Wednesday, May 22, 2024 May 22, 2024
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Food and Spirits DINING OUT


It’s Hard to Say No to an Egg Roll

“There are no egg rolls in China,” it says in the Oriental cookbook. Aha, just as I suspected. Like nachos and pizza, the egg roll is just another creative American aberration of a foreign cuisine. But not exactly. The cookbook goes on to inform us that there are such things as egg rolls in China, they are just not called egg rolls. They are called spring rolls, apparently derived from the fact that they have long been a traditional holiday dish in Canton, served during the Chinese New Year’s days in the spring. America has for some reason decided to call them egg rolls – even though they have nothing to do with egg.

But never mind the reasons why, what America has done with the egg roll, like nachos and pizza, is create a masterpiece of a treat. And, like nachos and pizza, the egg roll is a treat I can’t resist. I never eat just part of an egg roll – always all. If there is an extra egg roll left on the communal plate, I eat it. I never eat a Chinese meal, in fact, without an egg roll. It occurred to me recently that I have never said “No” to an egg roll. And I wondered, are egg rolls that unique food that is universally good? Do bad egg rolls exist? Is there an egg roll in Dallas that I can say “No” to?

From experience, I knew that the major Chinese restaurants in Dallas (Hunan, Peking Palace, Szechuan, South China, etc.) all have good egg rolls. There seems to be a general formula at work – they are all of similar size, design and content, with only minor variations. The search would have to be behind other inscrutable doors. This was the chance to visit all those Chinese restaurants that I’d always wanted to go in to, but, for whatever reasons, never had.

Yee’s sits amidst the modern rubble of Lemmon Avenue like some kind of prefab Mongolian temple, its peaked red tile roof crowned with gold lion statuettes at each corner. At mealtimes, the large parking lot is always teeming with cars. I’d always wondered about that, so now was the time to find out. Any place that could stick out on Lemmon Avenue like a sore thumb on a diseased hand just might have a bad egg roll. On the inside it is easy to see the reason for Yee’s popularity. It’s the El Chico of Chinese food, with the same mass appeal of easy-come, easy-go dining, no muss, no fuss. Lots of tables, lots of formica, plastic laminated menus, bustling waitresses.

And such efficiency is not about to overlook the need for a good egg roll. These are terrific, stuffed fat with soft celery and not too many bean sprouts, pork bits and more chicken than usual, and wrapped in a very hot, slightly greasy, perfectly crisp crust slightly reminiscent of good fried chicken batter, lending an Americanized taste. But highly flavorful. Not only could I not say, “No,” I ordered an extra one. (They also serve a great beef chow mein here.) And only on Lemmon Avenue would fortune cookies be replaced by “Fortune Bubble,” a 2¢ stick of bubble gum with a wax paper fortune wrapped around it: “A smart mouse plays when the cat is in bed” (?).

Joe’s China Star (Lovers Lane near Inwood) has a neon sign that could easily compete on the streets of Chinatown in New York – easily the best of its kind in Dallas. Given the quality of the sign, I had no reason to suspect the egg rolls of being anything less. But you never know. China Star is an engaging little place – cozy and brightly painted, it has a kind of Chinese doll house effect, cute without being cutesy. Under a little Chinese lantern, in the shade of a plastic bamboo bush, in our vinyl booth, the egg rolls arrived. True to the sign, they’were traditional and good. The insides were a bit heavy on the bean sprouts and a bit light on flavor, but that was overruled by a fantastic crust, very thin and perfectly cooked. No “No” here. (They also serve ,an excellent dish of vermicelli with pork here, from one of the few strictly Cantonese menus left in town.)

Sitting strangely alone on McKinney Avenue just north of Haskell is perhaps the most intriguing restaurant in Dallas. Intriguing to me, anyway. The China Clipper. Hundreds of times I’ve driven past this odd and old little white stucco building with the red tile roof, wondering what was inside, promising to find out soon. Now was the time. The scraggly parking lot, as always, was nearly empty, occupied only by a pickup truck and a Cadillac. Through the red door with the round window and, presto, it was thirty years ago. Some places look old, other places feel old. The China Clipper feels very old. Not stale, not deteriorated, just aged. In the center of the building is a lunch counter with round swivel stools, the first indicator of what is an amazing crossbreeding of China and Texas. In either direction are booth-ringed dining areas with old cafe tables, the kind with the metal trimming around the edges. In one corner booth sat an unshaven old-timer with pearl snap buttons and cowboy boots (pickup truck?). In the opposite corner booth sat a large, rotund Oriental gentleman (Cadillac?). As I slid into a booth, the waiter (a young Chinese boy in blue jeans and tennis shoes, the only visible employee during the entire meal) brought a basket of crackers and plastic squeeze bottles of hot mustard and sweet and sour sauce. I ordered and waited. Maybe the egg rolls would be old or at least strange.

They weren’t old. But they were strange. The crust was normal and good, but the filling had a distinctly bitter undertaste – perhaps from the overdone cabbage, perhaps from the weird little beans that I couldn’t identify. For a moment I thought this might be the one. But the more I ate it, the more I liked it. Before I could say “No” it was gone. (They also serve an excellent won ton soup, floating with spinach the way it should be but rarely is in Dallas.) I tried to get some history from the young waiter on the way out. Language problems. The building was either built in the Thirties or is thirty years old. Either way, the place is a time trip worth taking.

The sign for The Egg Roll in the shopping center at Mockingbird and Abrams begged for investigation. It hinted at fast-food. Could be bad. I was optimistic. The Egg Roll is an order-at-the-counter operation with a very brief menu (chop suey, sweet and sour pork, fried won tons, and a few others). I ordered an egg roll. 85c And enormous – about the size of a fried pie at the 7-11. It was cut in half and served in a cardboard tray. Thick, chewy crust, not at all impressive. And inside, bean sprout city (though there were a few bits of meat and shrimp). I only ate half and stopped. A near “No.”

One last stop. I’d heard of a place in Valley View Mall, a franchise-type operation. It sounded promisingly bad. There in the central mall, sandwiched between the frozen yogurt stand and the “Pretzels and Fruit Drinks” stand, was China Belle. Again a very limited choice of items; the menu identified China Belle as “The Chinese Fast Food Store.” Two egg rolls: 99¢ Very small. Cardboard tray. One bite. The crust was a cross between an egg roll, an overcooked flauta. and a deep-fried napkin. The insides tasted like hot tossed green salad with vinegar and oil. I shuddered to think that these might be the egg rolls of the future. No.

– David Bauer


Grandma’s Salad Company. Another step in the Californication of Dallas: great welts of macrame and nature photographs on the walls, exposed wood beams and parquet floors, a spiral iron staircase to the second floor, waitresses dressed in overalls. The ambiance is Sausalito but the fare is strictly ye olde tearoome, and nothing special at that. The salads promised by the restaurant’s name are based on drab iceberg lettuce. The “succulent fresh seasonal fruits” promised by the menu in “Grandma’s Ambrosia” turn out to be canned mandarin oranges and canned coconut. The “old fashioned family recipe” for the chicken soup tastes suspiciously like Lipton’s-and-leftovers. The place has real promise, and it has been swarming with customers since its recent opening, but unless they start being as imaginative in preparing their food as they have been in describing it, the traffic will move on to places that keep their promises. (2620 Cedar Springs/74l-6537/ Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-3, Sat 12-3: Dinner Mon-Sat 5-10: closed Sun/No reservations/MC.BA/S) Chiquita. Well, it’s not really a newcomer, but we don’t have a “Welcome Back” column. Though there’s a sign on Oak Lawn that still advertises Chiquita, you’ll find only a bulldozed gap where this restaurant – one of the most popular in Dallas – used to be. Mario Leal lost his lease and for a time was casting eyes on every possible new location, including one in Richardson. Finally he settled in a new little shopping center half a block off Oak Lawn, a few blocks away from the old location. He now has one of the most cheerful restaurants in town: done up in bright colors and staffed by helpful, enthusiastic waiters. Chiquita has always been somewhat controversial – there are periodic Chiquita vs. Raphael’s debates in this office, and the latter has usually come out on top. But the balance may be swinging in the other direction now. For one thing, Chiquita has stolen Raphael’s thunder where chicken sour cream enchiladas are concerned: they don’t come any better than at the new restaurant, where they’re not only chock full of chicken, but the sauce is rich with cheese and buttery in texture. Fabulous. The Tex-Mex, on the other hand, is ordinary, though the guacamole has improved and the hot sauce is among the best in town. There are some new menu items: an excellent tortilla soup, and tacos al carbon with deliciously charcoaled beef wrapped in a flour tortilla (though the texture is a bit dry). They no longer serve complimentary cups of bean soup, so order some – it may be the best this side of the border. And tangerine sherbet is a perfect complement to Mexican food at the end of the meal. Word is out that Chiquita’s back, so go early. (3810 Congress, off Oak Lawn/ 521-0721/11:30-11, Mon-Sat/No reser-vationslBA,MC,AE/$$)

Bloody Mary’s. Addison’s liberalized liquor law is now loudly advertised via the name of its newest restaurant, Bloody Mary’s. With decor and cuisine reminiscent of watering holes further south, the idea at Bloody Mary’s seems to be, “If it worked on Greenville, let’s try it on Beltline.” So the surroundings have something of the predictable nostalgia staples like new Tiffany lamps, red and white checked tablecloths, even a whitewalled vintage moped strung from the ceiling. Hanging plants everywhere lend the modern touch, and stained-glass windows of contemporary saints – Namath, Newman, Presley – throw in some kitsch for good measure. Getting into the spirit of the place we ordered – natch – a bloody mary, expecting them to make it into a big deal. It was good, but not “extraordinary,” a word they rightly reserve for their fried zucchini appetizer. A big plate of the zucchini goes down like popcorn. They also serve excellent cheddar-laden nachos. Onion soup with Monterey Jack was a good opener, as was the nifty bleu cheese dressing on the green salad. The fruit salad also turned out to be a lively variation on a familiar theme: cottage cheese done up with apples, pears, pineapple and plums. Variety is the spice of the rest of the menu, but with everything from seafood to steak to burgers available, the quality of preparation on a couple of recent visits was perhaps predictably mixed. The Bloody Mary burger is a good bet; it’s served on an English muffin. We were pleased with the sirloin strip and baked potato, but a London broil ordered medium rare came out overcooked and tough. Large, tender, juicy portions of Alaskan crab legs ought to help put Bloody Mary’s on the map in an area where good seafood is hard to come by. Then again, a greasy, watery, largely unseasoned stuffed pepper couldn’t have been more disappointing. Aside from some of the carelessness in the kitchen, there are some avoidable problems with Bloody Mary’s service. Crab claws require clamps at the start of the meal, not as you’re finishing the last bite with the bare hands. A few days more training of the pleasant but sometimes fumbling personnel might streamline the service. The location, timing, and sassy decor all argue that they should hit the mark if they attend more closely to the details. (Beltline at Inwoodl233-0380IMon-Thu 11-10, Fri-Sun, 11-11/No reservations/BA, AE.MC/$$)


Normande Conquest

Guy Calluaud started learning to cook when he was 15. His father, who was his teacher, still runs a catering business in the Calluaud family’s home town, Nice. Guy’s brothers cook. His grandfather cooked. In fact, the Calluauds have been cooking in France since 1825. How did it feel to come to the States and open a restaurant, the superb and phenomenally successful Calluaud’s, where Guy is owner and sole chef? “I was scared. I was scared to death. To start a restaurant, you’ve got to have guts.” Calluaud’s 23 tables seat an average of 60 people at any one time, and even with over 100 customers a night, Guy cooks every dish himself. One of the most popular dishes Guy prepares is Veau Normande, veal flavored with Calvados, a French apple brandy.

Callaud waxes rhapsodic over American veal: “It’s the best in the world. You can’t get veal in France that’s as good.” For Veau Normande, once you find the thinnest veal scallopini you can, it’s a matter of adding the basic Norman ingredients: cream, apples, and Calvados. The recipe below serves 6-8 people.

4 lbs. veal scallopini, as thin as you can get them

1 pint heavy cream

2 red delicious apples, peeled and slicedthin

1 cup Calvados Salt, pepper

Season veal lightly with salt and pepper, one side only.

Rub the bottom of a cold skillet lightly with a little bit of butter. Put the veal, salted side down, in the skillet.

Set the skillet on a high flame. Turn the veal after one minute.

Let the veal cook down until half its juice is out. (In trying this out at home, we were unable to find heavy cream, and used whipping cream instead. To get a properly thick sauce using whipping cream, cook down the veal juices further, until the veal is just dry.) Flambé with the Calvados. Important: Remove the skillet from the flame when you do this, because Calvados has a lot of alcohol, and will flame very briskly. When the flame dies down, remove the veal from the skillet to the serving plate.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan, cook the apples in butter for a few minutes on high heat. Let them brown, but they should remain firm, so don’t overcook them. Keep the butter you cook them in.

Add the cream to the Calvados, and cook the sauce down enough to cover the veal. It does not have to be too thick, but it should be creamy enough to coat a spoon well. Then add the butter from the apples – not too much, because the sauce mustn’t be greasy. Pour the sauce over the veal. Arrange the apple slices on top. Serve.

Guy Calluaud recommends rice with Veau Normande, and a white vegetable such as white asparagus or salsify (oyster plant). Veau Normande is simple and fast to make, but the timing may be a bit tricky, so have the rest of the meal ready before you start the veal.

Calluaud also concocts superb desserts. Try his exquisite profiteroles, thumb-sized pastries filled with ice cream and covered with chocolate sauce. The following recipe serves 8-10 people.

To make the cream puffs:

1/2 cup water

6 T. butter

1/2 cup flour

4 large eggs

Pinch of salt

Put water in a pot with salt and butter, all cold, and bring to a boil. Turn off fire immediately, add the flour, stirring with a wooden spoon. Return to fire, stirring fast for 2 to 3 minutes. This takes extra moisture out, and keeps the dough dry but soft. Remove from fire and, while the mixture is hot, mix eggs in, one by one, stirring after each, by hand or with an electric mixer. The more eggs you add the harder it will be to mix them.

When all the eggs are added, beat the dough for I minute at high speed. The dough should stick to your spoon. Put in a pastry bag and place small rounds of dough on an unbuttered cookie sheet, or you may drop them on by teaspoonfuls.

Bake them for 20 min. in a 400° oven, till they are dry; they must be soft in your hands. Remove from cookie sheet, cool for 2-3 minutes, open each and fill with vanilla ice cream. Keep them in freezer as you fill them.

To make the chocolate sauce:

2 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate

1/2 t. vanilla extract

1/4-1 oz. heavy cream

1/3 oz. kirsch

I drop almond extract (careful!)

Melt the chocolate in a heavy saucepan, adding the other ingredients. If the sauce is too thick – ours was – add more cream until you get a nice, light pouring consistency. Cool.

To serve: remove the filled cream puffs from the freezer and let them sit at room temperature for a few minutes. Arrange four or five in each dessert dish, pour over a little of the chocolate sauce, and decorate lightly with whipped cream and a few slivers of toasted almond, if desired.

Recommended Restaurants

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

Unless otherwise noted, all restaurants have full bar facilities

Credit card notations MC – Master charge/BA – Bank Amencard/AE – American Express/DC – Diner’s Club/CB – Carte Blanche/”AII Credit Cards” indicates that all the above are accepted


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 call’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, Sal till midnight/ Reservations/AII 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. Nice Sunday brunch 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/Bagatelle Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30. Sun brunch 10:30-2:30, Dinner Sun- Thur 6-10, Fri & Sat till 11, bar till 2. Plaza Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30. Dinner Mon-Sat 6-midnight/Reservations/MC,BA,AE.DC/$$-$$$)

Le Bistro. Such a lovely, lovely restaurant But such a time they have trying to get things right in the kitchen There is not a more charming place in Dallas to enjoy French foods than this gracious old two-story house But while waiting for your dinner, cross your fingers – Le Bistro is never bad. but often just isn’t as good as you expect it to be. its problem from the beginning But opt for the simpler dishes, enjoy the surroundings, finish with a cold almond souffle, and you’ll leave with a smile (3716 Bowser, just oft Oak Lawn/528-4181/Tue-Sun 6-10 p.m., except Fri & Sat till 11 p.m . closed Mon/Reservations/MC,BA.AE/$$$)

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 tare is mostly overpriced and undistinguished (Fairmont Hotel, Ross & Akard 748-5454/24 hours, seven days a week/ No reservations/MC.BA.AE. DC/$$)

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 tor the quality It’s easy to get hooked on this place. (2917 Fairmount oft Cedar Spnngs/742-8525/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/$$$)

Chablis. An odd little French restaurant, difficult to put your finger on – the style is neither elegant nor quaint But the food, while in some instances overpriced, is decidedly good At dinner, a tasty complimentary rillettes. a fine pepper steak, and a subtly glazed roast duckling are highlights Lunch leans to lighter regional specialties and sandwiches. Light flaky bread (with a very “French” flavor) and the sweetest, richest chocolate mousse in town (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.DC/$$$)

Chateaubriand. A wide-ranging menu, with everything from sweetbreads to frog legs to lobster to veal parmigiana and a high percentage of it is quite well-executed. The standouts, interestingly, are the Greek specialties: try the pastitsa and dolma appetizer and the “Greek veal” in a pleasant lemon-butter-oregano sauce. Chateaubriand’s old-fashioned overdressed style is not to all tastes, but service is attentive and the place is comfortable. Lunch is nothing special (2515 McKinney/741-1223IMon-Sat 11 30 a.m. -midnight/Reservations/All credit cards/$S$)

The Chimney. An unpretentious Swiss-Austrian restaurant that specializes in excellent veal, ranging from a simple lemon veal to more extravagant preparations. Also one of the few places where you can have venison. And for dessert, have the excellent home-made cheesecake. At lunch, the fare is strictly ladies’ tearoom, though it’s one of the best of its kind. Attentive service, and a nice atmosphere (though the piano is placed too close to some of the tables to make conversation comfortable). (Willow creek. 9739 N Cen Expwy at Walnut Hill/369-6466/Lunch. Tue-Sat 11:30-2; Dinner: Tue-Sun 6-10:30, Sun brunch 11 -2/Reservations/MC,AE.DC/$$$)


Ewald’s. In these days of instant restaurants. it’s somehow reassuring to spend an evening at Ewald’s, one of only a handful of restaurants that have long, deep roots in Dallas. Still anchored to its inconspicuous location on West Lovers Lane, and still producing from a menu that has changed very little in recent years, Ewald’s thrives on what is obviously a clientele of loyal regulars (loyalty is a full house on a Monday night). Waiters and customers call each other by name and chat amiably; some customers order without a menu. The mood extends to the kitchen – dinner here is what you might expect on the table at home if your father were a continental chef The style here is more hearty than delicate, more homey than classy. Veal is the heart of the menu: the veal Papagallo (with Canadian bacon and Swiss cheese) was well-crafted, not over-embellished like so many cordon-bleu-type takeoffs; the veal Picatta-Milanese was simple and delicious Ewald’s pepper steak is a unique version, very flavorful with more than pepper to distinguish it But maybe the most characteristic dish here is the “Tenderloin Tips a la Ewald,” straightforward but satisfying. And all entrees come with excellent fresh vegetables – a rarity The spaetzli is a treat here (if it doesn’t come with your entree, order a dish on the side). One more tip: the Black Forest cake – have some If glamor is your byword, don’t bother with Ewald’s (some might call it dull, even dumpy); but if you’re after a good meal with no frills beyond friendliness, you might just find a home away from home here. (5415 W Lovers Ln/357-1622/Mon-Fri 6-10:30. Sat 6-11/Reservations/MC.BA/$$$)

The Grape. An old favorite with some new delights, particularly at lunch, which has become more adventurous The beet dishes, particularly the tournedos bearnaise and the boeuf a la mode, are outstanding. Other delights are the escargots aux champignons and the omelette aux crevettes chmoise (with shrimp, mushrooms, and bean sprouts). The mushroom soup is an old favorite, but the potage au Tripoli, a chickpea soup with herbs and spices, is a new winner Still hard to beat for the money (2808 Greenville Avenue/823-0133/ Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2 30, Dinner Tue-Sun, 6-10 30, open later on Fri & Sat for wine end 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/Reserva-tions/MC.BA.AE,DC/S$$)

Old Warsaw. The “new Old Warsaw” – after some tasteful remodeling of the interior and some successful revamping of the menu – is on the upswing. The place is less gilded, more engaging The new menu is less erratic, more interesting New treats a pate of duck, creme de Ceesson (puree of watercress), and a splendid Cote de Veau Also a nightly selection of “Nouvelle Cuisine.” the reduced-calorie style popularized by Paul Bocuse The prices were not remodeled – still very expensive – but now the paying is less painful (2510 Maple/528-0032/Daily 6- 11,Sat till midnight/Reservations/MC.BA.AE,DC/$$$$)

Patry’s. When the Patry family is at work, you can’t go wrong Start with the poireaux farcis (stuffed leeks) or the delicate, light, near-perfect vichyssoise. then have any of the superb entrees a wonderful coq au vin, a filet in a flawless bearnaise. or their splendid escalope of veal The place itself is a bit sterile except for their terrific – and very French – little bar (2504 McKinney/748-3754/ Tue-Fri, 6-11, Sal till 11:30/Reservations/MC BA,AE,DC/$$$)

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 soulfle 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 Deily 6-midmght/Reservations/All credit cards/$$$$)


Campiai’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 plateful of sausage and peppers Warm (in fact steamy) and wonderful – and always a waiting line to prove it. (5610 E Mockingbird/ B27-0355/Mon-Fri 11 a.m. -midnight. Sat till 1 a.m. Sun noon-midnight/No credit cards Checks accepted/Reserva-tions for 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 Its 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/826-6l61/Daily 5 30-11 p.m./Reservations/MC.AE/$$)

II Sorrento. The best Italian food in Dallas 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 (North of NW Hwy)/352-8759/Daily 5:30-11, Sat till midnight/Reservations except on Fri & SatlAll credit cards/$$$)

Italian Pavilion. This overdone (fancy-tacky) dining room atop the LeBaron Hotel seems an unlikely setting tor 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 Ron at Carpenter Fwy/634-8550/Lunch: Mon-Fri 11-2, Dinner Mon-Sat 6-11 p.m /Reservations/All credit cards/$$$)

Lombardl’s. no gimmicks, just a delightfully remodeled old house where they serve excellent Italian food at reasonable prices The lasagna (the lightest version imaginable) and the saltimbocca are standouts – maybe the best in town The mamicotti is made with a crepe-like pasta, the pork parmigiana is an unusual delight and the rich green-noodle fettucine is outstanding. A warning on the minestrone: it is thick and flavorful but stew-like – an appetite killer And there are occasional lunch-time gaffes such as an overcooked, over-breaded veal cutlet But everyone is eager to please at Lombardi’s. the service is sophisticated and responsive (2815 McKmney Ave/823-6040/Lunch: Mon-Sat 11-2 30. Dinner: Mon-Thur 6-10:30. Fri & Sat till 11/Reservattons/MC,BA,AE/$$$)

Mario’s. One of few Dallas restaurants to take the sophisti cated approach and do so with dignity, with natural elegance A longstanding family success, so there is an air of confidence and pride Delicious roquefort-based cheese spread (complimentary), dense and delicious French bread loaves, marvelous fried zucchini Try the “Frittura Delizie Romana.’ a batter fried spinach appetizer Entrees (northern Italian specialties) are stylish but not exceptional Splendid wine list (135 Turtle Creek Village/521-1135IDat!y 6-11. Sat till midnight/Reservations/All credit cards/$$$)

Pietro’s.In a city without neighborhood restaurants. Pietro’s comes closest to what you’d find in. say, the North End of Boston – homestyle Sicilian cooking with scads of loyál patrons The pasta dishes are the best bets, though Pietro’s veal scallopini à la Siciliano is excellent Have the crème caramel tor dessert Friendly, brisk service, though the “No reservations” policy means you’ll have to wait. It’s usually worth it. (5722 Richmond off Greenville/824-9403/ Tue- Thur 5:30 10 p.m., Fri & Sat till 11 p.m./No reservations/ No credit cards/$$)



China Inn. With one of the most pleasant settings and one of the better kitchens, the China Inn authoritatively presents some of the best Cantonese cuisine in town This is no hole-in-the-wall shopping center operation, but a competent, dependable restaurant, crowded even on weekdays, with a cheerful dining room and some interesting touches on the menu. A particularly satisfying combination appetizer plate, with excellent won tons and chunky egg rolls, tops a two-page menu, on which the sweet and sour dishes are the best bet. The ginger beef crackles with mildly hot ginger slices, and there’s no skimping on the war sue har – delicately tried shrimp with a delicious “country-style” red sauce- Snow peas came laced with onion slices and bean sprouts- a combination that seemed promising but came out bland, underseasoned. Almond cookies have been an unusual after-dinner touch at China Inn. but ours were stale and crumbly. No matter With its easy ambiance, amiable and quick service, and hearty good fare, China Inn should stay a hit. (6521 E NW Hwy/361-7733/Lunch: Mon-Fn 11-2 p.m..Dinner: Mon-Thur 5-1030 p.m., Fri-Sat 5-midnight, Sun 11 a.m.-.10:30 p.m./Reservations for 5 or more/AE.BA.MC/$$)

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 multicourse dinner featuring the chef’s Hunan and Szechuan-style specialties. And the crabrneat and corn soup is a must (European Crossroads . 2829 W NorthwestHwy/357-5777ISun-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 11:30a.m.-11p.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 week-ends/MC.BA,AE/$$)

Ports O’Call. The menu now docks in many new ports (wiener schnitzel from Germany, steak au poivre from France, etc ). though the featured fare is still mostly Polynesian And nothing special at that – but then that’s never been the appeal here anyway The attractions are the lavish (almost ludicrous) dining rooms, the 37th floor view with the “big-city” feeling, and the exotic rum concoctions in the tiki-god-and-blowfish bar – try the Test Pilot, limit 2 per customer (Southland Center. 2117 Live Oak/742-2334/Lunch: Mon-Sat 11:30-2:30; Dinner: Daily 5:30-10:30/ Reservations/All credit cards/$$$)

Royal Tokyo. As far as service and consistency of cuisine are concerned Royal Tokyo seems to have risen from its period of decline But it’s not quite the star it once was Perhaps the competition has forced it to Americanize its menu, because the sauces and seasonings are anything but delicate A pity, because real Japanese cuisine is among the most subtle in the world. Still a pleasantly-appointed place Try the shabu-shabu. a variation on sukiyaki. (7525 Greenville Ave/368-3304ILunch: Daily 11:30-2, except Sat; Dinner:Mon- Thur 5:30-11, Fri & Sat till 11:30. Sun 5-10IReservationslMC.BA.AE.DCI$$$)

South China. Quiet and consistent. South China continues to distinguish itself from the ever-increasing hordes of competitors The combination appetizer plate is perhaps the best in Dallas and the Mandarin specialties that follow usually keep up the pace fine sizzling rice soup, moo shi pork, beef with green onion and ginger, and tantalizing sweet and sour shrimp Black bean sauce is a favorite here – try it over the braised chicken and you’ll see why Their new spinoff restaurant, Chu’s in Addison, shows promise of being even better (5424 E Mocking-birdl826-5420ILunch Daily 11:30-2:30 Sat & Sun noon-2:30, Dinner Mon-Thu 5-11.Fri & Sat 5-12. Sun 5-10,.I ReservationslMC,BA,AEI$$)


Trader Vic’s. The idea at Trader Vic s is to have fun. It’s like a frivo- Ious sip-and-nibble romp through a Polynesian playground. You can drink from a tiki bowl with a gardenia floating in your rum punch. You can roast your cho cho on a toothpick in the flame at your table. You can order bongo bongo soup, sauteed bananas, and barbecued squab. And you can top it off with a snowball and a pink cloud. In fact, you can find just about anything you can think of from Polynesia and elsewhere on this enormous menu (even a dinner salad, a minute steak, and a baked potato if you insist on being dull). Which is why you should expect nothing sublime here – they cover too much ground to really specialize in anything. Your meal will be good, not great; more good-time than gourmet. A few suggestions, though: the creamed curry dishes are nice, the Indonesian iamb is interesting, the Chinese dishes show good variety (though tend to be overly sweet), and the pake noodles make a great side dish. But the one thing you really need to know beforehand is while the mood here may be fun, the prices are serious – this is not an inexpensive adventure. But just sip to the bottom of another Samoan Fog Cutter and you may not even notice. (Hilton Inn, 5600 N Cen Expwyl827-3620IDaily. 5-11:30 p.m., weekends till midmght/Reserva-tions/AII credit cardsl$$$)


Adelante. An odd little spot in an almost secretive behindthe-shopping-center location But once you find it. you’ll surely find your way back Fantastic and unique Mexican food graced with flair and freshness Thin, grease-tinged tostados made on the spot, nachos buried in fresh relishes, flautas with fabulous guacamole delicate green chile quiche, and an egg and tortilla dish called “Chilaquiles” – both subtle and exotic And don’t pass up the unbelievable praline cheesecake Bar “by membership ” (5934 Royal Lane/691-8301/Mon- Thur 11 a.m.-9pm ,Fri & Sat till 10pm . closed Sun/No reservations/MC.BA.AE/$)

El Taxco. Maybe the best dining value in Dallas Dependable Tex-Mex right down to the reined 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. (2126N St Paul/742-0747/Wed-Mon 10:30 a.m. -9p.m. , closed Tue/No reservations/MC/$)

Herrera Cafe. 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 Maplel 526-9427/Weekdays 9 a.m.-8 p.m., closed Mon/No reser-vations/No credit cards/$)

Raphael’s. The ever-present waiting line tells you how good it is But popularity does have its problems – the hustle-bustle can be nerve-wracking and weekends are hopeless But if you can hit a lull in the action, the warm ranch-house atmosphere is lovely. And the food will likely be at its best Bypass the Tex-Mex and dive into the specialties chicken mole, shrimp enchiladas, and chiles rellenos – a dependable favorite And maybe best of all. the carne Tampiquena or the polio Tampiqueno – they can make the waiting worth it (3701 McKinneyl52l – 9640IMon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.., Sat noon-10:30. closed Sun/Reservations Mon- Thur only/MC.BA,AE/$$)


Greek Key. A lively and longstanding favorite marked by belly dancing, customer participation, and other revelry But the kitchen is serious, doing a creditable job of tilling the Dallas Greek (food void Dolmas. pastitso, spanakopita, moussaka (or try the combination plate) Forgo the “Grecian shrimp,” but don’t pass up the baklava delicately seasoned with walnuts and honey, finished off by a demi-tasse of heavy Greek coffee (2903 W Northwest Hwy/1358-51771 Mon-Sat 11 a.m. -2 p.m. , closed Sun/All credit cardsIRe-servationsl$$)

Goldfinger. More successful as a lively, raucous nightclub than as a restaurant, but Goldfinger does provide some of the city’s best Greek food – a woefully limited aspect of Dallas’ cuisine. So, while you’re clapping and singing with the Greek musicians, try the flaming saganaki, the avgolemeno soup, the shrimp and meat kostas, and the veal venetikia. And the dolmas are a must. (2905 Cridelle at W Northwest Hwyl350-6983IMon-Fri 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Sat-Sun 6 p.m.-2 a.m/ReservationslAII credit cardsl$$$)


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 Mockingbirdl 823- 1000/Lunch: Daily 11:30-2:30; Dinner. Sun- Thur 5-10, Fri & Sat till 11/ReservationslAII credit cardsI$$)

Southern Specialties

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 |uice at least once – it’s great. (4503 W Lovers Lnl351-5681IMon-Sat 5:30-11, Sun till 10:30INo reservations/MC,BAI$)

Red Moon Cafe. Cozy, charming, almost romantic – a purely pleasant little place The menu has Creole overtones gumbo (the real thing), crawfish chicken “Jambalaya.” pork chops Creole ” But perhaps their most winning dish has nothing to do with New Orleans – fettucine that ranks with the best in town Nice fresh seafood specials – they’ve done some wonderful things with trout Open for breakfast, but nothing special, unless coffee is your passion Their chicory version has no peer (4537 Cote/, 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-Sat6a.m.-6:30pm ,Sun 11-2/No reservations/No credit cards/$)

Natural Foods

Health Nut. Dallas’ original full-scale natural foods restaurant – and still a unique institution – is comfortably settled now in its airy and attractive Lovers Lane location, crowned by a lovely sun-terrace room upstairs. Good sandwiches, light and imaginative soups, and wonderful salads – a fresh vegetable salad with tahini dressing or. even better, a fresh fruit salad in a delicious lemon-honey dressing A special steamed meal daily (Tuesday is Mexican and Wednesday is Oriental). And. of course, smoothies. (4356 W Lovers Lane/692-1411/Mon-Sat 11 am-9p.m../No re-servations/MC/$)


Oporto. Disappointing, but still one of your few options when you want seafood Stick with the simplest things – the excellent oysters and the good, thick gumbo – avoid anything with a heavy sauce. Even the plainer items are sometimes overcooked, but the broiled scrod and the trout meumere have sometimes been rewarding choices. Certainly the nicest atmosphere of any Dallas seafood restaurant, and the bar is excellent (2929 N Henderson/ 826 2553/Daily 5-11 p.m .Fri & Sat till midnght/No reser-vations/BA.AE/$$)


S & D Oyster Company. They’ got the right idea, bless em: keep it simple, keep it fresh. If this place had a full bar the line outside would reach downtown. As it is, with only beer and wine being served, you’ll still probably queue up at the door and watch longingly as the waiters serve excellent oysters and shrimp. And that’s about it: no hokum about crab or lobsters or clams, fish that have to be shipped in frozen. There are a few broiled fresh fish on the menu when they’re available – usually snapper or trout- and they’re served up pleasantly with nothing more than a lemon butter sauce. For lunch, the oyster loaf – fried oysters on a French roll with tartar sauce – is a good choice. At dinner, have some boiled shrimp for starters and finish the meal off with their homemade pie ( a nice lemon ice box meringue on the most recent visit). The only disappointments are the hushpuppies – rather heavy and raw toward the center – and the gumbo is not to all tastes: thick, but a bit bland. It’s noisy for relaxed dining, but most people come just to eat, and who can blame them? (2701 McKinney near Routh/823-6350/Mon-Thur 11 a.m.-10 o.m . Fri & Sat till 11. ctosed Sun/No reservations/MC/$$)


Black Forest Austrian-style food – sausages, salamis, 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 North-wes/Hwy/368 4490IMon-Fri 8 a.m. -6p.m . Sat till 5 p.m./No reservations/BA/$)

Kuby’s. Busy and bustling 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 lunchtime 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 reservadons/MC – $15 mimmum/$)

Walls. A worthwhile stop for displaced New Yorkers and insatiable corned beef fans, though its reputation as the best tor 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 is uneven. Except for the disappointing chopped liver, sandwiches are the best bet And try the outstanding cabbage soup. (10749 Preston Rdl691-4444/Daily 7 30 a.m. -7 30 p.m./No reservations/ MC.BA/$$)

Steaks, Burgers, Etc.

Chili’s. A handsome burger joint Good chili, unusual soft tacos of flour tortillas, and, best of all, long, thin, greasy french fries 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 Filling Station. Aptly named – everything here is huge and heavy, from the platter of beef nachos (a meal in itself, hardly an appetizer) to the 3/4-pound ’Ethyl Hamburger” to the great greasy french tries. Only the onion rings – more like doughnuts than rings – are substandard, if only because they’re so doughy you can’t taste the onion. It’s a gimmicky. Greenville-Avenue transmogrification of an actual gas station, but the clutter of old gas pumps and signs and a neon Mobil Flying Red Horse is more interesting than most such nostalgic assemblages. Strictly for bar-hoppers – and hungry ones at that. (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. With a menu ranging from a hot dog to roast duck and touching on most everything in between, there are no great expectations Which is why Houlihan’s is usually a pleasant surprise for the good – despite the scope, there are lots of hits and few misses Very good omelettes, burgers, quiche, nice salads, and several more ambitious options (stuffed shrimp, baked trout, etc ) A host of rich and gooey desserts and cappuccino – a good spot for midnight munchies (4 NorihPark East/ 361-9426/Daily 11 am-1.30am/No reservations/MC.BA. AE.DC/$$)

Ichabod’s. Slick in the Greenville Avenue tradition, but lchabod’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 Greenvillel691-2646/Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30, Dinner daily 6-11/No reservations/MC,BA,AE.DC.CB/$$)

Kirby’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 alone is enough for some fans (3715 Greenville/ 823-7296/Tue-Sun 5 30-10:30, Fri & Sat till midnight/Re-servations/AII credit cards/$$)

Stoneleigh 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 |uke box (from Bach to Stones). (2926 Maple/741-0824/Mon-Thur 11:15-mid-night, Fri & Sat till 1:30 a.m.. Sun 12-12. bar daily till 1 a m.. Fri A Sat till 2/No reservations/No credit cards/$)

Strictly Ta-Bu. A terrific old neighborhood bar with a mixed bag clientele The original 1948decor has been virtually untouched and charms with its classy-tacky effect Great homemade soups and sometimes great pizza – the kitchen is rather erratic lately Also burgers, 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.-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 reservations/MC,BA,AE/$$)

Mainly For Lunch

The Bronx. A warm and funky little place with few pretensions and some terrific food coming from its kitchen Nothing fancy, just great omelettes (served with a side of Italian sausage and a toasted bagel), sausage sandwiches, mushroom meatloaf, and a hot pastrami on toasted rye that ranks with the best By all means have dessert homemade pies and cheesecake and a chocolate mousse that will bring you to your knees. Lunch seems to be in general a better bet than dinner Beer and wine only, but a great selection of that, and a friendly, casual atmosphere (3835 Cedar Springs near Oak Lawn/521 -5321/ Daily 11:30 a.m.-12:30 a.m . bar till 2/No reservations/ MC/$$)

Ciro’s. 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 reservations/MC/$$)

La Créperie. The courtyard patio under Cinzano umbrellas provides the nicest al fresco dining in Dallas. (There are inside tables for winter or rain ) The crepes are hefty one-per-serving size, in 47 varieties, including several ratatouille and several creamed spinach versions (#13 – spinach, Italian sausage, and mushrooms). For a different dessert, try their “tortillions.” (Quadrangle. 2800 Routhl651-0506/ Mon-Sat 11 a.m. -10 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 $2.50 Wine extra (DMFA, Fair ParM421-4187/Tue-Fri 11:30 a.m.-1 30 p.m. /No reservations/No credit cards/$)

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 am -1 a m., Sun 10 a.m. -midnight/No reservations/ MC.BA.AE.DC/$$)

Zodiac Room. A stunning effect with salads as handsome 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-Sat 1030 a.m.-2:30 p.m., teatime daily 3-5 p.m. except Thur 2:30-3:30; Thur dinner 5-7p.m. /Reservations/ Neiman-Marcus charge card only, checks acceptedl$$)

Fort Worth Restaurants

Angelo’s. 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 $)


The Balcony. Over the years The Balcony has evolved in its setting so that now it occupies several amply-windowed rooms in the second story of a Fort Worth shopping center. If the view – mostly of asphalt and traffic – from this perch is unspectacular, the surroundings are nonetheless pleasantly undeliberate. unstudied in a way newer “theme restaurants” don’t achieve The fare at The Balcony is mostly well-prepared but not extraordinary. A recent sampling of the crab meat and lobster appetizer proved rewarding for the size of the portion and for the subtle white sauce, disappointing for the rather sizable piece of shell it contained. An otherwise good vichyssoise could have used more seasoning, but the onion soup, topped with just the right-sized dollop of cheese, was memorable Beef, veal, and seafood comprise the entrees, and here a couple of standout dishes were The Balcony’s red snapper and a recent special, veal with cheese. The snapper (Facon Alphonse) came with generous portions of crab and lobster blanketed with a subtle mushroom sauce A thick slice of Wisconsin cheese made an unusual American version of veal par-migiana. although again more seasoning might have brightened it up (6100 Camp Bowie Blvd in Fort Worthl817-731-3719/Lunch Mon-Fn 11.30-2; Dinner Mon-Fri 5:30-10 p.m.. Fri-Sat 5:30-10:30. closed Sun/AE.BA.MC/$$)

Carriage House. One of the oldest names in Fort Worth dining, the Carnage House is not the wonder it once was. but it. still has its moments It’s 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 (8I7)732-2873/Lunch Sun-Fri 11-2. Dinner Daily 6-11/Reservations/MC.BA.AE/$$$)

Cattleman’s. 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)624-394S/Mon-Fru 11 a.m. -10:45 p.m. . Sat 4-10:45 p.m . closed Sun/Reserva-tions/MC.BA.AE.DC.CB/$$)

Le Bistro. 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/$$$)

Old Swiss House. Many claim that this is Fort Worth’s finestCertainly a Fort Worth favorite – the Kaufmann familyhas been serving fine continental cuisine here tor manyyears Delightful veal dishes (the St Moritz is rich andsatisfying) and a daily fresh seafood special Great littlecomplimentary cheese rolls and a lovely Boston lettucedinner salad Not a particularly distinctive place, morecomfortable then 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.DC/$$$)