Coming Home From Vacation: Where is The First Place You Eat in Dallas

How many times have you returned from a vacation and rushed to your favorite restaurant for a fix of your favorite food? For almost 20 years, I drove from the airport to Mi Cocina in Preston Royal and went face down in a plate of nachos. Then came In-N-Out. Okay, so Andrew doesn’t love it. He’s British. He ingests cans of Spotted Dick Sponge Pudding and Vegemite, a nasty paste I use as a bug killer.

I lived in California for 11 years so perhaps I am experiencing the reverse-home-town-food-nostalgia syndrome that affects older people because when I returned from vacation last week, I drove straight to In-N-Out and devoured a DDAS (double-double animal style) like a rabid coyote. EVERYBODY knows you order the fries crispy at INO. Everybody but Andrew.

Anywhoo, where do you go when you re-enter your life in Dallas?


  • irodguy

    This shows exactly why In-N-Out will make it here. Texas has a bunch of transplanted left coasters. Andrew represents the impartial group who does not care about our “roots” We care about the best burger.

    So does INO beat whataburger well maybe. Does INO beat Maple and Motor, Grape, Twisted Root, Kennys, Dels… not so much.

  • I just don’t get the fries there. Are they made of sawdust or what ???

  • Love Field – Rafa’s or Mico HPV. DFW – Taco Diner Irving or Mercado Juarez. Seeing a trend here…

  • gm

    Almost always Mi Cocina w/ an occasional visit to Mia’s.

  • I went to the In-N-Out at Coit and LBJ at 2:30 on a Tuesday and there were 12 cars in the drive thru. The potatoes are cut in the store and fried…you must ask for them crisp. Perhaps you aren’t accustomed to how bland potatoes are without a gallon of salt on them.

  • sweetjack

    The hubs and I always seem to end up at Chuy’s as soon as we get home.

  • JB

    I’d like to say something fancy or trendy, but honestly, …El Fenix.

  • Semi-Loyal SideDish-er

    I have no words to both subjects:

    – Spotted Dick
    – DDAS

    [incredulous look on my face]

  • I would have to say real tex-mex when I get back to Dallas. Just like when I fly home to the north-east I make sure to eat great red-sauce mob-style italian. And I am not joking. There are no great hole-in-the-wall italian places here in Dallas.

    As for INO. Its a chain with zero ties to the Dallas community. There are plenty of local spots to get a good burger – take Off Site Kitchen, Maple and Motor, or another other place. Support locally owned businesses. My 2 cents on that. But different strokes for different folks I guess.

  • TLS

    Don’t hate, but we always go to Saltgrass the night we return. We do a lot of driving vacations and so we’re mostly stuck with fast food or gas station fare, especially on the trip home when you just want to get it over with. The need for a steak, fresh salad and vegetables and a baked potato is overwhelming.

  • Guyndallas

    Lake Highlands Mi Cocina or Mia’s … always, without fail

  • KahunaSteve

    I always hit Campisi’s for a salami and black olive pie, washed down with a St. Pauli girl or two…

  • Courtney

    Pizza By Marco, Torchy’s, Taco Diner.

  • Dgirl

    Mi Cocina Preston Forest — always in the bar (kid free area)

  • Tom

    Used to be takeout at Al’s Pizzeria. Now it’s a vacant lot. So sad.

  • TD

    Mi Cocina is a place for white people who are scared of most of the city.

  • Got to be Luckys for a Reuben or Chicken fried Chicken…

  • Andrew Chalk

    Either to the doctor’s — to get treated for my spotted dick. Or round to Nancy’s, for Animal Style.

    Or both, the latter first of course.

  • Christi carter

    El Fenix! Even as a college student studying overseas, el Fenix was the first place

  • Kadie

    Agreed that INO fries taste like sawdust and I have tried them crispy. Five guys fries are exponentially better. They aren’t natives but neither is INO for that matter. As for local eats-love me some cheese fries from Snuffers but not after every vacation. Not good for the heart!

  • Rey Medrano


  • Margaret

    Mia’s, Manny’s or Campisi’s.

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    Marianos – the only, I mean ONLY, place where it is acceptable to get a margarita frozen.

  • Anonymouse

    Andrew, don’t forget the packet of Cock Soup I bought you once.

  • Anonymous

    Ha! They inserted **** for (C-O-C-K) soup!

  • Anonymous
  • Andrea

    I recently moved to another state and miss Dallas so much!
    A day of amazing food for me:
    Breakfast on the rooftop of Breadwinners in Uptown
    Lunch at Chuys
    Dinner at Ocean Prime or Nick & Sams

  • lk

    When I get back, I want a margarita and some Mexican food. These days I’d go to Mr. Mesero or Mesa.