for high-end. La Duni for wasting away a Saturday morning. The selection of Chinese is admirable. Is it too much to ask for an authentic Mexican place less expensive than Ciudad? (Apparently.) Also notably absent is a bakery whose offerings are not completely amateurish or generic tasting. Suggestions?

Edited by IML (log)
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You've pointed out a number of holes in the dining scene that I've noticed myself. When thinking about the list I suddenly realized I had no Mexican places on it. You've got lots of taguerias to choose from as Richard has pointed out on his threads. Upscale Mexican there's also Lanny's Alta Cocina in FW which I have yet to go to. French I'm not so well versed on so I'm at a loss to point you to a good spot. As for bakeries I've given up and just hit Central Market or Whole Foods.

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New to the DFW area myself, and have yet to find a decent French joint.  Last one I tried was Lavendou, which was overpriced given the quality of foodstuffs and frequent kitchen guffaws, but desserts were not without merit.  Jasmine (in Plano) is great for Thai.  York Street for high-end.  La Duni for wasting away a Saturday morning.  The selection of Chinese is admirable.  Is it too much to ask for an authentic Mexican place less expensive than La Cuidad? (Apparently.)  Also notably absent is a bakery whose offerings are not completely amateurish or generic tasting.  Suggestions?

Welcome to the eGullet Society, IML. Hope to see you here often.

So that we don't drift too far off this topic, I have bumped up a thread on Texas Bakeries and Pastry Shops. Please jump to that thread and tell us more about what kind of bakeries you're interested in.

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New to the DFW area myself, and have yet to find a decent French joint.  Last one I tried was Lavendou, which was overpriced given the quality of foodstuffs and frequent kitchen guffaws, but desserts were not without merit.  Jasmine (in Plano) is great for Thai.  York Street for high-end.  La Duni for wasting away a Saturday morning.  The selection of Chinese is admirable.  Is it too much to ask for an authentic Mexican place less expensive than La Cuidad? (Apparently.)  Also notably absent is a bakery whose offerings are not completely amateurish or generic tasting.  Suggestions?

ya try papacitos

or even mercardo juarez

Edited by ladyyoung98 (log)

a recipe is merely a suggestion

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ya  try papacitos

or even mercardo juarez

As much as I admire the Pappas family -- which happens to be Greek, by the way -- I don't think Pappasito's qualifies as authentic. That's my two cents -- OK, maybe three, but I give change.

Edited by IML (log)
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my wife and I have always been pretty fond of Kathleen's Art Cafe, especially A) we normally dine with our kids so money is now a factor and B) they opened a location here in Plano. Big portions, good food, good price, especially on Sundays when they have 2 for 1 entrees.

Although I've never been, I've heard good things about Addison Cafe for French food. http://www.guidelive.com/portal/page?_page...AL&item_id=3066

for bbq, we travel to Smokey Joe's, near the intersection of 20 and 35E.

oh, and I think that by far, the Tex-Mex place named El Paso, at the corner of Central and 15th street has the best chips and salsa in the world. BY FAR.

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my wife and I have always been pretty fond of Kathleen's Art Cafe, especially A) we normally dine with our kids so money is now a factor and B) they opened a location here in Plano.  Big portions, good food, good price, especially on Sundays when they have 2 for 1 entrees.

--And $2 Bloody Marys! :biggrin: We just went to the new Plano one last Sunday.

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My reliable standbys keeping in mind that we often have the kids with us, and we live in Plano are:

-Scotty P's: for their fantastic chili cheeseburgers and the best onion rings anywhere.

-Gloria's: for their camerones al mojo de ajo. muy perfecto!

-Joe's Pizza on Parker: for finally making a decent NY style pizza in Texas.

-Kelly's Eastside: haven't had a bad meal yet. love the atmosphere too.

-Down Under Pub & Grub: for their queso (really! you must try it!) and overall great place to hang out with or without kids. The menu has something for everyone and they almost always do it well (except the steamed clams...)

-Jasper's: for their martinis and maytag potato chips

-Mignon: for their sidecars and tables on the patio

-Cru: for their wine selections and cheese plates.

-Ciudad: for the friendliest bartenders, fabulous fresh salsa, and for the people watching.

-Randy's Steakhouse: for the down home atmosphere and the blue cheese steak. And I like that when you call for a reservation Randy himself answers the phone and then he remembers talking to you when you come in. Happens everytime.

-Perry's Steakhouse: for the great service and for perfecting the typical side dishes you get at steakhouses. I'm talking the perfect asparagus, baked potato, whatever! It's done right at Perry's.

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must agree about Kelly's Eastide. Forgot about that one. I work about 2 blocks away from it. Really good upscale bar food, and the best happy hour in Plano.

I also forgot to mention Celebration on Lovers in Dallas. Great fried chicken, plus the added bonus of being able to taste a lot of the different entrees on the menu for one price.

I like the onion rings at Joe Willy's in Allen, fwiw.

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Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

For Thai, I have three favorites. Ok, 4.

Thai Nippa for their Spicy Big Noodles, egg rolls and Green curry.

Bananna Leaf for their Pad See Ew, and pretty much everything else I've had there

Royal Thai for their Laab, soups. appetizers

Thai-rriffic for everything on the menu. Especially the Tom Ka Gai :wub:

For Ethiopian I tend to head to go to Dallul the most since its close to work. Its VERY inexpensive and quite delicious. My favorites are their Tsebeh Bersin and Shiro Wat.

I also like Abyssinia though I've only been once. Their Injera salad is out of this world.

Need to experiment more with that..........

Indian.... Hmm. As many places as I've eaten out here I can't pick a favorite. I keep going someplace new.

Same with Mexican.

OH I know, Cafe Istanbul! Awesome lamb dishes. Great Turkish food.

Al-Amir for their appetizers. Maybe the best Baba Ganoush in town.

Its hard for me to come up with 10 favorites because I've only been here a year and a half, and I typically want to try a new place when I get the chance to eat out.

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In the interests both of other members being able to find two interesting topics and of keeping this thread on-topic for discussion of everyone's top ten restaurants you acually eat in often for dinner, I have started two new threads: [DFW] ISO: Authentic Mexican Restaurants and [DFW] ISO: A Decent French Joint.

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Rated by where I enjoy going as apposed to "best of the best"

1) Paparazzi in Plano. Truly great high end Italian at reasoanble prices. Also great steak. Also probably one of the most child friendly higher end restaurants in the area.

2) Simon's Sushi Plano - Simon is an artist

3) Zorba the Greek. There food is great even though they won't split the check :angry: so we no longer go there for lunch in mass..

4) Lola - Always interesting

5) Seoul Garden - Great Korean and the only place I know of that does table bbq with hot coals. It's a bit hard to find by the quickie mart, and parking espeically at lunch can be kind of ah interesting..

6) Cafe Pacific - All though I don't go often it's always great

7) Taverna - All though I have to get Mi Piacci a heads up as great Italian, I eat much more often and enjoy Taverna.

8) Scotty P's - Great Burgers and fab onion rings. What can I say it's 3 blocks from my house. :laugh:

9) Chow Thai Pacific Rim Plano - Very consitant and quite good

10) Babe's Chicken. What can I say you just can't go wrong with great fried chicken!

Never trust a skinny chef

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My reliable standbys keeping in mind that we often have the kids with us, and we live in Plano are:

-Joe's Pizza on Parker: for finally making a decent NY style pizza in Texas.

Yep it's okay but I think Joey Covino's is much better. The pizza is better and Joe Covino friend calamari can't be beat! It's the only place in the area that doesn't use prefab. Not to mention that his cheesecake is home made and killer.... and of course there is the hey hi yah doing ... if it would be any more new york he would have to slap you around...

edited for spelling

Edited by irodguy (log)

Never trust a skinny chef

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My reliable standbys keeping in mind that we often have the kids with us, and we live in Plano are:

-Joe's Pizza on Parker: for finally making a decent NY style pizza in Texas.

Yep it's okay but I think Joey Covino's is much better. The pizza is better and Joe Covino friend calamari can't be beat! It's the only place in the area that doesn't use prefab. Not to mention that his cheesecake is home made and killer.... and of course there is the hey hi yah doing ... if it would be any more new york he would have to slap you around...

edited for spelling

Yes, I used to go to Covino's quite a bit. I love their alfredo sauce. But I got one too many pizzas that were so cheesy they were more like pizza soup. So I gave up on them. But I'm still glad they are around and successful!

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Here are a few I like, although I tend to try new places frequently when I eat out.

1) Thai-riffic, Forest Lane & Webb's Chapell : I am still eating my way through the menu here at this small, family run restaurant that is worth hunting for. I especially like their Yum Neu, which is similar to their Laab, but more flavorful. The Green Cury is superb -- a lighter broth compared to the thick sauce common in many area Thai resaurants. And Pik Gai Yut, de-boned chicken wings stuffed with a flavorful ground pork mixture, or the humongous Spring Rolls often start the meal. The soups are great, too (a "small" bowl of soup is enough for three or four people to share before a main dish, or for one person to feast upon). I have not had a disappointing meal here yet. I could go on, and I will in another thread. Also see the Tasting for eGullet Members at Thai-riffic.

2) Latino Market for taqueria food. Here's a link to my ongoing report on this place. Hand-made tamales on Saturday and Sunday. They serve Lamb --- unusual for a taqueria, as well as the usual meats for tacos. Where else will you find lamb tacos and Juan, the singing butcher. Ony three small tables, so don't plan on having your family reunion here. While I have been here mostly for lunch, there have been times I have stopped by for dinner, too. So this barely fits the dinner requirement.

3) Cafe Istanbul . But I haven't been recently.

4) Celebration on Lovers Lane: Good food in a pleasant ranch house setting.

5) The Old Monk on Henderson for fish and chips.

6) Wild About Harry's on Knox (the original location) for great hot dogs and ice cream.

7) Peggy Sue'S BBQ in Snider Plaza for...er...barbeque.

8) Kuby's in Snider Plaza for good, inexpensive German fare. Not to mention the breads and meats in the grocery section.

9) Tramontana in Preston Center, a fine neighborhood bistro, though again, I haven't been in a while.

10) Primo's on McKinney for Tex-Mex. But it has gotten bigger and louder since their expansion.

And then there's a Columbian place and a new Korean place that I'll post about soon.

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Here are a few I like, although I tend to try new places frequently when I eat out.

4) Celebration on Lovers Lane: Good food in a pleasant ranch house setting.

8) Kuby's  in Snider Plaza for good, inexpensive German fare. Not to mention the breads and meats in the grocery section.

Yep I would concur on Celebration. I used to meet a friend their almost every Monday night. We would split Chicken & Chicken Fried Steak or Catfish. I have eaten there since I was a child.

However lately I have been going to Babe's more often. Now that they opening their place in Downtown Carrollton it's just more convient. Also their chicken recipe is the best in town :rolleyes:

Edit:

Ooops forgot to comment on Kuby's. Yep no kidding it constantly amazes me those people who don't know about it. You just cannot find worst as good in Dallas.

Edited by irodguy (log)

Never trust a skinny chef

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Yes, I used to go to Covino's quite a bit.  I love their alfredo sauce.  But I got one too many pizzas that were so cheesy they were more like pizza soup.  So I gave up on them.  But I'm still glad they are around and successful!

Yep I have gotten a few of those pizzas myself. Their other food is so much better that I can deal with the occasional pizza problem :raz: espeically since I mostly make my own.

I think better than both of the above is the pizza at Paparazzi that is for Plano anyhow. Overall none of the above holds a candle to Taverna

Never trust a skinny chef

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  • 2 weeks later...

OK...kill me now, kill me later...

for Q I would recommend Spring Creek BBQ

BUT

ONLY the original one in Richardson on 75 freeway

if in Plano and want the ambience and cost difference, go to their upscale concept Shady Oak BBQ

but expect to pay more than at the cafeteria line in Richardson

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Rated by where I enjoy going as apposed to "best of the best"

2) Simon's Sushi Plano - Simon is an artist

3) Zorba the Greek.  There food is great even though they won't split the check :angry: so we no longer go there for lunch in mass..

We're wanting Sushi tonight so we might just check out Simon's. What's the address? Have you been to Miso Cafe in Plano yet? Nice sushi presentation. No liquor license though :sad:. Went for lunch and ordered Japanese entree stuff and it was a little more uneven.

I'm wondering if once Zorba completes its expansion they'll be more accomodating of the separate check request? May be worth checking out.

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