10 Texas restaurants that you must eat at at least once. (Houston: how much, house)
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These are all exclusive to Dallas
*Wolfgang Pucks 560 restaurant in Reunion Tower.
*Dallas Fish Market
*Asia Wok in BofA tower-The BEST ASIAN FOOD IN DALLAS!!!
*Neo Pizza-The Best Pizza in Dallas
*The French Room-The Best French Restaurant in Dallas
*Dallas Chop House-Dallas Bred
*Marianos-Invented the Margarita
*Jakes Burgers-The best Burgers in Dallas
*Charlie Palmers @the Joule
I am not putting these in any order because it would be an injustice to all of these fine institutions.
1. Kreuz Barbecue/Smitty's BBQ Lockhart, Texas
Okay, I'm kind of cheating listing them both in one spot, but you know this list is going to be dominated by fine bbq establishments and we could feasibly use up half the list by putting in the Lockhart, and Luiling places plus Franklin's. Not much to say here that hasn't already been said in the numerous bbq threads. Melt-in-your-mouth brisket and delicious, flavorful hot sausage rings, what's there not to like here? The true pinnacle of bbq (I don't care what Memphis, Carolina, or Kansas City says. All that sauce they drown their meat in has probably gone to their heads ).
2. Cooper's Pit BBQ Llano, Texas
I'm putting this on the list because the style is different from your typical Central Texas barbecue. It is cooked using direct heat methods and they will dunk the meat in sauce if you want them too. But despite the fairly heretical nature of their practices, it's simply darn good meat! The location has as much to do with me listing it here, though. Nothing quite like a little drive through the Texas hill country on a cool, sunny, Saturday morning to enjoy cowboy style barbecue!
3. City Market Luiling, Texas
Sigh, I promise this is going to be my last barbecue joint (please forgive me, Aaron Franklin, but I can't turn my back on the old staples). I'd say that CM probably is a half a notch above the Lockhart places these days. I prefer their brisket to Smitty's and Kreuz, the sausage is about the same, but their ribs are out of this world! Truly one of the best.
4. Timmy Chan's Houston, Texas
If you're a huge hole-in-the-wall foodie or a fan of Texas rap, you've probably heard of this place. It's a Chinese restaurant, but it's mostly famous for it's fried chicken! You need to come here once, simply to enjoy the experience of getting six huge fried chicken wings and two pounds of shrimp fried rice for five dollars. These restaurants are usually located in areas that are considered "rough", but don't let that deter you. I assure you, everybody is too busy drooling over the poultry goodness to even be thinking about harming you.
5. Frenchy's Chicken Houston, Texas
Another Houston chain. While Timmy Chan's has good chicken, it's real big draw is the quantity and price. Frenchy's is all about the QUALITY. The crispy cajun-seasoned outside combined with the juicy soft inside makes this the best restaurant fried chicken that you're going to get in Texas. Period. Be sure to grab a side of cajun seasoned fries, pound cake, and red soda (what they call strawberry soda in those parts) before you leave. The locations are very similar to Timmy Chan's so the same applies, relax and enjoy!
6. Hoover's Cooking Austin, Texas
My home town hasn't made much of an appearance on this list. But this place is a gem. This is a comfort food haven. Hoover's serves up your very favorite southern comfort foods. For my money they have the best Chicken Fried Steak in Texas. They also smoke Elgin sausage, ribs, and chicken in house (BBQ style or Jaimaican Jerk style). The potato salad, candied yam's, and mashed potatoes are all excellent and their creole meat loaf is to die for. I also recommend trying some of their creative desserts like the banana cheesecake. They change regularly so be sure to ask your server what the day's offerings are.
7. Taqueria Datapoint San Antonio, Texas
I'm surprised it took this long to get to a Mexican food establishment. Mexican restaurants in Texas are like McDonalds. There's one on every corner. But if you want pure, no frills, authentic Mexican food then you have to take the trip to this little place in good old San Antone. Perfectly seasoned barbacoa and carnitas make for an otherworldly taco experience and they have the freshest guacamole I have ever eaten. Combine this with top notch enchilada's and you have a sure winner. Very little English is spoken here, so be prepared for that and enjoy your dining experience!
8. Dirty Martin's Austin, Texas
Not much to say here. If you want a good, greasy, delicious burger in a no frills atmosphere then Dirty's is for you. Located right on "the drag" by UT, Dirty's is a small, charming old institution that serves burgers and fries the way they should be. I'm sure other cities all have their equivalent, but in my experience as an Austinite and a UT alum, Dirty's is the epitome of burgers to me.
9. Perry's Austin, Texas
Honestly, not much separates Perry's from your typical upscale steakhouse in any large city, except one thing. The Friday pork chop lunch special! This isn't just any pork chop. It's the entire sugar glazed pig! The server carves it right in front of you and you get whipped mashed potatoes on the side. I'm telling you....this thing is big! But I'm not going to try to explain to you how big this thing is. Just google "perry's pork chop" and you can see for yourself. Oh, I almost forgot, all for the price of $12.50! Considering it's normally a 40 dollar per plate type of place, that's a steal.
10. Sweet Georgia Brown Bar-B-Que Dallas, Texas
Yea, I said I wasn't going to do another BBQ joint. Well guess what? Despite what the name says, this isn't a barbecue joint! This is what I once read a reviewer describe as a "soul food cathedral". And I agree! There's so much that I can say about this place. You enter the old building in South Oak Cliff and find yourself in a Luby's-style cafeteria line. You'll most likely hear gospel music playing over speakers or on the TV and will sometime seven hear the staff singing out loud with it (a refreshing thing to see considering the controversy surrounding public affirmation of one's religion these days). Avoid coming here after church on Sunday's unless you enjoy the smell of dumpsters, because that's how far out the door the line is going to go.
The food is simple, pure soul food (think of Hoover's...but a million times better!). Most meals here are going to revolve around an entree and three sides. For barbecue meats they provide brisket, sausage, and ribs (smothered in sauce if you want it that way). They're all very good! They won't make you write home if you're used to Central Texas barbecue, but you're going to be a very happy camper as you dig in to them. Not feeling like barbecue? That's fine, because the non-barbecue dishes are where this place really shines. Catfish, meat loaf, ox tail, turkey wings...it's all here and all perfectly seasoned! The sides are equally impressive. Honestly the best mac and cheese, candied, yams, collard greens, and potato salad I've had from any restaurant.
And the PORTIONS! I'm not going to go on about how much they give you. I'll just say this. I'm a 6'4 260 pound glutton of a man that polishes off a pound of brisket, four hot sausage rings, and a ton of white bread at any of the Central Texas barbecue establishments with ease. I've never finished a meal in one sitting at this place...it's just THAT much. Yeah, it's a rough neighborhood, but once again, don't let that deter you.
I could go on and on about this place, but that really isn't going to do it justice. If you put a gun to my head and forced me to pick a number one out of all these restaurants, I'd pick SGB. I'm putting it in bold because it's just that good. Seriously, people. Go here!
Last edited by UTHORNS96; 04-16-2013 at 12:50 PM..
I like this. I am going to print this list and try to find some of these when we visit in June.
Any in small towns like Fredericksburg and Boerne that you recommend?
Perhaps Altdorf Biergarten in Fredericksburg. It's kind of touristy, but it's pretty good German cuisine for Texas. Fredericksburg was one of the towns that German's immigrated to heavily back in the 19th Century. It also has a nice, outdoorsy atmosphere.
Fredericksburg really is a nice, charming little town.
And if you're ever traveling down I-20 between Tyler and Dallas, get off the interstate and head into downtown Van to The Dinner Bell (formerly Stoney's Dinner Bell for any natives)....best chicken fried steak and, on Fridays, fried catfish anywhere! They've been on Texas Country Reporter before, and at Christmas, Debbie puts up the most charming and ALWAYS different decorations in the front of the store. It is definitely a small-down diner, with the regulars going through many pots of coffee in the mornings!
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