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Dallas Dining Suggestions


rasputin1072
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Anyone else want to weigh in on Urban Tacos? It's on the DART and thus easy access from our hotel. Do they take reservations on weeknights?

I haven't been there. I wonder if it's a newish place? I used to go to Mockingbird Station regularly to get my haircut.. But my stylist moved to a different location, so I don't make it there anymore..

I guess you could call and ask to see if they take resos.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Here's a Bill Addison review of Urban Taco from August of 2007.

Mr. Addison enjoyed most of the offerings, liked the hippster environment and the prices, but found the fast-casual service pushy. It's been over a year, so YMMV.

From the review:

"Fernando Huerta, formerly a sous-chef at Stephan Pyles, craftily specializes in several proteins (and one astute vegetable combination) that could be insinuated into several styles of dishes: chicken tinga, barbacoa, red snapper and a trio of poblano, potato and zucchini. The Dos Equis amber pot roast barbacoa leads the horde. A coffee-and-cream-colored snarl of ragged beef interwoven with equal notes of sweet and pleasant bitterness from its beer braise, it melds equally well tucked into a masa empanada, splayed in a tuft over a corn tortilla or spread between crusty telera bread in a warm torta."

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Went to Urban Taco tonight and had some very good to excellent food.

We started with good chips, excellent, simple guacamole and a quartet of salsas; the tomatillo serrano verde and habañero/roasted peanut sauces were both outstanding. We all stuck to the taco trios for dinner, and I went for the basics. I thought that the carnitas taco was a bit too sweet, but it, like all the other meats, was perfectly cooked and very moist. The pastor and barbacoa were both excellent, tucked into swell fresh tortillas (Maseca harina, I think) with minimal additional fanfare. That's how I'd want it: the chef is letting the quality meat shine without too much distracting adornment.

Sides were fine, unremarkable. The beans were pureed, which was a bit odd, though they were tasty. the The drinks, sadly, were mediocre: fresh ingredients but poorly balanced and, for the most part, far too sweet. I had to ask for an extra shot in my Paloma Cocktail.

The service was impeccable, particularly for such an informal setting.

If I lived in Dallas, I'd eat here regularly.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Had to do some errands during the day and found myself back at Urban Taco for lunch. I've just polished off one shrimp arbol and one chicken mole taco, both great though the mole was a standout. I also had to get more of those peanut habanero and tomatillo serrano salsas, so I got chips (and the pepito "pesto," very good but not in the league of the others) to eat with those.

This place is great.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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  • 2 weeks later...

while out and about, spending more money because of other topics here in eGullet forums, I swung by Urban Taco for a mid-afternoon snack.

Man.. You were right, Chris. This is some really good stuff. I had a cup (really, a decent sized bowl) of the tortilla soup. It had pazole in it, too. Never had tortilla soup with that before, but it was good. Very flavorful soup.

I also ordered two tacos. I wasn't super hungry and will be going out to dinner at 7:00 with friends, so I didn't want to load up. Ordered the barbacoa and the al pastor. The barbacoa was excellent. The al partor was very good as well. All the toppings were spot on. tasty. nicely diced. Nothing gringo at all about these tacos. No cheese. no lettuce. It's like tacos should be. The tortillas were good, too. The menu claimed they were made from fresh masa. I don't have much experience comparing tortillas side by side, but these were pretty damn good.

Everything washed down with a glass of Dos Equis.

Clearly, there are people in the kitchen that know what they are doing. I will certainly be returning. Next time, I will check out their tortas.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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while out and about, spending more money because of other topics here in eGullet forums, I swung by Urban Taco for a mid-afternoon snack.

Man.. You were right, Chris. This is some really good stuff.  I had a cup (really, a decent sized bowl) of the tortilla soup.  It had pazole in it, too.  Never had tortilla soup with that before, but it was good. Very flavorful soup.

I also ordered two tacos. I wasn't super hungry and will be going out to dinner at 7:00 with friends, so I didn't want to load up.  Ordered the barbacoa and the al pastor.  The barbacoa was excellent.  The al partor was very good as well. All the toppings were spot on.  tasty.  nicely diced.  Nothing gringo at all about these tacos. No cheese. no lettuce.  It's like tacos should be.    The tortillas were good, too. The menu claimed they were made from fresh masa.  I don't have much experience comparing tortillas side by side, but these were pretty damn good.

Everything washed down with a glass of Dos Equis.

Clearly, there are people in the kitchen that know what they are doing.  I will certainly be returning.  Next time,  I will check out their tortas.

I went by last Thursday and was equally impressed (tried the barbacoa, al pastor, and mole tacos). I think I'm gonna swing by again tonight.

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  • 4 months later...

I'll be back in Dallas (well, Grapevine...) at the end of May. I've got rez at The Mansion at Turtle Creek one night, which will consume the bulk of that week's dining budget. I ate at Mia's last time I was in town and it was great, but I am also looking for some more different inexpensive places to check out. Any genre is fine. Suggestions?

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I'll be back in Dallas (well, Grapevine...) at the end of May. I've got rez at The Mansion at Turtle Creek one night, which will consume the bulk of that week's dining budget. I ate at Mia's last time I was in town and it was great, but I am also looking for some more different inexpensive places to check out. Any genre is fine. Suggestions?

Go to W Jefferson in Oak Cliff section of Dallas and try La Palapa Veracruzana. Very good Vera Cruz style seafood. If your into Mexican that would be a perfect place for a taco crawl. Also, the Bishop arts district is very close by with several interesting restaurants.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Not to rain on the Mansion or anything Chris, but it is currently between exec chefs: Tesar left and moved to NY. So you may want to consider other places that aren't in transition right now. Stephan Pyles would be top of my list. Or Lola, still. Lots to like about York St. Since you're in Grapevine though and just as close to Ft. Worth you may also consider Lanny's.

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Not to rain on the Mansion or anything Chris, but it is currently between exec chefs: Tesar left and moved to NY. So you may want to consider other places that aren't in transition right now.  Stephan Pyles would be top of my list.  Or Lola, still.  Lots to like about York St.  Since you're in Grapevine though and just as close to Ft. Worth you may also consider Lanny's.

I agree. And all fine suggestions.

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I'll be back in Dallas (well, Grapevine...) at the end of May. I've got rez at The Mansion at Turtle Creek one night, which will consume the bulk of that week's dining budget. I ate at Mia's last time I was in town and it was great, but I am also looking for some more different inexpensive places to check out. Any genre is fine. Suggestions?

Chris - I think we may be of more help if you can clarify a few points. How many meals will you be on your own for dinner? Any at lunch? You are about equidistant from Dallas and Ft. Worth - any preference due to other activities, such as sports, museums, concerts? Rough price range - under $10? Under $25, $50? Barbeque? Asian/SE Asian? Mexican? Southern US? Excellent pizza? Tapas? Italian? Mediteranean?

BTW, Grapevine is full of wineries and wine bars. And Main Street Bakery is worth a visit for their pastries and bread - they also have a light breakfast and lunch menu. Two great pizza places in the area, too.

Lots of Italian-American and Tex-Mex/Mexican places of variable price and quality in the Grapevine-South Lake area if you want to stay closer to your base.

If you did not get to visit Central Market last visit, there is one nearby in South Lake.

Design & Grace is a European cookware and dinnerware shop on Main Street owned by my friend Tony Boulton, an English transplant who worked in the business in the UK representing fine pottery makers, Wustoff, ScanPan and such. Unusual finds, including an Alessi shop-in-shop. Worth a visit.

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Thanks for the advice: Stephan Pyles it is. I am now looking for lunch on Tuesday, lunch and dinner on Wednesday, and a relatively early dinner on Friday. I'd like to keep it under $25/person not counting booze (which I always hold immune from budgetary considerations :smile:). In OKC we have no decent Italian to speak of, so that would be a good option. Plenty of Mex and Tex-Mex here, and some decent BBQ, so unless it's someplace truly superb (like Mia's), probably stick to other options.

I'm in town for a conference, so not much time for sightseeing, etc. I'll hit Central Market and a liquor store on my way out of town, of course...

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Southlake, which is the next town over from Grapevine, has a Central Market. It also has a neat little urban-style living/shopping area and there you'll find a branch of Campania Pizza there. I can't remember the exact terminology but their Pizza guy is recognized by the DOC-type pizzaiolos of Napoli and it's definitely worth checking out.

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Thanks for the advice: Stephan Pyles it is. I am now looking for lunch on Tuesday, lunch and dinner on Wednesday, and a relatively early dinner on Friday. I'd like to keep it under $25/person not counting booze (which I always hold immune from budgetary considerations :smile:). In OKC we have no decent Italian to speak of, so that would be a good option. Plenty of Mex and Tex-Mex here, and some decent BBQ, so unless it's someplace truly superb (like Mia's), probably stick to other options.

I'm in town for a conference, so not much time for sightseeing, etc. I'll hit Central Market and a liquor store on my way out of town, of course...

I hope your experience with the service staff at Stephen Pyles is much better than mine was a couple of months ago. The restaurant is visually interesting, the food was very good, the service was terrible. If you want to know more pm me and I will explain.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Since you are in Grapevine for a conference you may not be wanting to drive the 30 - 60 minutes into Dallas or Ft. Worth for lunch. If you're looking for something closer to your hotel, Campania in Southlake would be a good choice. I think they still have a lunch special - small individual pizza and salad for about $10, but I'll check on it if you're interested. And they have more than pizza.

There is also a tiny wine bar on Main Street in Grapevine - Into the Glass. I dropped in there a couple of times a few years ago during happy hour, but have not eaten there since they expanded their menu - it looks good. They're next door to a small, well-selected wine shop - same owners. You can do it for under $25, or push over that limit.

Also Fireside Pies - on Main Street and another excellent pizza place. An outpost of the original location in Dallas.

But if you are wanting to go into Dallas or Ft Worth for lunch, let us know and we can make a few more suggestions.

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Thanks, that's great. The days I listed as being available for lunch it's because the afternoon's sessions are boring and I am going to skip them, so location isn't that critical. I may actually be more inclined to drive around a bit, for lack of anything better to do. The hotel is gorgeous, so I guess I could just sit around, but I'd rather drive in search of food...

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I second the concerns on the Mansion as it seems to be up in the air right now. York Street is still consistently great, but I think the best place in town right now is Charile Palmers. Pyles is a good choice as well (they even have a fairly inexpensive lunch).

A good lunch spot (especially if you want to have a beverage or two) is Thomas Avenue Beverage Company. Great food for a bar. Finally, I always have to recommend Louies for pizza (and other dishes) and drinks if you are into dives. I can offer further thoughts if helpful as we live about two blocks from York Street.

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Craft is great, even for lunch, though I haven't had the food in a while.

Nonna is great for Italian.

A good burger spot is Twisted Root. There is a place in Oak Cliff called Bolsa which is fairly new and getting a lot of positive reviews, though I personally haven't eaten there yet.

One of my favs is a place called Maguire's Regional Cuisine in North Dallas. Think upscale comfort food with good service, wine, etc. They have always been consistent and they are reasonably priced as well. The owner also has a place called Rise No. 1 which is a souffle bar. It's pretty cool, though a little bit too "ladies who lunch" for me to frequent. It's good food though and a cool little place/concept.

Another place that often gets overlooked is a place called The Mercury Grill. According to the latest review, it's a little inconsistent, but I've always found it to be excellent (though, to be fair, I haven't been in a while). For some reason this place flies under the radar in Dallas though it is really great. The chef was like a finalist to be the white house chef back in 2005. He also is one of the few (if not the only) places in Dallas to employ sous vide cooking.

Have fun, I miss Dallas a lot :)

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I'll be back in Dallas (well, Grapevine...) at the end of May. I've got rez at The Mansion at Turtle Creek one night, which will consume the bulk of that week's dining budget. I ate at Mia's last time I was in town and it was great, but I am also looking for some more different inexpensive places to check out. Any genre is fine. Suggestions?

If you are going to be in Grapevine, I will direct you WEST, to Ft. Worth, and Lanny's Alta Cocina Mexicana.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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To continue this thread as a resource on DFW places to eat, we had dinner at York Street tonight and it was a good meal. A few missteps -- I had sardines which had a few bones still left in them-- but all in all, it was a good meal. My entre was veal cheeks and they were great. Everyone else enjoyed their dishes as well. I would continue to keep York Street as one of my top ten in DFW.

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Chris, if you have not dined at Lanny's Alta Cocina Mexicana in Ft Worth yet, put it very high on your list. Some of the best food in the DFW.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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  • 1 month later...

Alas, I can't eat at both Lannys and Pyles, so Lanny is going to have to wait for my next visit (remember, I'm only three hours north, so it's not like I can't make it down again in a few months). Tomorrow I will probably be driving from Grapevine over to Goody Goody liquors in Addison, and then down to Pogos on Lovers Ln: any good lunch spots in along those routes?

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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