Food and Spirits DINING OUT

Entree

Puddin’ and Pie

If you don’t live in Oak Cliff, there are, contrary to popular belief, at least two good reasons to go there. One is Jefferson Street, an amazing, rainbow-colored, small-town-Texas-type strip of commercial oddities (note – you can’t help it – the orange and blue Carter Tower building). The other reason is lunch.

Lunch in Oak Cliff, to a Dallas nor-thie, is like a short trip out of town. Make no mistake about it, there’s something a little different there on the other side of the Trinity. And, no mistake again, Oak Cliffians are an independent breed – you can be sure they really don’t care if you come over to have lunch with them or not. Lunch in Oak Cliff is not entirely easy.

The first thing you notice about Norma’s Cafe, at 1123 W. Davis, is that there’s no place to park. There are parking spaces, but they’re all full. Norma’s does big business. We circled the block three times, once getting nudged out of a prime spot by a crafty old-timer in a Valiant who had obviously played this game before, and ended up parking down a side street a block away. Norma’s Cafe looks just like its name – hometown Texana. We were pointed to a turquoise blue booth, tossed two menus, and gazed silently down upon by the waitress, pad in hand, pencil poised. She was busy and she was ready. Under pressure, I opted for the hamburger steak plate lunch, a cafe classic. The waitress nodded.

“Tea?” she demanded. Yes, okay, tea. Hamburger steak is one of those great mystery foods that is never too bad; its basic quality is edibility (one always eats all of one’s hamburger steak).

I ate all of this one, all the mashed potatoes, all the yellow squash, and two cornbread rolls, hoping the waitress would warm up to this enthusiastic display. She slapped down the check without breaking stride. I caught her on the rebound. Norma’s sometimes has peanut butter pie, as rich a substance as ever graced a fork. “Any peanut butter pie today?” I asked cheerfully, know-ledgeably. “Nope.” “What do you have?” She rattled off a list. “What’s best?” I asked foolishly. She flashed a wordless look that spoke clearly: “Stupid question,” it said. Ah, yes. They’re all good. Of course. I’ll take the apple. She left, she returned. “No apple.” No matter. Norma’s was nice. I took the peach pie and the peach, like all Norma’s pies, is great. So is Norma’s clientele: a blue collar fashion show (We played the Look-At-The-Socks-On-The-Old-Guys-At-The-Counter game). And Norma herself is great too. You’ll probably want to play the Guess-Which-One-Is-Norma game. Here’s a hint: she has dark hair and smiles a lot. Just don’t ask the waitress.

Austin’s Bar-B-Cue isn’t easy either. It’s distant, way out on W. Illinois at Hampton Road. But when you finally get there, you can’t miss it. It’s all red, inside and out, red brick walls, red ceilings. Austin’s is one of those places that feels like all regulars from the moment you walk in. No animosity, just a general feeling of “Who are you?” The slogan here is “Tender As Ole Austin’s Heart.” Ole Austin must be a pretty tough cookie. However, what Ole Austin doesn’t know about tender, he does know about french fries – these big, fresh greasers may be the best in Texas. “How long has this place been here?” I asked the girl at the cash register. “I don’t know. Long time.” No matter. Austin’s was nice. They have the softest booths ever created and we found out where the big bass fishing tournament is this weekend.

You really can’t resist the Pizza King Drive-In at 627 W. Davis, because who ever heard of carhop pizza? And here she came, though hardly hopping. “What kind of pizza do you have?” we asked. “Oh, ’bout everything,” she answered. “Do you have a combination?” “Yep.” “What’s on that?” “Lots of stuff.” She was right. Even bacon. How was it? Not so great. But no matter. Pizza King was nice. A Dallas police car pulled up next to us and one of the cops spilled his Coke in his lap.

Lunch at Gennie’s Bishop Grill is not easy because it’s hard to find, tucked away like it is under the shade trees on little Bishop Avenue off W. Davis. And if you get there at noontime, you will wait in line. But there ends the hardship. Gennie and her staff are fun and friendly and their food is … well, this stuff is the definition of the oft-abused term “homecooking.” This is cafeteria style so you can look before you choose. It’s hard not to go with the chicken fried steak, here in its most traditional form: a thin but sturdy slab of meat, not too tender; a thin, flaky crust, not too crunchy; and a sweet, cream gravy, not too lumpy. But it doesn’t have to be chicken fried steak – they even turn barbecued wieners into something special here. Load up on the vegetables (as many as a dozen to choose from), especially the chunky mashed potatoes and the splendid zucchini. The best is still to come. Gennie’s huge homemade rolls are out of this world – I’d swim the Trinity River bottom to get back to these. And, the specialty of the house, banana pudding. Gennie’s CB handle is ” ’Nanner Puddin’, ” so you know she feels strongly about it.

If you want to avoid the long line here, go early. If you go late, the food can be a little cold and you’re liable to miss out on a few things. I had to ask for banana pudding on my last visit and Gennie found one back in the kitchen. “The last one,” she said. But my three rolls did me in, so I simply couldn’t put away those last two spoonfulls of pudding. I was sitting in contented bliss, thinking benevolent thoughts about lunch in Oak Cliff, when the girl came to the table to clear the dishes. “You’re not going to finish your banana pudding?” she snapped. “I … I just can’t,” I whimpered. “For shame,” she scolded, shaking her head as she walked away. No matter. Oak Cliff is nice.

– David Bauer



Newcomers



Alaman’s. You would think that the marketplace simply couldn’t tolerate yet another new Mexican restaurant. So why are people already lining up to wait for two hours to have a Saturday night dinner here? Two reasons. First, Alaman’s is located in far North Dallas (Carillon Plaza), which is a long way from most good Mexican food. Instant clientele. But second, and more important, this is the first offshoot operation of Raphael’s, the McKinney Avenue favorite (Raphael Alaman Correon, you 9ee, owns them both). The menu here is not absolutely identical to Raphael’s, but it’s very close. The style of preparation is identical: the same crafty approach that takes the flair of Mexican cuisine and gives it Americanized appeal – make it tasty (lots of meat) and make it pretty (a little parsley with the nachos, a few peas in the rice). And make it good, which this food certainly is. If you need suggestions, try their excellent con queso or the chicken flautas in a delightful guacamole-sour cream sauce. This must be the city’s first Mexican restaurant to have chandeliers on the ceilings and Goyas on the wall; in fact, the whole place has a kind of inappropriate elegance – but maybe that’s just what happens when Mexico and far North Dallas come together. (Bar “by membership.”) (13601 Preston Rd. at Alpha /387- 2620 / Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m., closed Sun / Reservations on weekdays



Lombardi’s. This stately old house on McKinney Avenue has been through some changes. Lombardi’s is the third restaurant in three years here (formerly La Esquina, then Jeremiah’s) – but it looks as if this one may be here to stay. The house interior is more appealing than ever (this is its best and most elegant treatment yet), now with the added attraction of a glass-enclosed front porch (which even has a slightly slanting floor for an unintended touch of the Old World). It’s nice to find a new Italian restaurant that seems to care as much about its pasta as it does about its “specialty” entrees, including the inevitable veal (Saltimbocca, Marsala, etc.). The canneloni is prepared with an ultra-thin, crepe-like pasta with a nice spinach filling – the effect is quite delicate, except for a rather heavy tomato sauce. Even lighter and better is the manicotti. Their fettucine is a generous bowl of rich green noodles in a well-balanced sauce textured with bits of ham. And there’s a nice group of Parmigiana dishes including an unusual pork Parmigiana and a fine eggplant version. This is distinctly not a little-Italian-family operation, but a polished professional one (the host is yet another well-disciplined Fairmont Hotel grad). It shows in a well-conceived menu (though limited at lunch), rarely sensational but solid throughout. Even to the end – try their coffee-flavored zabaglione for dessert. (2815 McKinney Avenue/823-6040/Lunch: Mon-Fri 11-2:30; Dinner: Mon-Thur 6-10:30, Fri & Sat till 11 / Reservations/MC,BA /$$$)



Schlotzsky’s. Almost anyone who has ever done time in Austin has at leastheard of Schlotzsky’s, even if they haven’t plopped down in the beer garden and plowed into a Schlotzsky sandwich. Well, the Austin fixture has opened a northern branch on Lovers Lane in Dallas: it’s no beer garden (the place is, in fact, rather dull); but it does feature the unique and original Schlotzsky sandwich. The essence of a Schlotzsky is the bread, baked in their little bakery next door: it’s shaped like a large hamburger bun, has a texture resembling English muffin, but with a thin crisp top crust with sesame seeds. On the inside are three sliced meats (ham, spiced luncheon meat, and salami) and three cheeses (cheddar, provo-lone, and parmesan), plus black olives, lettuce, tomato, onions, and mustard. Unless you’re a mustard freak, tell them to go easy on it. Variations include a ham and cheese version and a cheese only version. There are chips and beer as addenda, and that’s it. The sandwiches come small (6″, $1.75) and large (9″, $3.25): the small is a nice portion, the large is a severe challenge to one human being. (5601 W. Lovers Lane/351-6587/Daily 11 a.m.-10 p.m./No reservations/No credit cards/$)

A Ia Carte

Once upon a time in Dallas, in Highland Park, a young boy was taken to lunch by his grandmother. There were many other grandmothers there, he noticed, and no other young boys. His tastes were simple: “Cheese sandwich,” he ordered. It arrived in little squares without crusts, which seemed odd to him since the crust was really the only thing interesting about bread. He peeked inside and found mayonnaise. “I don’t want mayonnaise,” the young boy said. “I don’t like mayonnaise.” “That’s the way they make them here,” scowled grandmother. “Now hush.” He ate his cheese sandwich in sulky silence and when they left he took note of the name of this place: The S&S Tearoom. Never again, he vowed.

Foolish lad. Many years later, in 1977, he discovered his mistake: he shouldn’t have ordered a cheese sandwich. He should have ordered “Mushroom Imperial,” a big bowl of mushrooms in a thick, rich broth. He should have ordered “Bouquets of Salad,” a three-ring salad circus of seafood, chicken, and fruit. He should have taken advantage of that platter of fresh homemade rolls and breads. He should have had a peach meringue for dessert. Grandmother would have been proud.

The S&S is hardly even a tearoomanymore. “S&S Tearoom is still our legal name,” says owner Barbara Fisher.”But we just call it the S&S now. Tochange our image. We want more menin here.” (S&S, you’ll surely want toknow, stands for Mrs. Sterrett and Mrs.Staton, who opened the original littleshop on Knox Street during the Depression.) The S&S isn’t done in bright tearoom pinks and greens, but in warm,mild browns and yellows. Sure, theystill serve finger sandwiches, but theyalso now serve hearty dinners on Thursday and Friday evenings. Sure, theystill serve a cup of tea, but they alsoserve a Bloody Mary – and a lively little Bloody Mary at that. The clientele isnot exactly a mixed bag (women, mid-dleaged, distinctly Highland Parky,with scarves around their necks -“And in 20 years,” says Barbara Fisher,”we’ve never had a customer’s checkbounce.”); but now there is a smatteringof men, a few children, and not evenvery many grandmothers. (25 HighlandPark Village, Preston at Mockingbird/52 1-9614/Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Sun 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Thur & Frievenings 5-8 p.m.)

Junk Food

Boob Tube Food



I hold American Bandstand and Dick Clark directly responsible for my gastronomic demise and my absolute addiction to that offshoot of the television industry – TV Dinners. Living in East Dallas near a grocery store, I had no problem giving in to the sirens of gluttony’s beckoning call and grabbing a Cribbles Pot Pie or a Lump & Bump Italian Dinner after school. Race to the house, fling the thing into the oven, and be ready to wolf it down about the time Vinnie Kalowitz, 16, gave the record an 85 because he didn’t like the words but he liked the beat.

Even in those days TV Dinners weren’t cheap – you had to compromise between five Mr. Colas or a tin foil blob. Sometimes you didn’t compromise. My friend J.W. once slipped a Tastee Turkey Dinner down the front of his pants, then found himself held up in the checkout line behind Doris Cuttingham’s mother who always bought dog food for two weeks. We had to treat him for frostbite out in the parking lot.

Even now there seems to be an enormous stigma connected with TV Dinners. Tell anybody you eat them and you’ll get glints of disgust and an invitation to come to their house for some real food. Then they’ll fix One-Step-Prep stuff like liver and cauliflower. Gads! Even TV Dinner guys have enough sense to not offer liver.

However, if you choose to join me in the Frozen Food Foragers Fantasy Fair, I recommend the Stouffer’s products – especially the Lasagna and the Beef Stroganoff. My second recommendation is the El Chico Saltillo Plate. Even though you aren’t supposed to lift the foil covering, I always do. I like to add my own spices and grated cheese. And I can check to be sure there aren’t any foreign fuzzies in cryogenic suspension.

– George Toomer

Spirits

Wine of the Times

The wine boom has reached such a point that a trip to the liquor store in search of a few nice bottles of wine can be an intimidating venture. Unless you are a diligent student of wines or unless you have befriended a trustworthy wine merchant who can lead you straight to the perfect bottle, it can be a vineyard jungle in there. Label after unfamiliar label. Chateau after strange chateau. You’re likely to end up guessing and it’s easy to guess wrong.

But there is one fairly simple way to improve your odds – familiarize yourself with the general qualities of each vintage year. The regional climatic condition during each annual growing season and harvest is the most important factor in the production of wine. You cannot make a good wine from bad grapes and you would have to work hard to make a bad wine from fine grapes. The vintage year on the label can tell you a great deal about the nature of the wine inside.

The great majority of bottles now on the shelf are Seventies vintages. So below I’ve catalogued the various major growing regions for the years 1970-1976. Obviously these notes don’t apply absolutely, across the board; but they will lead you in the right direction.

FRANCE

Burgundy

1970: Excellent. The relatively late blooming of the vines was compensated for by ideal weather throughout the summer and by beautiful fall harvesting conditions. The result is a large harvest of splendid wines, most reaching their peak now or in the very near future. The white Burgundies are even better and are maintaining their perfect condition. Even the delicate Chablis is holding up well.

1971: Good. Rich, supple wines maturing faster than the 1970 vintage – many ready to drink today. The whites are wonderful and will stay that way for a few more years.

1972: Excellent. A late, warm fall saved a great vintage on the brink of disaster. Full-bodied, old-fashioned, slowly maturing wines to keep under wraps for two or three more years. The white Burgundies are generally disappointing and the Chablis miserable. The best of the Beaujolais (with a commune name on the label) have changed their character, but still drink beautifully.

1973: Good. The weather produced a huge harvest of quickly maturing wines to be consumed in 1977-78. The whites are excellent, ready to drink or to keep for a few years. The Beaujolais were good and plentiful, but the supply is now almost gone.

1974: Poor. After a marvelous summer, a rainy September and October ruined a promising crop and, unfortunately, increased the unwanted quantity. The whites and Beaujolais fared much better – a good crop for today’s drinking. 1975: Poor. The rains were catastrophic for the red wine districts. The whites are generally better than average and the very lucky Chablis, only 40 miles away, escaped most of the rain and produced very good to excellent wines. Beaujolais had a small crop with spotty quality.

1976: Excellent prospects. Even discounting the usual raves and exaggerations of the French Ministry of Agriculture, we are in for a treat.



Bordeaux

1970: Excellent. The extravagantly publicized vintage of 1970 is developing beautifully. Many smaller wines (especially from Pomerol and St. Emilion) make pleasant drinking now; but no wine lover worth his salt is pulling any corks from bottles from the great chateaux. Wait three to five years. The Sauternes, too, are fabulous. 2971: Good. A small and inconsistent harvest nevertheless gave us many wonderful wines, aging faster than 1970. A lot of them are ready today and generally will not last as long as 1970. Another great year for Sauternes.

1972: Poor. Pale, mean, acidy wines. I couldn’t even finish my one glass of Laf-ite. “Requiescat in Pace.”

1973: Fair. A large crop of sugar deficient grapes made light, quickly maturing wines. Useful and pleasant, but please do drink your 1973 Chateau Mouton Rothschild soon and age the pretty Picasso label instead.

1974: Fair. Some grapes were harvested during the rain, and very few vineyards are expected to produce quality wines. There will be a few decent bottles, though.

1975: Very good. These wines are rich and flavorful, with gorgeous dark coloring and plentiful tannin. The general forecast is for good, slowly maturing wines for the next decade. When they show up on our market, buy a bottle for your infant’s 21st birthday. The Sau-ternes will be magnificent.

1976: Very good. One of the hottest European summers on record produced almost perfect grapes until the short rains in September unnecessarily swelled the quantity. Forecast? Probably as good as 1975.

Loire

Current good vintages for the delicious, dry white wines of the Loire are 1973, 1974, and 1975. The forecast for the 1976 vintage is excellent.

GERMANY

1970: Good. Most of the production is already consumed.

1971: Excellent. In fact, outstanding – the best German wines since 1953. Long-lived, rich, satisfying wines. The best do not show any age symptoms.

1972: Fair. Useful and drinkable, most of them are gone by now.

1973: Very good. An enormous harvest of fine quality wines, generally less expensive than 1971.

1974: Poor. Forget it.

1975: Excellent. The Moselles are elegant, still-improving wines – a superior vintage. The Rhines, almost as successful, are typical – full, rounded, and fruity.

1976: Excellent prospects. The early forecast reports are of incredibly rich and full wines of Spatlese grade and better.

CALIFORNIA



(The California vineyards are spread over too large an area to be covered here in detail. These notes pertain only to top quality Napa Valley Cabernet Sau-vignon wines – certainly the most logical and rewarding for us to buy for future keeping.)

1970: Excellent. Great now and still improving.

1971: Fair. Drink now.

1972: Poor. Though there were a few pleasant wines produced, most are not worth your bother.

1973: Very good. Keep for two to three years.

1974: Excellent. These wines will show their mettle in the 1980’s.

1975: Fair. A spotty, rainy harvest produced little of note.

1976: Poor. A long drought damaged the grapes and, in some instances, even the vines. There is little hope for this vintage.

– Victor Wdowiak

Dining Directory

These restaurants represent the best in Dallas dining. It is implicit then, that we recommend all of them highly.

These listings are revised and supplemented periodically. Visits by our critics are made anonymously to avoid preferential treatment. Inclusion in this directory has nothing whatever to do with paid advertising.

The pricing symbols used are categorical, not precise. They are intended only to indicate a general price range.

$ – Generally inexpensive. Usually indicates a good value.

$$ – Middle ground and very general. Usually indicates a menu with a wide price range.

$$$ – Expensive. You can expect to spend more than $10 for a complete meal excluding wine and cocktails.

$$$$ – Very expensive.



Continental

Arthur’s. Once a rustic steakhouse, now a shimmering beef palace. Steak remains the pillar of the operation, but other options abound; lamb chops, veal chops, and calf’s liver to name a few favorites. American wines only – an intriguing and imaginative touch. Warm and classy with one of Dallas’ best bars. Live entertainment. (1000 Campbell Centre/361-8833/Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2; Dinner: Daily 6-11, Sat till midnight/Reservations/All credit cards/$$$)

Bagatelle. The charm of this lovely but low-key restaurant stems directly from its gracious owner/ host. Veal has always been the specialty of the house – try the veal escalopes “Vieux Chalet.” The shrimp du chef (in a garlic sauce) is a delight for starters. A cozy bar with good jazz. The Plaza Cafe is a more casual offshoot of the same kitchen, featuring a fountainside patio for outdoor dining from a varied light-continental menu. (One Energy Square, Greenville at University/692-8224/ Lunch: Daily 11:30-2:30; Bagatelle dinner: Sun-Thur 6-10, Fri & Sat till 11, bar till 11:30; Plaza dinner:Sun-Thur 6-12, Fri & Sat till 1 /Reservations MC,BA,AE/SS-$S$)



D REVISITS

Le Bistro. For some reason, lunch is prime time at this restaurant. Perhaps it’s because then the kitchen isn’t overburdened with a wide range of entrees and can give the comparatively simple fare they serve the attention it deserves. On a recent visit, the sole meunière was delicately poached and properly seasoned. But at dinner things get heavier. The coq au vin, for example, which ought to be the mainstay of a kitchen that pretends to excel in provincial French cuisine, is undistinguished. Too many menu items – the trout and the white asparagus, tor example – come from the freezer, or worse, from the can, reflecting a notion that a French restaurant ought to have these items, when in fact the finest French restaurants rely on fresh food in season. They do excel, however, at both times of the day, at desserts (try the cold almond souffle). And Le Bistro has one of the nicest settings for fine dining in Dallas – an old two story house redone with a gracious touch and without pretentiousness. But whereas at noon you may feel you’re paying tor the food, at dinner you may feel like you’re paying for the fireplace. (3716 Bowser, just off Oak Lawn/528-4181 /Tue-Fri 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; 6-10 p.m.; Sat & Sun 6-10 p.m., closed Mon/Reservations/MC,BA,AE/$$$)

The Balcony/ Fort Worth. It’s not often that you find food like this at prices like this – a bargain in French cuisine. A nicely varied menu of entrees, including a delicious trout amandine. An odd but tasty touch: miniature egg rolls served gratis. It’s not without fault – the salads tend to be limp and the soups are suspect. A pleasant country-resort feeling – easy-going but gracious. (6100 Camp Bowie/ (817)713-3719/ Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2; Dinner: Mon-Thur 5-10, Fri & Sat 10:30; closed Sun/ Reservations/ MC.BA.AE/ $$)



La Bistro/ Fort Worth.Authentic French cooking in a restaurant low in atmosphere but high in personal care. Papa Henri executes with talent his own varied and distinctive menu (dinner selection ranges from Eggs Benedict to frog legs Provencale to medallions of veal; at lunch, try his crepes) and daughter Michelle serves it up with unassuming charm. Extensive wine list. (No relation to Le Bistro in Dallas.) (3322 Camp Bowie/ (817)332-5102/ Brunch: Tue-Fri 11:30-2, Dinner: Tue-Sat 5:30-9:30/ Reservations/ MC.BA/ $$$)



Brasserie. The most elegant “coffee shop” in town. In the wee hours of the morning (they’re open 24 hours), stop by to treat yourself to Dallas’ best Eggs Benedict – sprinkled with truffles (at 3 a.m. they bother?), or a sandwich of sirloin on crisp, buttery French bread. During the other hours, especially lunch, the fare is mostly overpriced and undistinguished. (Fairmont Hotel. Ross & Ak-ard/748-5454/24 hours, seven days a week/No reservations/MC, BA,AE,DC/$$)



Brennan’s. Forget it for dinner – even the enormous menu selection can’t satisfy. Lunch is a legitimate option only if you’re already downtown. But “Breakfast at Brennan’s” (or Sunday brunch) can still fill you with fantasies of the idle rich and morning luxury – and with their many famous variations on the poached egg (One Main Place/747-1911/Breakfast & lunch: 7-2:30 weekdays, 8-2:30 weekends: Dinner: Daily 6-10, till 11 weekends/Reservations/All credit cards/$$$)

Calluaud. One of Dallas’ most civilized restaurants. Set in a small frame house, with a casual yet intimate atmosphere complemented by consistently fine French foods. Superb soups and excellent omelettes; and desserts not to be missed: simple and wonderful fruit tarts (try the apple) and exquisite profiteroles. The imaginative dinner menu changes frequently but has provided such items as a perfectly prepared fresh salmon steak and roast pork in a prune sauce. Prices are a bargain for the quality. It’s easy to get hooked on this place. (2917 Fairmount off Cedar Springs/ 745-9571/ Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Dinner: Mon-Fri 6:30-10:30, Sat till 11, closed Sun/ Reservations/ MC,BA,AE/ $$$)

Carriage House/ Fort Worth. One of the oldest names in Fort Worth dining, the Carriage House is not the wonder it once was, but it still has its moments. It’s a meal of ups and downs: fine Old-plantation-style service but in a drab setting: excellent appetizers (have their splendid smoked salmon) but miserable soups; a fine Chateaubriand (beef dishes are their specialty) but served with canned peas and carrots. (5236 Camp Bowie/ (817)732-2873/ Lunch: Sun-Fri 11-2; Dinner: Daily 6-11 / Reservations/ MC,BA,AE/ $$$)

Chablis. Satisfying rather than sensational, dependable rather than dazzling, Chablis has quietly established a loyal clientele, particularly at lunch. A nice variety of regional French specialties with popular daily specials. Excellent quiche, salads, and sandwiches. And don’t pass up the apple pie with brandy butter. An attractive, low-key place. (120 Quadrangle, 2800 Routh/522-0910/Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30; Dinner: Mon-Thur 6-11, Fri & Sat till midnight; closed Sun/Reservations on weekends/MC,BA.AE/$$$)

Chateaubriand. A long-time Dallas fixture whose popularity survives in spite of a loud clash of styles including a glossy, almost garish, French provincial dining room with marble statues and chandeliers. The international menu sweeps from “Greek Veal” to “Pepper Steak – Hawaiian Style.” Many steaks and shellfish. Bargain daily hot luncheon specials. (3515 McKinney/ 741-1223/ Mon-Sat 11:30 a.m.-midnight/ Reservations/ All credit cards/$$$)

The Chimney. A Swiss/Austrian style characterizes this kitchen and gives this restaurant some special appeal. The Naturschnitzel is a fine veal dish, as is the veal Zurich. For a twist, try the venison tourne-dos. Lunch is still served in the tearoom tradition that originally established The Chimney. The dining room is American colonial in motif – handsome but a bit lifeless. (Willowcreek, 9739 N Cen Expwy at Walnut Hill/369-6466/Lunch: Tue-Sat 11:30-2; Dinner: Tue-Sun 6-1 0:30/Sun brunch 11 -2/Reservations/MC,AE/$$$)<BR>Enclave. A fancily-appointed mood restaurant (in the subdued smoked-mirror-and-chandeliers tradition) – a place for those who relish the romance of candlelight and soft music. Unfortunately, the food doesn’t measure up to the surroundings – from the copious menu you’ll get an adequate meal, but don’t expect the sublime. Lunch, more modest in range and price, is a better bet. Well-disciplined service and a fine wine list. (8325 Walnut Hill/ 363-7487/ Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30; Dinner: Mon-Sat 6-11, bar till 12/ Reservations/ MC8A,AE, DC/ $$$)

Ewald’s. An inspired collection of veal dishes (Veal “Palm Beach” with Westphalian ham, hearts of palm, and béarnaise sauce) have given Ewald his loyal following. But he also serves a cognac-flamed pepper steak that ranks with the best in town. A smattering of other continental dishes (with a Swiss flavor) and a limited seafood selection. A small, plain – in fact bland – dining room. (5415 W Lovers Ln/357-1622/Mon-Fri 6-10:30, Sat 6-11 /Reservations/ MC.BA/$$$)

The Grape. Cozy, congenial, and crowded, The Grape delights its loyal fans with a wonderful array of cheeses from which you create your own elegant cheese board combinations. A daily menu of light entrees, plus lovely omelettes and great soups – the fresh mushroom has a reputation of its own. A diverse and interesting wine selection. An old and unassuming little place. (2808 Greenville Ave/823-0133/Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30; Dinner: Tue-Sun, 6-10:30, open later on Fri & Sat tor wine and cheese only/No reservations/No credit cards/$$)

Marcel’s. Marcel is a charming host in the classic French tradition; it’s that French feeling that has made this a long-popular restaurant. That and a complete table d’hote dinner for only $6.50 – not the finest French cuisine in the city but certainly the best priced. Beef Wellington is the house specialty, but the real star may be the coq au vin. Relaxed, quiet dining. (5721 W Lovers Ln/358-2103/Sun-Thur 6-10:30, Fri & Sat till midnight. Closed Mon/Reservations/MC,BA,AE,DC/$$)

Mr. Peppe. Some say it’s the best French restaurant in the city. Others cite inconsistencies and argue. Regardless, there is a friendly intimacy and refreshing informality at work here – a warm, dark, and cozy setting. Wonderful rack of lamb, superb pepper steak. And the pastries – owner/ chef Albert’s specialties – are almost too good to be true. (5617 W Lovers Ln/ 352-5976/ Mon-Sat 6-10/ Reservations/ MC,BA,AE/ $$$)

Old Swiss House/ Fort Worth. Many claim that this is Fort Worth’s finest. Certainly a Fort Worth favorite – the Kaufmann family has been serving fine continental cuisine here for many years. Delightful veal dishes (the St. Moritz is rich and satisfying) and a daily tresh seafood special. Great little complimentary cheese rolls and a lovely Boston lettuce dinner salad. Not a particularly distinctive place, more comfortable than classy. And the service can seem hurried. (5412 Camp Bowie/ (817) 738-8091/ Mon-Thur 6-10, Fri & Sat till 10:30. closed Sun/ Reservations/ MC,BA,AE/ $$$)

Old Warsaw. Not always up to its glowing reputation and illustrious heritage, but the stately luxury and Old World appeal still prevail. The meal may have its ups and downs, but the entrees usually dazzle. A fine duck Bigarade and beautifully prepared seafood dishes. Service is sometimes perfect, sometimes far from it. Magnificent wine cellar. (2610 Maple/528-0032/Daily 6-11, Sat till midnight/Res-ervations/MC, BA,AE/$$$$)

Oz. The ongoing financial tribulations at Oz seem to be nearing some kind of impasse. What was once the finest and most creative kitchen in the city has been spinning with changes, and the results have been a day-to-day affair. Consequently, it is difficult to advise as to the success of a meal here until things are resolved one way or the other. (5429 LBJ Freeway/233-5755/Dinner: Mon-Thur 7-10, Fri & Sat till 11; Disco: Mon-Fri 5 p.m.-2 a.m., Sat 7 p.m.-2 a.m.; closed Sun/Reservations re-quired/MC,BA,AE/$$S$)

Patry’s. Another contender in the “best-French-restaurant-in-town” debate. A family-run operation with an obvious personal touch is one reason. A menu of exquisite hors d’oeuvres is another (have the stuffed leeks in cream sauce). The escalope of veal is the star of the entrees. Neither luxurious nor intimate, but that doesn’t deter a very loyal clientele. (2504 McKinney/748-3754/Tue-Fri 6-11, Sat till 11:30/Reservations/MC,BA,AE.DC/$SS)

Pyramid Room. The classiest dining room in Dallas – an aura of affluence and impeccable taste. A paragon of service – absolutely professional but without pomposity, including a theatrical sommelier. A dizzying dinner menu of French specialties of the highest order (lunch is less glamorous). The Grand Marnier dessert souffle is a triumph. In sum. Dallas’ finest restaurant. But even at that, capable of disappointment because it is so expensive. Too expensive. But always a pleasure if you can pay the price. (Fairmont Hotel, Ross & Akard/ 748-5454/ Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30; Dinner: Daily 6-midnighl/ Reservations/ Alt credit cards/ $$$$)



Italian

Campiti’s. The sign says “Egyptian Restaurant.” but the place is strictly Italian, carried on in the proud family tradition of papa Carlo Campisi, whose portrait still watches over the proceedings. Dallas’ original pizza specialists – and still the best. Or try the platefull of sausage and peppers. Warm (in fact steamy) and wonderful – and always a waiting line to prove it. (5610 E Mockingbird/’827-0355/’Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-midnight, Sat till 1 a.m., Sun noon-midnight/No credit cards. Checks accepted/Reservations lor 6 or more/$)

lanni’s. An undistinguished shopping center facade, an entry lobby tacked with Dallas sports photos and celebrity glossies, and a dining room that’s a vineyard of plastic grapes doesn’t bode well. But lanni’s can surprise you. It’s relaxed and unpretentious – a throwback to simpler dining. The waitresses are pros and the kitchen is sound if not stunning. And the homemade Italian sausage is as good as any in town. (2230 Greenville/ 826-6161/ Daily 5:30-11 p.m./ Reservations/ MC,AE/$$)

II Sorrento. The best Italian food in Dailas in a marvelously hokey setting – like a Hollywood designer’s dream of Venice, complete with strolling musicians and bread vendors. The fettucine Alfredo and the tagliatelle – both prepared at your table – are standouts among the pasta dishes; the veal dishes are crowned by the Marsala and piccata. Be warned that even with a reservation you may be forced to bide time waiting in the bar. (8616 Turtle Creek/ 352-8759/ Daily 5:30-11. Sat till midnight/Reservations except on Fri & Sat/All credit cards/$$$)

Italian Pavilion. This overdone (fancy-tacky) dining room atop the LeBaron Hotel seems an unlikely setting for fine Italian dining. But fine it can be. Try any of the veal dishes – the saltimbocca in a superb marsala sauce is particularly good. Excellent appetizers and desserts and an interesting Italian wine list combine to make this a place worth a visit. (LeBaron Hotel, 1055 Regal Row at Carpenter Fwy/ 634-8550/ Mon-Sat 6-11 p.m./ Reservations/ All credit cards/ $$$)



D REVISITS

Mario’s. Still one of the very few restaurants in Dallas that take the sophisticated approach and manage to do so with dignity: there is elegance without forced opulence and efficiency without haughtiness. Mario’s has been around long enough to have established its own reputation, so there is an air of confidence and, in keeping with its family tradition, pride. But no showboating, none of the usual annoying frills – just quiet class. While its mood is as appealing as any restaurant in the city, its food is not without shortcomings. There are some delightful features: a rich, roquefort-based cheese spread (served complimentary), dense and delicious French bread loaves, an interesting “Frittura Delizie Romano” (a batter-fried spinach appetizer), marvelous fried zucchini, a nice version of canneloni, and a spectacular wine list. But with the entrees, things fall a little short of expectations – the expectations, as well as prices, are high here. As recent examples, the veal Marsala, the tournedos Rossini, and the veal with artichoke hearts and mushrooms were all adequate, but lacking inspired or exceptional touches. Ordinarily, you might not be bothered; but Mario’s gives such a strong performance otherwise that you expect the best. (135 Turtle Creek Village/521-1135/ Daily 6-11, Sat till midnight/ Reservations/ All credit cards/$$$)

Plotro’t. Home-style Sicilian cooking with flocks of regular customers. The standouts are the pasta dishes – manicotti, cannelloni, fettucine alla Ro-mana, lasagna with meat sauce, and spaghetti ma-rinara – and old standbys like pizza (order the special Sicilian style in advance) and garlic bread (baked on the premises). (5722 Richmond off Greenville/824-9403/Tue-Thur 5:30-10 p.m., Fri & Sat till 11 p.m./No reservations/No credit cards/$$)

Oriental

China Inn. A dependable restaurant with a Cantonese emphasis. Standouts are the sweet-and-sour dishes, the ginger beet, and war sue har (batter-fried shrimp with a “country-style” sauce). Huge eggrolls and excellent homemade almond cookies. Low-keyed and comfortable. (6521 E Northwest Hwy/ 369-7733/ Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-10:30 p.m.; Sat till midnight: Sun 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m./ Reservations/ MC,BA,AE/ $$)

Chinese Pavilion. The menu here is identical to that of Hunan, the restaurant that spawned this one. Be adventurous and put yourself in the waiter’s hands. For $8 per person you’ll be treated to a multi-course dinner featuring the chef’s Hunan and Sze-chuan-style specialties. And the crabmeat and corn soup is a must. (European Crossrods, 2829 W Northwest Hwy/357-3577/Sun-Thur 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri & Sat till midnight/ Reservations/ MC, BA,AE/$$)

Hunan. Currently Dallas’ best Chinese restaurant. The Hunan cuisine that is its specialty is milder than you’ll find in New York, but still potent. Have the “pu pu tray” of appetizers, and then you’re on your own – it’s all good (though we recommend Hunan Lamb, Champagne Chicken, and Shrimp with Garlic Sauce). Small and comfortable. (5214 Greenville Ave at Lovers Ln/369-4578/Mon-Thur 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri, Sat & Sun 11-midnight/Reservations/MC,BA,AE/$$)

Peking Palace. Once Dallas Oriental best, but it hasn’t quite kept up with the booming competition. Too many items taste warmed-over, but the Szechuan-style selections are, tor the most part, excellent (try the shredded pork with garlic sauce). And the Won Ton soup is the best in town And still the most pleasant dining room of any Dallas Oriental restaurant. (4119 Lomo Alto/522-1830/Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30; Dinner: Mon-Thur 5-11, Fri & Sat till midnight, Sun noon-10 p.m./Reservations on weekends/MC,BA,AE/$$)



D REVISITS

Ports O’ Call. Ports 0’ Call has new management, new chefs, and a new menu – but it’s still the same old Ports 0’ Call with the same splendid skytop view, the same great exotic drinks, and the same mediocre food. But if you go tor what it is and not for what it serves, you won’t be disappointed. Start in the bar amidst the blowfish and tiki gods and have one of their potent rum concoctions – try the Test Pilot (“limit 2”) for a stiff kick without too much pucker. II you’re lucky you’ll get a window table (you can’t reserve them) in one of the several lavish (in fact, just short of ludicrous) dining rooms. Here, from the 34th floor, the bright-lights-big-city feeling will make up for the less-than-scintillating meal. The new menu docks in many additional ports, especially European, with one representative dish tor each: Germany, for example, features Wiener Schnitzel; France boasts steak au poivre. But you really should just stay in Polynesia (still the bulk of the menu) where your odds for success are better. If not. just have another Test Pilot. (Southland Center, 2117 Live Oak/742-2334/Lunch: Mon-Sat 11:30-2:30; Dinner: Daily 5:30-1030/Reservations/All credit cards/$$$)



Royal China. A friendly place with a loyal clientele, a most gracious host, and some unusual menu items: Tea Smoked Duck, Golden Crown of Pork, and Dry Stir Beet. All the tood is attractively presented – the chef even sculpts elegant little butterflies from carrots. Unfortunately, the appetizers are on the greasy side. (201 Preston Royal Shopping Center/361-1771 or 368-9692/Tues-Sun 11 30-2:30 and 5:30-10 p.m., closed Mon/MC,BA, AE/$$)

Royal Tokyo. Long the home of superb Japanese cuisine, but lately in a slump. Once-favorite dishes like shabu-shabu and the teriyaki dinner have suffered from careless preparation. Even the delicate sunomono salad is not what it used to be. It seems recent remodeling has upset the gracious care of old. Only temporary, we hope. Because at its best, it’s wonderful. (7525 Greenville Ave/368-3304/Lunch: Daily 11:30-2. except Sat: Dinner: Mon-Thur 5:30-11. Fri & Sat till 11:30, Sun 5-10/Reservations/MC, BA, AE/$$)

South China. An unassuming restaurant that specializes in Mandarin cuisine. The dishes with black bean sauce are the. standouts, as well as the spicy chicken with pecans, barbecued pork with vegetables, and the shredded beef with hot sauce. Excellent soups and appetizers. (5424 E Mocking-bird/826-5420/Lunch: Daily 11:30-2:30. Sat & Sun noon-230: Dinner: Daily 5-10. Fri & Sat till 11 /Reservations/MC,BA,AE/$$)

Trader Vic’s. One of the best of a variable chain of Oriental-Polynesian restaurants, this one has excellent hors d’oeuvres (try the “Cosmo Tidbit” platter), a fine limestone lettuce salad, and well-prepared entrees. We suggest the curries, the almond duck, lobster Cantonese, or the Indonesian lamb roast. Exotic and powerful rum concoctions. (Hilton Inn, 5600 N Cen Expwy/827-3620/Daily 5-11:30 p.m., weekends till midnight/Reservations/ All credit cards/$$$)



Mexican



Chiquita. The reputation for greatness here was not built on consistency – Chiquita is sometimes lovely, sometimes lousy. The Tex-Mex has never been sublime, but on a good day the chiles rellenos are generously stuffed and the steak dishes are usually a good bet – try the filete a la Chiquita and ask for the special garlic sauce. The trimmings are always nice – a good complimentary bean soup, and great chicken-sour cream nachos. (3325 Oak Lawn/ 521-0721/ Mon-Sat 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m./ No reservations/ MC.BA.AE/ $$)



D REVISITS

Adelante.You suspect that you’re in for something special in the way of Mexican food when you’re greeted by a basket of thin, hot, grease-tinged tostados, obviously made fresh on the spot And when the nachos arrive topped with beans that are beans (not mush) and buried in fresh peppers, onion, and tomato, you’re convinced. From there on, you really can’t go wrong. The owner/ hostess has taken her San Antonio family heritage and translated it into an inspired and original menu. The more traditional offerings – chicken/sour cream enchiladas, flautas (with fabulous guacamole), tamales – are all far above average. But it’s the specialty dishes that really shine: the green chile quiche is delicate and delicious, the chilaquiles – an egg and tortilla dish – is both exotic and subtle, and the praline cheesecake, dripping with rich praline sauce, ranks with any dessert in the city. The only problem is that sometimes they’re out of the best items – this is a very small operation. So small that it’s a good thing the location is almost secretive, tucked behind a small shopping complex on Royal at Preston. It’s also a gift shop (Mexican clothes and trinkets) but that aspect is being scaled down to make room for more tables. They’re going to need them. (Be forewarned that this is north of the magic liquor line, so you must drink by club membership – and they won’t let you drink on the day of the membership purchase.) (5934 Royal Lane/691-8301 /Mon-Thur 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri & Sat till 10 p.m., closed Sun/Reservations/MC,BA,AE/$)



Herrera Cate. Home-cooked Tex-Mex from two odd locations. The ludicrous-looking newer version on Lemmon Avenue serves the same great food as the original adobe hole-in-the-wall on Maple. But at the Lemmon location, quality is not a certainty. Visit Maple for good old fat flour tortillas hot off the grill, wonderful burritos, great guacamole. And the menudo is a community tradition. (3902 Maple/526-9427/Weekdays 9 a.m.-8 p.m., weekends till 10; closed Tue/3708 Lemmon/528-2250/Daily 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri & Sat till 10 p.m., closed Mon/ No reservations/No credit cards/S)

Raphael’s. All in all, Dallas’ best Mexican restaurant – and oh the crowds to prove it. From puffed tacos to shrimp enchiladas you can’t go wrong, but take note that the chicken-sour cream enchiladas are the best in town. A lovely old place with warm, wooden, ranchero style. (3701 McKin-ney/521-9640/Mon-Fri 11:30a.m-10:30p.m., Sat noon-10.30. closed Sun/Reservations Mon-Thur onlv/MC BA.AE/$$)

El Taxco. Maybe the best dining value in Dallas. Dependable Tex-Mex right down to the retried beans just the way they ought to be – and at very low prices. A subtle style with less hot seasonings make it an especially good spot for newcomers to Mexican food. A casual, friendly cafe. (2126 N St. Paul/742-0747/Wed-Mon 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m., closed Tue/No reservations/MC/$)



Greek

Goldfinger. In the limited realm of Greek cuisine in Dallas, Goldfinger serves some of the best. But still, this is as much a nightclub (live music with belly dancing) as it is a restaurant and the food is only good, not great. The combination dinner of souv-laki and large charcoaled shrimp is nice and rack of lamb is the house specialty And the dolmas are great. (2905 Cridelle/350-6983/Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2; Dinner: Sun-Thur 6-11, Fri & Sat till midnight/Reservations on weekends/MC,BA,AE/$$)

reek Kay. A festive spot with a longstanding clientele who revel with the staff in Greek folk dances. Live Greek music and, of course, belly dancers. The menu has all the standard Greek specialties – moussaka, etc – plus steaks and lobster For a good Greek sampling, try the combination plate or the daily lunch buffet. (2930 W Northwest Hwy/358-5177/Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-2 p.m., closed Sun/All credit cards/Reservations/$$)



Indian

India House. An authentic representation of Indian cuisine The uninitiated may find it all a bit exotic – but a culture shock made pleasant by the helpful guidance of the staff (or try the Shahi House Dinner for a broad sampling). Aficionados of the Indian tradition may find the preparation lacking perfection, but with so much to choose from, danger of disappointment is slight. Something is sure to please – or at least to surprise. (5422 E Mock-ingbird/823-1000/Lunch: Daily 11:30-2:30; Dinner: Sun-Thur 5-10, Fri & Sat till 11/ Reservations/All credit cards/$$)



Southern Specialties

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Angelo’s /Fort Worth A name that’s known across the state as one of Texas’ premiere barbecue pits. And it is. Great beef, rich spicy sauce, big sandwiches, cold draught, and a setting that fits – West Texas rustic and sawdust floors. And overlooking the proceedings is a monstrous stuffed bear – a landmark himself. (2533 White Settlement Rd/ (817)332-0357/ Mon-Sat 11-10/ No reservations/ No credit cards/ $)

Celebration. Some of the homestyle pride seems occasionally to be missing from the homestyle cooking since the expansion of this friendly place But still a good spot for a wholesome meal at a reasonable price. Pot roast is the best of the five entrees. Plus big bowls of good family-style-help-yourself vegetables. Beer and wine are available now, but try the apple juice at least once – it’s great. (4503 W Lovers Ln/ 351-5681/ Mon-Sat 5:30-11, Sun till 10:30/ No reservations/ MC.BA/ $)

Mr. Chicken. Many rate it the best fried chicken in town. Small town cafe style (including TV). Chicken and dumplings and other plate lunches; grilled steaks. And luscious onion rings Beer only (5114 Greenville Ave near Lovers Ln/363-6969/Daily 11 a.m.-10 p.m./No reservations/No credit cards/$)

Red Moon Cat*. A charming and romantic little European-cafe setting helps hide the consistently inconsistent kitchen. But when they’re on, the featured Creole cooking (more Spanish than French In influence) can be a treat. Open for breakfasts trimmed with grits and biscuits. (4537 Cole/526-5391 /Mon-Sat 7-2:30. 6-10/No reservations/No credit cards/$$)

Sonny Bryan’s. Best barbecue in town? You’ll never get a consensus, but this one gets a lot of votes Juicy, juicy stuff in a funky, funky little smokehouse. No tables – you eat on individual school desk tops. Beer, no bar. (2202 lnwood/357-7120/Mon-Sat 6 a.m.-6:30p.m.. Sun 11-2/No reservations/No credit cards/$)

Southern Kitchen. An all-you-can-eat feast in the tradition of the Old South: fried chicken, smoked chicken, fried shrimp, fried trout, and deviled crab plus appetizers and many other trimmings Nothing extraordinary (except the luscious cinnamon rolls) but the magnitude alone is impressive. (West, 2356 W Northwest Hwy/352-5220/East, 6615 E Northwest Hwy/368-1658/Mon-Sat 5:30-10:30 p.m., Sun 5-10 p.m./Reservations for 5 or more/All credit cards/$$)



Seafood

Oporto Oyster Bar. A somewhat unpredictable place (the service is sometimes perfect, sometimes miserable), but it you go with the simpler broiled dishes, especially the Boston scrod and the baby flounder, you’ll surely be pleased. Often crowded to the point of a wait in line. One reason is that the oysters on the half shell are, predictably, wonderful. (2929 N Henderson/826-2553/Daily 5-11 p. m., Fri & Sat till midnight/No reservations/BA, AE/ $$)

S & D Oyster Company. A handsomely restored 19th century livery/ grocery building with brick walls and bentwood chairs lending themselves to a mild New Orleans atmosphere. Oysters are the specialty – delicious whether on the half-shell or fried. Also boiled or fried shrimp, a pleasant gumbo, and broiled flounder or snapper Beer and wine only. A welcome addition to the limited sea fare in town. (2701 McKinney near Routh/ 823-6350/ Mon-Thur 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri i Sat till 11. closed Sun/ No reservations/ MC/ $$)

Vaiton’s. An unpretentious oyster bar that grew into a schlocky restaurant, Vehon’s still serves the best oysters in town, giant red Spanish shrimp, baked (not broiled) rainbow trout, cattish, and – a rarity in Dallas – a properly black, hot gumbo Casual to the point of crudeness, but there are lots who love it. (4844 Greenville Ave/368-8911 /Mon-Sat 11 a m.-11 p.m., Sun 5-11 p.m./Reservations/All credit cards/$$)



Natural Foods

Arjun’t. Low-keyed and attractive surroundings for imaginative food that’s good for you. The hot entree changes daily, and it’s usually excellent, but they always have delicious, huge, unwieldy avocado sandwiches, generous fresh fruit and vegetable salads, good soups, and custom-made smoothies. (4220 Oak Lawn/526-4050/Mon-Fri 11-3, 5-9; Sat 11-9 /No reservations /No credit cards/$)



Delicatessens

Black Forest. Austrian-style food – sausages, sa-lamis, coffee cakes, breads, a lovely cold cut platter, and excellent sandwiches. Try the veal sausages with hash browns and black bread, and any of the pastries. Excellent selection of German beers and wines. (5819 Blackwell off E Northwest Hwy/368-4490/Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-6 p.m, Sal till 5 p.m. /No reservations/BA/$)

Kuby’s. Busy, bustling, with excellent homemade sausages (served with hot potato salad or sauerkraut), thick sandwiches (try the pastrami), great pastries, and a soup of the day which is a lunch-time bargain (70¢) A congenial spot with a German accent. (6601 Snider Plaza/ 363-2231/ Mon-Sat 8:30-2:30, sandwiches till 5:30/ No reservations/ MC – $15 minimum/$)

Walls. A worthwhile stop for displaced New Yorkers and insatiable corned beef fans, though its reputation as the best for kosher-style food in Dallas is earned mainly by default. The kosher standards – gefilte fish, herring in sour cream, cheese blintzes – are very tasty, but the quality of food and service uneven. Except for the disappointing chopped liver, sandwiches are the best bet. And try the outstanding cabbage soup (10749 Preston Rd/691-4444/ Daily 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m./ MC, BA/$$)



Steaks, Burgers, Etc.

Cattleman’s/ Fort Worth. A famous Texas name that still delivers, and still from its original location right in the heart of the stockyards. The steaks are the thing here and they’re terrific – you can watch them being cooked on the grills at the end of each dining room. Lots of other options, ranging from calf fries (“Mountain Oysters”) to lobster and spaghetti. (2458 N. Main/ (817)624-3945/ Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-10:45 p.m.. Sat 4-10:45 p.m., closed Sun/ Reservations/ MC,BA,AE,CB/$$)

Chill’s. A handsome burger joint. Good chili, unusual soft tacos of flour tortillas, and, best of all, long, thin, greasy french tries with the skin still on them. Always hopping – you’ll likely wait in line. (7567 Greenville Ave at Meadow Rd/361-4371 /Daily 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri & Sat till 2 a.m./ No reservations/MC,BA,AE/$)

The Den. A distinctive spot in the venerable old Stoneleigh Hotel with a convivial clientele of various professional types – like a seasoned Upper East Side bar. Terrific cheeseburgers, a great prime rib sandwich, chef’s specials. Dallas’ best bartending. And free popcorn. (2927 Maple/742-71 11 /Restaurant: Mon-Fri 6 a.m.-9 p.m.. Sat & Sun 6 a.m.-1 a.m.; Bar: Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-midnight, closed Sat & Sun/MC,DC.AE,CB/$$)

The Filling Station. The last word on motif dining. An old gas station transformed into a restaurant. Automobile paraphernalia abounds, gas pumps dispense beer at the bar, and the Mobil flying horse hovers over it all. “Ethyl,” “Regular,” and “Low Lead” (no bun) hamburgers. No kidding. (6862 Greenville Ave near Park Lane/691 -4488/Tue-Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sun & Mon till midnight/No reser-vations/MC. BA.AE/$)

Houlihan’s. If you want it, they’ve probably got it. From escargots to cheeseburgers, from crab New-burg to Belgian waffles, from omelettes to roast duck, from crepes to steak. And, considering the range, the overall quality is surprisingly good Antique clutter motif. Often long lines. (4 NorthPark East/361 -9426/Daily 11 a.m.-1:30 a.m./No reservations /MC.BA.AE/’$$)

Ichabod’s. Slick in the Greenville Avenue tradition, but Ichabod’s is nevertheless a very pleasant and dependable place. The key to their success is a limited menu of steaks and seafood with nothing so elaborate that the kitchen staff can’t handle it. There are a few nicely imaginative touches, like a “relish tray” of raw fresh vegetables instead of a tired salad. A nice dining area with its own entrance to separate it from the teeming swingles bar. (Old Town, 5500 Greenville/691-2646/Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30; Dinner: Daily 6-11/No reser-vations/MC. BA.AE, CB/$$)

Klrby’s. Dallas’ original steakhouse and time has only enhanced its appeal. No gimmicks, waitresses of the old school, and good food values. The “special cut” sirloin strip is big and beautiful and the creamy garlic house dressing is alone enough for some fans. (3715 Greenville/823-7296/Tue-Sun 5:30-10:30, Fri & Sat till midnight/Reservations/All credit cards/$$)

Railhead. Consistently the best of the steak-and-sal-ad-bar scene. The salad bar has creative possibilities and the prime rib may be the best around. Heavy on the railroad theme and super-smile service (6919 Twin Hills Ave at Park Ln/369-8700/Lunch: Daily 11-2; Dinner: Mon-Thur 5:30-11, Fri & Sat 5-11:30, Sun 5-10:30; bar till 2 a.m. nightly/Reservations (on weekends before 7 p.m. and after 10:30 p.m. only)/MC,BA,AE/$$$)

Stonelelgh P. An Oak Lawn favorite and eclectic hangout. A restoration of what was long a pharmacy – clever but not cutesy. Provolone cheeseburgers on pumpernickel are the favorite among many goodies Great magazine rack (browsing encouraged) and fabulous juke box (from Bach to Stones). (2926 Maple/741 -0824/Mon-Thur 11:15-mldnight, Fri & Sat till 1:30 a.m., Sun 12-12; bar daily till 1 a.m., Fri & Sat till 2/No reservations /No credit cards/$)

Strictly Ta-Bu. A terrific old neighborhood bar with a mixed bag clientele.” The original 1948 decor has been virtually untouched and charms with its classy-tacky effect. Great pizza, great burgers; plus steaks, sandwiches. Live jazz most nights and an occasional free flick. (4111 Lomo Alto/526-9325/Mon-Fri 5 p.m.-2 a.m.. Sat 6 p.m.-2 a.m., Sun 6 p.m.-1 a.m./ No reservations/ MC,BA/$$)

T.G.I. Friday’s. This may be Dallas’ junk food paradise – if Junk food means luscious hamburgers (still among the best in town), a munchy concoction called “nacholupas,” the biggest chef’s salad you’ll ever see, and even rhubarb pie. Good steak bargains; avoid the omelettes The place is lively as ever, with lots of swingles and a little of everything else. (Old Town. 5500 Greenville/363-5353/Daily 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m./No reserva-tions/MC.BA,AE/$S)



Mainly For Lunch

The Bronx. A surprisingly quiet little spot amidst the Cedar Springs sideshow. The fare is simple but stylish: for example, a plate of bagels and lox with red onions and cream cheese or a pretty omelette with a bagel and a side of terrific Italian sausage Atmosphere (rustic and woody) but without coming on too strong. Beer (lots of imports) and wine only. (3835 Cedar Springs near Oak Lawn/ 521-5821/ Daily 11:30 a.m. -12:30 a.m.. bar till 2/ No reservations/ MC/ $$)

Clro’t. Great Sicilian-style pizza and an attractive array of elaborate sandwiches in an airy, old-time corner store at McKinney and Hall The “wine bar” serves fine wines by the glass, the beers include some nice imports, and there’s a great hard apple cider with a real kick. (3237 McKinney at Hall/745-9464/Mon-Wed 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Thur & Fri till midnight, Sat till 1 a.m., closed Sun/No reserva-tions.’MC/$$)

La Crtparie. The courtyard patio under Cinzano umbrellas provides the nicest al fresco dining in Dallas (There are inside tables for winter or rain.) varieties, including several ratatouille and several creamed spinach versions (#13 – spinach, Italian sausage, and mushrooms). For a different dessert, try their “tortillions.” (Quadrangle. 2800 Routh/651 -0506/Sun-Thur 11 am -5 p.m..,Fri & Sat till 11 p.m., closed Sun/ Reservations recommended/ MC.BA.DC.AE/ $$)

Gallery Buffet. An expertly catered buffet table at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, featuring hearty soups, salads, homemade breads, and desserts for only $2.50 Wine extra. (DMFA. Fair Park/421-4187/Tue-Fri 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m./No reservations/No credit cards/$)

The Lunch Basket Tearoom. Bright and cozy Homemade lunches with unusual salads and soups, and homemade tea breads that you can also buy by the loaf Foreign blend coffees and teas (6617 Snider Plaza, Studio 216/ 369-3241/ Mon-Sat 10 am.-5 p.m./ No reservations/ No credit cards/ $)

Magic Pan. A very popular place with a delicious selection of crepes, including outstanding dessert crepes. Very crowded during the week, but nice for Sunday brunch or late night after-theater snacks. (NorthPark – New Mall/692-7574/Mon-Thur 11 a.m.-midnight. Fri till 1 a.m., Sat 10 a.m.-1 a.m., Sun 10 a.m.-midnight/No res-ervations/MC, BA,AE/$S)

Upper Crust. Homestyle specialties like chicken & dumplings and red beans & rice, plus wonderful buttermilk pie and a great buttermilk salad dressing. Also sandwiches and homemade soups A casual “indoor courtyard” setting (Olla Podrida, 12215 Coit Rd/661-5738/Lunch: Mon-Sat 11-3; Dinner: Thur only, 5:30-8:30/No reservations/No credit cards/$)

Zodiac Room. A stunning effect with salads ashandsome as they are tasty, and an irresistible array of desserts – including their famous strawberry shortcake Always crowded Wine and beer.(Neiman-Marcus, downtown/ 741-6911/ Mon-Sat10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; teatime daily 3-5 p.m. except Thur 2:30-3:30, Thur dinner 5-7 p.m./Reser-vations/Neiman-Marcus charge card only, checksaccepted/$$)

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