DINING OUT A Critical Guide to Restaurants

Newcomers



Mimi’s. This disco/restaurant in NorthPark East opened last November amid much expensive publicity, offering,
among other inducements, the opportunity to dance enshrouded in fog. When we visited a month later, the fog machine
was not in operation, but there were enough other attractions to pack the house. The place is beautiful, all blond
wood and marble and rattan; the exotic desert plants are huge and very well cared for. However, Mimi’s looks better
than it feels. On a cold night the desert environment seemed harsh and forbidding. With bare walls and all that wood
and stone the place is quite noisy. The noise problem is compounded by the Top Forty blaring in the dining room-not
suitable accompaniment for a $25 meal. The rattan chairs are impossible to relax in; one must sit at attention or
slouch, no happy medium available.

Not all the discomfort is in the decor. The night we visited, the crowd was mostly over forty (many of the gentlemen
apparently escorting their nieces), and definitely at the staid end of the disco spectrum. Just as the chemistry
started to work on the dance floor, a hostess with the demeanor of a drill sergeant herded everyone into the dining
room. (They were serving a large crowd efficiently, but there must be better ways of handling success.)

The kitchen is definitely aiming high, and has achieved some success with the simple things: At dinner we had an
excellent house salad, steaks, and artichokes, though the lamb chops were cooked until they were crunchy. We tried
more complicated fare at lunch, a hefty shoppers’ special, and were less pleased. The pate was tasty, but harbored
chunks of gristle. The seafood omelette was cooked just right, but the filling was a disappointment; the shrimp and
mushrooms had no flavor at all, so every bite tasted like the caviar topping. Chicken Papagallo, served in a soggy
pastry shell, was heavy and badly seasoned, and contained unchewable mystery bits.

The desserts are pretty and good: Strawberries Romanoff and chocolate mousse are huge and excellent, and there are
decorator desserts from Neiman’s, Black Forest cake and Key lime pie. At lunch they serve hot croissants; these and
a bowl of French onion soup, make a good light meal. And the house wine, from the Mondavi vineyards in Napa Valley,
deserves commendation. As soon as the kitchen’s grasp measures up to its reach, Mimi’s will be an excellent
restaurant – if people can get comfortable enough to eat there.

(NorthPark East, N. Central Expwy at Park. 691-3295. Lunch: 11:30-3; Dinner: 6-12; dancing till 4 am.
Reservations. MC, V, AE, DC. $$$)


Cappuccino. An attractive new restaurant and club near LBJ that has a much better kitchen than you might
expect. The menu is semi-continental with a strong Italian bias. There are a dozen veal dishes, ranging from veal
marsala to veal with chanterelles, several kinds of pasta, a few steaks and chops, and a sampling of seafood
entrees. The star of the evening was the lamb chops, cooked a perfect medium rare and served without the customary
paper panties. Give Cappuccino an A for taste here. The shrimp Cappuccino, ten large shrimp in a light wine sauce,
was also excellent, but the veal scampi was a disappointment; the veal was spongy and the scampi rubbery. But with
eleven other veal dishes to choose from, you can probably find one you like. Cappuccino also does a number of
ambitious appetizers, ranging from stuffed mushroom caps to a hot appetizer sampler that includes fried zucchini,
oysters bien-ville, cannelloni, and shrimp. Nothing memorable here, though the mushrooms were topped with a
delightful white sauce. The desserts, unfortunately, are lackluster, especially the crème caramel, which was thin
and tasted as if it had been in the refrigerator for a week. The wine list is comprehensive, the service efficient
and pleasant. And there’s a discreet piano player/vocalist who doesn’t try to shatter your water glass. Not yet a
distinguished restaurant, but if you happen to be out north, Cappuccino is worth a visit. Bar by membership.
(12801 Midway at LBJ. 241-1417. Lunch: 11:30-2; Dinner: 5-10:30, weekends till 11. Reservations. MC, V, AE.
$$$)


RECOMMENDED RESTAURANTS



These restaurants represent the best in Dallas and Fort Worth dining. It is implicit 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 indicate only 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 $12 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, V/Visa, AE/American Express, DC/Diner’s Club, CB/Carte Blanche. “All Credit
Cards” indicates that all five are accepted.



CONTINENTAL



Arthur’s. The place to mix business with pleasure, which makes for a terrific bar with stiff drinks
and some solid, well-prepared food. The chef shines at the grill with a good cut of meat: Filet, calf’s liver and
onions, lamb chops, all are first-rate. The seafood dishes tend to be ordinary or overdone, so it pays to stick with
the simple things. Service is generally excellent. (1000 Campbell Centre. 361-8833, Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2;
Dinner: Sun-Fri 6-11, Sat till midnight. Reservations. All credit cards. $$$)




D Revisits Antares. A note on the Antares menu informs us that, rather than trying to be all things to all
palates, the chef has decided to do a small number of dishes superbly. The first part is true enough-the menu is
limited to roughly half-a-dozen entrees, including steak, scampi, veal cordon bleu, etc. It’s the second part that’s
the problem. Despite its glitter and panache, Antares is still an average restaurant. The most expensive dish, a
garlic steak, is simply a good sirloin crowned with slivers of fresh garlic, not what you’d call an inspired
creation. (The tenderloin is a better cut of meat and several dollars cheaper.) The scampi are only so-so, the veal
somewhat better, though more interesting to conventioneers than to gourmets. The most intriguing items are the
appetizers: a good and bountiful salade Nicoise, marvelous onion soup, and tasty fried escargots. Next time, we’ll
be tempted to forgo the main course, order a bottle of wine and several appetizers, and wait contentedly for the
lights of Duncanville to come round again. (Reunion Tower at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. 741-3663. Lunch: 11-2;
Dinner: 5-12. Reservations. All credit cards. $$$)


Bagatelle. One of the classiest dining rooms in town, with a solid wine list, sophisticated service, and a
cozy bar. The sole Veronique and veal francaise, seasoned with herbs and wine, have been impressive on recent
visits, as have the shrimp du chef appetizer and the escargots. Lunch at the companion Plaza Cafe is more
chaotic than classy. Expect slow service and scrambled orders, though the food is good when it finally arrives –
especially old standbys like the Plaza omelette and the quiche Lorraine. (One Energy Square, Greenville at
University. 692-8224. Bagatelle: Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30; Dinner Sun-Thur 6-10, Fri & Sat till 11, bar till 2.
Plaza: Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30. Reservations. MC, V, AE, DC. Bagatelle: $$$, Plaza: $$.




D Revisits Calluaud’s. Two months ago, Guy and Martine Calluaud closed their little place on Fairmount and
moved to larger quarters on McKinney; it didn’t take long for their loyal clientele to find the new Calluaud’s-
three days after reopening, the place was jammed, and it’s been that way ever since. Calluaud’s is still a small and
personalized restaurant, but the new spaciousness, and particularly the addition of a bar, are welcome results of
the move. There’s a touch of elegance in the new place (the waiters, for example have added bow ties to their
impeccable repertoire); we’ll miss the homeyness of the old place, but they’ve managed to retain a great deal of
warmth here. Most welcome is the fact that Guy Calluaud and his kitchen are back in action. If Guy isn’t the best
chef in Dallas (and he probably is) he is certainly the hardest working-he mans his own kitchen every lunch and
every dinner. The lunch menu is essentially the same, featuring the same divine omelettes, soups, pates, and salads,
plus a few entrees highlighted by their superb filet of sole and the steak Parisien (note that it you order it rare,
you’ll get it rarer than you may expect). The one new addition is the calf’s liver, which is excellent. The dinner
menu has been expanded to include such new treats as pheasant and squab, but if you’re in the mood for exotic fowl,
the best we tasted was the quails in garlic and cognac sauce-extraordinary. We were similarly impressed with another
new item, the filet mignon en croute in Madeira sauce, showing the Calluaud trademark of elegant simplicity. For
dessert, the legendary tarts still hold forth, and they now serve fine dessert souffles. Lest we rave too much and
give the impression that the place is perfect, it should be known that on at least one occasion their famous French
fries were limp, and one night they ran out of their usual bread. (2919 McKinney Ave. 823-5380. Lunch: Mon-Fri
11:30-2:30. Dinner Mon-Sat, 6-10:30. Reservations. All credit cards. $$$)




Brasserie. This elegant coffee shop still fills a local void as a late-night snack stop after a dressy
evening, and some of its post-midnight treats are as wonderful as ever: sensational eggs Benedict, avocado stuffed
with crabmeat, and sirloin steak sandwich. But the salads, omelettes, and sandwiches are no better than you can get
at lots of other places – just considerably more expensive – and around 2 a.m. you can get the uneasy feeling that
you’re keeping the place open. Still, late night is the only time to visit, and there’s really nowhere else to go.
(Fairmont Hotel, Ross & Akard. 748-5454. 24 hours, seven days a week. No reservations. MC, V, AE, DC. $$)

La Cave. Great for a light meal and good wine in pleasant surroundings. The gimmicks are the wine bar and
open wine cellar, which allow a wide sampling of foreign and domestic wines at bargain prices, but La Cave succeeds
on culinary grounds, too. We’ve had excellent onion soup, avocado stuffed with crabmeat, and chicken liver paté, as
well as some exceptional desserts – try the apple cheesecake and orange-flavored double cream cheese. Service is
informative and efficient. (2926 Henderson. 826-2190. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2; Dinner: Mon-Fri 5:30-12; Sat 1
pm-1am; open all day for package wine sales. No reservations. MC, V, AE. $)




D Revisits Chateaubriand. The kind of place you dreamed of going to after the senior prom. Everything at
Chateaubriand is overdone, from the hat check girl in her bouffant hairdo to the heavy gold drapes to the army of
tuxedoed waiters battling to light your cigarette. It’s the perfect Fifties trip, complete with music and dancing.
Nothing distinguished about the food, of course, but considering the size of the menu the quality is surprisingly
high. The pastitsa and dolma appetizers were excellent, as was the Greek veal, though we nearly expired from the
oregano. Our broiled lamb chops were above average, our shrimp appetizer and most of the vegetables considerably
below. For dessert we settled for a chocolate parfait, though we probably could have had marzipan or cotton candy if
we’d asked. Offerings are only slightly more limited at lunch, though quality and service drop a notch. And no
chance to rhumba either. Chateaubriand is what dining out meant before there was a Greenville Avenue. (2415
McKinney. 741-1223. Mon-Sat 11:30 am-mid-night. Reservations. All credit cards. $$$)




The Chimney. Service at the Chimney has been uniformly splendid, with waitresses who can knowledgeably
explain each dish and tell you whether it’s worth ordering that day. Better yet, the kitchen is careful, dependable,
and innovative. Top honors go to the veal, especially the veal Zurich and veal Oscar, and a variety of wonderful
desserts, from bananas Foster to Black Forest cake. Lunch is first-class, from the light and flaky quiche to the
tasty squash fritters. The wine list includes some interesting Austrian wines. Apart from some recent unevenness in
the appetizers, this is a comfortable, unpretentious, dependable restaurant. (Willow Creek, 9739 N Cen Expwy at
Walnut Hill. 369-6466. Lunch: Tue-Sat 11:30-2; Dinner: Tue-Sat 6-10:30, Sun 6-10; Sun brunch: 11:30-2. Reservations.
MC, V, AE, DC. $$$)


Ewald’s. Loyal regulars flock to this old standard, whose menu has changed very little over the years. The
style is sort of continental home-cooking: more hearty than delicate, more homey than classy. The veal is excellent,
though some preparations are over-embel-lished. Try the veal Papagallo with Canadian bacon and Swiss cheese or the
veal Picatta-Milanese. Excellent pepper steak and “Tenderloin a la Ewald.” And a rarity – well-prepared fresh
vegetables. Have a side order of spaetzli if your entree doesn’t come with it, and conclude with the Black Forest
cake. No frills, but few disappointments, either. (5415 W Lovers Ln. 357-1622. Mon-Fri 6-10:30, Sat 6-11, closed
Sun. Reservations. MC. V. $$$)


Le France Co. A bustling little place with some of the flavor of a French cafe and some of the quality, too.
Lunch is a small selection of soups, salads, omelettes, and sandwiches that vary in quality-the standout being the
onion soup. Dinner is much better: several well-prepared entrees, including recently an émince de capon á
1’Indienne in a delightful light curry sauce. The créme caramel is a knockout for dessert. The wine list is short
and over-priced. Cheery and casual, a good spot for a light meal. (The Quadrangle, 2800 Routh. 742-2276. Tue-Sat
11-2:30; Dinner: 6-10: closed Sun & Mon. MC, V, AE. $$)


The Grape. Nothing chic here. Just pleasantly tacky decor and consistently good food. You can make a meal out
of a plate of cheese (the best selection in town, served with fruit and fresh bread), soup or salad, and a carafe of
wine, but the entrees won’t let you down. Recent standouts include chicken and artichokes cooked in Scotch,
Chateaubriand in perfect bearnaise, and a delicately prepared filet of sole. Still one of the most dependable
restaurants in Dallas. (2808 Greenville at Goodwin. 823-0133. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2; Dinner: Tue-Sun 6-10:30,
open later on Fri & Sal for wine and cheese. No reservations. MC, V. $$)


Jean Claude. A unique restaurant in that it provides culinary instruction along with first-class continental
cuisine. The constantly changing menu features three hors d’oeuvres, three entrees, and three desserts each evening.
Jean Claude Prevot “performs” in an open kitchen and is eager to explain his procedures. Portions are small, but
their preparation is consistently excellent. The fixed price is high, and the reservations-only policy means you may
have to wait as long as two weeks for the chance to enjoy Jean Claude’s splendid fare. (2520 Cedar Springs.
653-1823. Dinner: Tue-Sat 6:30-9:30. Reservations only. MC, V, AE. $$$)


Jennivine. The notion of an English wine bistro is a bit odd, but Jennivine has to be considered more than a
curiosity. Lunch has been especially good recently – there’s a delightful quiche divan, packed with chicken; a
nicely prepared roast loin of pork; and an excellent spinach-and-sprout salad. The dinner menu includes a perfectly
cooked red snapper filet and a dish called chicken Wessex that is heavy, soggy, and downright unappealing. Great
sourdough bread. The wine list lacks the offbeat selections one expects in a serious wine bar. (3605 McKinney.
528-6010. Tue-Sat 11:30 am-11:30 pm, closed Sun & Mon. Reservations. MC, V, AE. $$)


Mr. Peppe. Once one of the best restaurants in the city, though by today’s standards both decor and menu
could use some new life. Mr. Peppe covers the old French standbys, from pate to chocolate mousse, and delivers
competent versions in most cases – recent strong points were surprisingly good beef Wellington, nicely cooked fresh
vegetables, and an excellent creme caramel. With the exception of its charming waiters, however, whatever gave Mr.
Peppe an aura of elegance and excitement has faded. (5617 W Lovers Ln. 352-5976. Mon-Sat 6-10. closed Sun. MC, V,
AE. DC. $$$)


Old Warsaw. Risen from its decline, La Vieille Varsovie (as it would rather be called) is once again one of
Dallas’s best restaurants. The kitchen isn’t bold or imaginative, but it is consistent. Start with the shrimp with
shallots and Pernod sauce. If the $15 price tag doesn’t deter you, have the terrine de foie gras. We also recommend
the roast quail in truffle sauce, the rack of lamb, or the cote de veau. And don’t ignore the waiter’s
recommendations when he suggests a dessert souffle. (2610 Maple. 528-0032. Tue-Sun 6-10:45, Sal till 11:45.
Reservations. All credit cards. $$$$)


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-Sun 6-11, Sat till 11:30, closed
Mon. Reservations. All credit cards. $$$)


Pyramid Room. Hyatt-Regency or no, the Fairmont has an ace up its sleeve: the Pyramid Room. The overall
dining experience here is unrivaled in Dallas. That’s attributable to its charming, efficient staff and a relaxed
approach to splendid food. We’ve recently sampled the excellent veal chop baked with honey and dressed with grated
carrot; even better was the lamb loin baked in a pastry shell with tarragon sauce – a lamb lover’s dream. Lunch is
almost as great a pleasure – the calf’s liver with onions and baked apple is as good as you’ll ever taste, the tresh
truit salad truly fresh, and the pastry cart incredible. We even tried the “Pyramid Hamburger.” It was, of course,
superb. (Fairmont Hotel, Ross & Akard. 748-5454. Lunch: 11:30-1:30 Mon-Fri; Dinner: Daily 6-9:45. Reservations.
All credit cards. $$$$)


Three Vikings. This is a delightful restaurant, unlike any other in town. Run by a Swedish family, Three
Vikings features one of the nicest fish dishes around – a perfectly cooked filet of sole with crabmeat and a light,
lemony sauce. Other treats are Swedish steak, lightly steamed fresh vegetables, terrific shrimp chowder and
chocolate cheese pie. Service is friendly and helpful. Our only suggestions would be a more inspired house salad and
a longer, more varied wine list. (2831 Greenville at Goodwin. 827-6770. Mon-Sat 6-11. Reservations. MC, V, AE.
$$$)




DELICATESSENS



Wall’s. A small deli with a whiff – but only a faint one – of the New York style it emulates. Fortunately,
the kosher delicacies are good, but stick to them – other items, like quiche Lorraine, are inferior. The gefilte
fish is good, and the chopped liver on rye bread is excellent. The cabbage soup is hearty, well-seasoned and served
piping hot, and the cheese blintzes are delectable. Unfortunately, the service is alternately pushy and martyred.
(10749 Preston Rd near Royal Ln. 691-4444. Daily 7am-7:30pm. Reservations. MC, V. $$)



D Revisits Kuby’s. Nothing ever changes much at Kuby’s. The crowds are as thick as ever, and so are the
sandwiches. Some purists insist that the meat at Kuby’s is too good. Corned beef, says one Eastern transplant, is
supposed to be greasy; Kuby’s corned beef is too lean. Others complain of a Teutonic “Have it our way”
policy: If you’d like your pastrami on an onion roll, you’d better order the components separately at the meat and
bakery counters and make it yourself at home. In the restaurant it’s sliced rye or (if you ask nicely) white bread
only. But over the years most of us have learned to adjust to these things, and to show up at Kuby’s for good thick
soups, a succulent tartar sandwich, delicious hot potato salad and sauerkraut, first class wurst, and pastries that
have caused many a Kuby’s patron to take up jogging in penance. Always crowded at noon, but you can slip around to
the take-out window for a brown bagger that will make you the envy of the egg salad set back at the office. (6601
Snider Plaza. 363-2231. Mon-Sat 8-6, sandwiches till 5:30. No reservations. MC for purchases over $15 only. $)




ITALIAN



Campisi’s. Everyone’s fantasy of the neighborhood Italian restaurant – small, dark, and bustling, with family
portraits on the wall and an army of no-nonsense waitresses. Unfortunately, the food is pretty ordinary – the
kitchen does well with staples like pizza, lasagna and ravioli (the last is homemade), but tends to manhandle mildly
sophisticated dishes like veal scaloppine marsala and scampi. So stick to the basics and enjoy the atmosphere. At
its best on a Friday night. (5610 East Mockingbird Ln. 827-0355. Mon-Fri II-midnight. Sat till 1 am, Sun
noon-midnight. No credit cards, but personal checks accepted. Reservations for 6 or more. $)


lanni’s. A family-run restaurant with excellent pasta – try the baked ziti with eggplant and mozzarella or
the buttery, thick fettucini lanni – and terrific appetizers. The “house specialties,” on the other hand, are
nothing special. Good desserts and coffee; tacky decor. (2230 Greenville. 826-6161. Mon-Thur 5-11, Fri & Sat
5:30-11:30, Sun 5-10:30. Reservations. MC. V, AE. $$)


Italian Pavilion. An almost overbearingly opulent restaurant atop the Le Baron Hotel, which nevertheless has
its virtures, including attentive service, comfortable seating, and a good selection of Italian wines.
Unfortunately, much of the food is only so-so. Recommended dishes are the veal Fiorentino with butter and bearnaise
and the shrimp Fra Diavolo with peppery tomato sauce. Vegetable side dishes are excellent. Somebody should take a
cloth to the glasses and silver, though – housekeeping was wretched on a recent visit. $10 annual membership
required for alcohol. (Le Baron Hotel, 1055 Regal Row at Carpenter Fwy. 634-8550 ext 7200. Dinner: Mon-Sat
6-11:30, closed Sun. Reservations. All credit cards. $$$)


Lombardi’s. Servizio con brio. That’s one reason Lombardi’s has become one of the most enjoyable
restaurants in town. Another is the food. The saltimbocca is right at the top, along with the veal limone and the
zuppa de pesce, which is now served at lunch every Friday. And don’t pass up the mussels and langostinos when
they’re available. The pasta dishes can be uneven, but with so many unusual choices, why be mundane? The more
limited lunch menu includes roast veal and peppers, frittatas (an Italian omelette shaped like a pancake), and
excellent spinach salad. (2815 McKinney. 823-6040. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11-2; Dinner: Mon-Thur 6-10:30, Fri & Sat
5:30-11, closed Sun. Reservations. MC, V, AE, DC. $$$)


Mario’s. Elegant but not stuffy (though they do require men to wear jackets). While you wouldn’t choose
Mario’s if you were in the mood for hard-core Italian food, the fettucine is excellent, and the manicotti appetizer
comes with a perfectly balanced tomato sauce. The menu ranges from a simple veal with green peppers (in which the
veal can be tasted, for a change) to an elaborate Tournedos Heloise – artichoke hearts, pate, and mushrooms atop the
filet. A solid but not exceptional restaurant. (135 Turtle Creek Village, Oak Lawn at Blackburn. 521-1135. Daily
6-10:45, Sat till 11:45. Reservations. All credit cards. $$$)


Paisan’s. A deceptive place, whose unengag-ing exterior hides a splendid kitchen. We’ve never had anything
but masterly meals here (though we’ve heard of occasional off nights). The best opener is the zuppa pavese, beef
broth with a poached egg and parmesan, but it’s with the entrees that this menu shines. A few favorites: veal
Siciliano, topped with eggplant and green peppers in a wonderfully rich tomato sauce; and sausage alla Turiddu with
black olives and green pepper, surely the best sausage dish in town. For dessert, you need not look past the
cheesecake with white raisins and pine nuts. (9405 Overlake. 352-2765. Daily 5:30-11. Reservations. MC, V, AE,
DC. $$$)


Pietro’s. High spirits prevail here – on a good night, spontaneous toasts, crying babies, and a hearty Muzak
rendition of “Santa Lucia” blend into one of the most pleasantly chaotic atmospheres in town. The food seems
secondary, though it’s pretty good – creamy tagliolini with salty ham slices, fresh lemon veal, tremendous creme
caramel, and a nice wine list. The minestrone, spaghetti, and salads are ordinary, but it’s a big menu. Expect
crowds on weekends. (5722 Richmond off Greenville. 824-9403. Tue-Thur 5:30-10, Fri & Sat till 11, closed Sun &
Mon. No reservations. MC, V. $$$)


II Sorrento. Closed by fire in December, II Sorrento was expected to reopen around Jan 13. We’ll report the
outcome in a future issue. (8616 Turtle Creek, north of North west Hwy. 352-8759)



MAINLY FOR LUNCH



The Bronx. Quick and friendly service makes lunch at the Bronx a treat. Try the inventive chef’s salad, with
all the usual ingredients plus guacamole, black olives and red onion, the omelettes, and the hearty, homestyle
mushroom meatloaf. The dinner menu, posted on a chalkboard, changes nightly. Don’t miss the creamy, rich chocolate
mousse, with whipped cream and nuts – if you can’t finish it on the premises, they’ll give you a doggie bag. Finish
up with coffee, a blend of French roast and mocha. (3835 Cedar Springs near Oak Lawn. 521-5821. Mon-Thur
11:30-12:30 am, Fri till 1:30, Sat 6-11:30, bar till 2, closed Sun. Reservations. MC, V. $$)


The Magic Pan. Yes, it’s a chain restaurant, and sometimes it shows. Fortunately, the crepes themselves are
very good, even if the soups and salads that precede and/or accompany them are thoroughly ordinary. Try the creamed
chicken crepes with a sprinkling of parmesan. And for dessert, have the Chantilly – banana slices in a stunning
sauce topped with real whipped cream and toasted almond slivers. That alone explains why there’s always a line
halfway down the NorthPark mall. (434 NorthPark Mall. 692-7574. Mon-Thur 11 am-midnight, Fri till 1 am, Sat 10
am-1 am, Sun 10 am-midnight. No reservations. MC, V, AE, DC. $$)




MEXICAN

Adelante. In the local Mexican food sweepstakes, Adelante is a leader. We’re par-tial to the praline
cheesecake (in a class by itself), guacamole, flautas, chiles rellenos, and a special dinner called Guadalajara that
consists of nachos, beef strips simmered in wine, and the makings for roll-your-own tacos. Not too many exotic
dishes here, just delightful variations on traditional ones. Service can be very, very slow on weekends, but it’s
usually worth the wait. Bar by membership. (5934 Royal Ln at Preston. 691-8301. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11-2:30;
Dinner:Mon-Thurs, 5:30-8:30, Fri & Sal till 10, closed Sun. Reservations for 6 or more. MC, V, AE. $)


Casa Dominguez. It happens all the time: Family opens small Mexican cafe, serves great food, attracts the
crowds, so family moves into larger location, builds a second restaurant on Greenville, a third on Bachman Lake, a
fourth in Farmers Branch. . .and so on. An the tacos get soggier, the plates notter, the lettuce limper.
Fortunately, there’s an exception to this rule: Casa Dominguez was the flagship in the Pete Dominguez chain of
Tex-Mex enterprises. But the tacos didn’t get soggy: They’re still crisp, with perhaps the best-seasoned filling in
town. Over the years, the menu has expanded into some specialties: an excellent carne asada, fine tacos al carbon, a
good chile relleno. In addition to the standard bowl of hot sauce, with your tostados you get a delightful pico de
gallo-a spicy vegetable mixture with carefully seeded jalapenos. There are some weak spots: the cheese on the con
queso items is gluey-apparently a pasteurized process cheese “extended” with flour-and the tasty guacamole comes in
stingy portions. The other Dominguez restaurants are pleasant-especially the cheerful Los Vaqueros in Highland Park
Village-but the food is best at Casa Dominguez. (2127 Cedar Springs. 742-4945. Tue-Thur 11-10, Fri 11-11, Sat
5-11, Sun 5-10. No reservations. AE, DC, MC, V. $)


Chiquita. The cheeriest dining room in town, and some of the best dining, with swift service and excellent
food, particularly the specialty dishes. Try the carne asada, (he chiles rellenos, and the magnificent “Aztecs in a
blanket.” The seafood dishes are also highly recommended. Leave room for the sopapillas. Lunch tends to be noisy and
a bit rushed – the price of popularity. (3810 Congress, off Oak Lawn. 521-0721. Mon-Thur 11:30-10-30, Fri & Sat
till 11. No reservations. MC, V, AE. $)




D Revisits El Taxco. This restaurant made its reputation as a tiny cafe with generous, delicious, and cheap
Tex-Mex. Now that the facilities and the menu have expanded, it’s no longer as consistent as it was. If you stick
with the standards-enchiladas, tacos, rice and beans-you’ll probably find it satisfactory. The more ambitious items
are often unpredictable. Unless you have an asbestos palate, avoid the chile relleno-a flaming capsule loaded with
seeds, each a tiny dynamite charge; even on a cold day you’ll find yourself mopping your brow after a few bites. The
cheese enchiladas are a good bet, however; the sauce has enough tomato and onion to give it a pleasant taste and
texture. Once you had to bring your own beer; now there’s a full bar. Unfortunately, the drinks are pretty
bad-especially the bilious-green Kool-Aid margaritas, all syrup and only a drop of tequila. Service sometimes seems
hassled and surly. (2126 N St Paul at McKinney. 742-0747. Sun-Thur 11 am-9 pm, Fri & Sat till 10. closed Tues. No
reservations. MC, V. $)




Herrera Cafe. Forget the Lemmon Avenue location and head straight for the Maple Avenue hole in the wall.
You’ll probably stand in line, but the food has soul. All the standard Tex-Mex fare is good, especially the nachos,
guacamole, and magnificent thick flour tortillas. Portions are large: Two people can stuff themselves for well under
$10. No alcohol served, so bring your own. (3902 Maple. 526-9427. Mart, Wed, Thur 9 am-8 pm, Fri-Sun till 10,
closed Tue. No reservations. No credit cards. $)




Javier’s. One of the most attractive dining rooms in town, and some of the most interesting food. It pays to
be adventurous here – Javier’s eschews standard Tex-Mex in favor of steaks, seafood, and chicken dishes from Mexico,
like shrimp broiled with lots of fresh garlic and chicken in the best mole sauce we’ve had. The thin flour tortillas
wrapped around baked Linares cheese, green pepper, onion, and sausage make a wonderful appetizer. Save room for the
crepes lopped with cajeta (caramel sauce) and flamed with Amaretto and brandy -a knockout. (4912 Cole Ave.
521-4211. Sun-Thur 5:30-11. Fri & Sal till 11:30, bar till 2 am. Reservations. MC, V, AE. $$)


Raphael’s. This standby lacks some of the pizzazz that once set it apart from Dallas’s other Mexican
restaurants, but there’s still plenty to like here, from the cozy ranch-style decor to the attentive service and
occasionally wonderful food. The queso flameado appetizer and the flautitas are excellent appetizers, and among the
main dishes, we especially enjoyed the flounder Veracruzano and the carne asada. You probably won’t enjoy the
crowds, though; the dinner rush is being handled more efficiently than before, but there’s still a good chance of
sitting on somebody’s enchiladas or having somebody sit on yours. (3701 McKinney. 521-9640. Mon-Fri 11:30
am-10:30 pm, Sat noon-10:30, closed Sun. Reservations Mon-Thur only. MC, V, AE. $$)




NATURAL FOODS

Health Nut. Not everybody’s cup of herb tea, but the Health Nut continues to persuade lots of palates with
its famous, filling smoothies, salads, soups, and a few hot dishes. The soups – lima, lentil, herb vegetable, German
potato, and gazpacho are served alternately – are hearty and nourishing, and their salads outstanding: Jerusalem
artichokes and crisp fresh bean sprouts, red cabbage, lettuce, tomato, and carrots; or apples, oranges, melons,
strawberries, bananas, grapes and pineapple in a generous fruit salad. Try a cup of spearmint-flavored tea and you
may go home converted. (4356 W Lovers Ln. 692-1411. Mon-Thurs 11 am-9 pm, Fri & Sat till 10. No reservations.
$)




ORIENTAL

Bo Bo China. Don’t let the plastic food on display in the front entryway scare you, because good Mandarin
cooking waits inside. The Peking duck, with its honey-crisped skin served as a separate course, is outstanding (a
day’s notice is required on this order), as is the Mo Shu Pork, delicately seasoned and served with four paper-thin
pancakes and plum sauce. (Two weaker entrees are the shrimps with lobster sauce and the Bo Bo Beef.) The appetizers
are a real treat, especially the Pot Stickers – deep fried meat ravioli. The service is attentive and friendly.
There is one drawback: no liquor. (10630 Church Road at LBJ Freeway. 349-2411. Lunch: Daily 11-2:30, except Sun &
Mon; Dinner: Tue-Thur 11-9, Fri & Sat till 10, Sun till 9. Reservations. MC, V. $$)


Chinese Pavilion. They make few attempts at chinoiserie in the decor, preferring to save their efforts
for the kitchen. The menu has a whole array of terrific specialties, and it’s a good idea to trust the waiter’s
recommendations. One recent standout has been the ambitious spicy, crispy whole fish, which comes with an ample and
delicious sauce with shallots, all served on a huge platter. Lunchtime service can be grumpy and slow, and the
dining room is too bright with too-loud Muzak. (2829 W Northwest Hwy. 357-5777. Mon-Thur 11:30 am-11 pm, Fri &
Sat till midnight. Reservations. MC, V, AE. $$)


Fuji-Ya. Possibly the best Japanese restaurant in town, and certainly the most reasonably priced. You have to
work to spend $10 and can usually eat like an emperor for considerably less. Start with the sashimi (raw fish),
especially if it includes tuna or yellow-tail. The egg rolls, shaped like ravioli and deep-fried, are delicious, as
is the suimono soup, a chicken broth with pieces of shrimp and chicken added. Among the entrees, only the Yosenabe
(a vegetable and seafood stew) was below par: It tasted cooked out. The shrimp tempura and the sukiyaki are both
excellent, but if you prefer something less ordinary try the yakisoba (a pan-fried noodle with beef and vegetables)
or the tohkatsu (pork cutlet in special sauces). For dessert there’s only sherbet and a Japanese bean cake, which
our waitress said Americans don’t like. She was right. Fuji-Ya has also begun preparing sushi on Thursdays, though
they haven’t got that act together yet. Give them another month. Lunch is limited to a few teriyaki dishes and a
daily special. Ours was a delicious chicken cutlet tempura. Club memberships required for alcohol. (13050 Coil
Road. 690-8396. Tues-Sun 11-10; Lunch 11-2. Closed Mon. Reservations. MC, V. $$)


Hunan. Where the Szechuan boom began, and still some of the best in town. A current favorite is the San Shien
(pork, shrimp, chicken), and the abalone with chicken is a strong second place. Everything except champagne chicken
and crab velvet-bad ideas to start with-seems to be top-notch. On its way to becoming a Dallas institution. (5214
Greenville at Lovers Ln. 369-4578. Mon-Thur 11:30 am-11 pm; Fri & Sal til! midnight; Sun till 11. Reservations. MC,
V, AE. $$)


Mihama Ya. A family-run Japanese restaurant with a gift shop up front. Terrific shrimp tempura and chicken
teriyaki; delightful yakiniku, a beef and vegetable dish; and wonderful chicken kara age, marinated anddeep fried.
The only weak spots are the soups and salads. An off-beat, thoroughly delightful place. (7713 Inwood Rd.
351-9491. Lunch: Mon-Thurs 11:30-2:30; Dinner: Mon-Thurs 5:30-10, Fri & Sal till 11, Sun 1-10. Reservations. MC, V,
AE, DC. $)


Royal Tokyo. This restaurant has always tended to be stronger on theatrics than on performance, and the
situation hasn’t changed. In the Hibachi Room, for example, the chefs like to juggle salt shakers and chip
vegetables onto your plate while preparing hibachi shrimp (very good) and teriyaki steak (ordinary). Skip the
special dinners (they’re overpriced and undistinguished) and try one of the sashimi (raw fish) dishes, the
shabu-shabu (beef and vegetables cooked in broth), the yakitori, or the kani-crab fingers. Everything else is
fair-to-middling, and you may have to wait an hour or more to be seated, even with reservations. All in all, Royal
Tokyo needs to do some tightening. (7525 Greenville Ave. 368-3304. Lunch: Daily 11:30-2 except Sal; Dinner:
Mon-Thur 5:30-11, Fri & Sat till 11:30, Sun till 10. Reservations. All credit cards. $$$)


South China. Its competitors waver and topple, but South China continues to produce consistently excellent
Chinese cuisine. Sweet and sour shrimp doesn’t come any better in Dallas, nor ginger beef more delicately seasoned.
Recent discoveries include the moo shi pork, with a delicious filling, and the white mushrooms with crisp broccoli.
South China sometimes fumbles the appetizers, but the shrimp toast, beef strips, fried wonton, and sizzling rice
soup are fine. Not to be missed: Saturday and Sunday at lunch the chef prepares Chinese delicacies not on the
regular menu for bargain prices. (5424 E Mockingbird. 826-5420. Lunch: Daily 12-2:30, Sal & Sun noon-2:30;
Dinner: Sun-Thurs 5-10, Fri & Sat till 12. Reservations. MC, V, AE. $$)


Szechuan. A dependable neighborhood restaurant with the menu shared by most of the town’s Szechuan-style
restaurants. A few of the “Chef’s Specialties” really are special: Try the house chicken with scallions, celery, and
green peppers. One of this restaurant’s virtues is a dependable take-out service. The mooshi pork is an old take-out
favorite that is sometimes sensational. Very friendly, ever smiling staff. (4117 Lemrnon near Douglas. 521-6981.
Sun-Thurs 11:30 am-11 pm, Fri & Sal till 12. Reservations on weekends. MC, V, AE, DC. $$)




SEAFOOD

S & D Oyster Company. You take no chances at S & D: The menu is limited to the few broiled and fried items
they can handle. The oysters are plump and juicy, the shrimp sweet, the red snapper broiled to the point of
perfection. And the gumbo is the real thing, full of shrimp. There are some weak points: dense, dry hush-puppies,
too-sweet desserts, a bar limited to beer and wine, and deafening clatter when the place is crowded – as it always
is. Fortunately, the pleasures outweigh the pains. (2701 McKin-ney near Routh. 823-6350. Mon-Thur 11 am-10 pm,
Fri & Sat till 11, closed Sun. No reservations. MC, V. $$)




SOUTHERN SPECIALTIES



Broussard’s. In a new location, it still has a raucous boarding house atmosphere and superb oysters, fresh or
fried; sweet catfish; outstanding piquante and gumbo; and the best crawfish this side of Baton Rouge. The only weak
spots are tough and tasteless frog legs and the jambalaya, which frequently suffers from over-exposure to the
infra-red lamps. A no-nonsense restaurant. Bring your own liquor. (707 N Bell Line Rd, Irving, 1 mile S of Rte
183. 255-8024. Lunch: Mon-Sat 11-2; Dinner: 5-10. Closed Sun. No credit cards. No reservations. $$)


Celebration. No-nonsense home cooking – baked trout amandine, pot roast, a huge salad, biscuits, three
vegetables, homemade pies and cobblers. Dark and cozy, with agreeable background music, so that a lot of people make
themselves at home. Beer and wine only. (4503 W Lovers Ln. 351-5681. Mon-Thurs 5:30-10, Fri & Sal till 11. Sun
5-10. No reservations. MC, V. $)


Pittman House. We’ve had some disappointing lunches here, but the dinners have been wonderful. Standouts
include jumbo broiled unshelled shrimps in butter, file, and other seasonings; red snapper Veracruz, with tomato,
onion, and garlic; brace of quail sauteed in white wine, topped with cherries. The vegetables are firm and fresh,
and the desserts consistently excellent: light pound cake with baked apples, lightly whipped cream, and rum sauce;
ice cream with pecans and dark, buttery hot fudge. Service ranges from fair to excellent. (2911 Routh. 745-1149.
Lunch: Mon-Fri 11-2:30; Sal & Sun 12-2:30; Dinner: Sun-Thurs 6-10; Fri & Sal 6-10:30. Reservations evenings only.
MC, V, AE.$$$)


Red Moon Cafe. Things are looking up at this attractive little neighborhood restaurant. Creole specialties
are the heart of the menu, and the Red Moon’s versions are good (if occasionally unorthodox). But don’t stop there:
The liver and onions, omelettes, salads, and vegetables are terrific, as are the homemade desserts (especially the
buttermilk-pecan pie). Early risers should check out the breakfast menu, which runs from grits and pancakes to fresh
croissants and some of the best coffee in town. Already a neighborhood resource; with a little more polish in the
service and a cheerier decor, the Red Moon could be a real contender. (4537 Cole at McKinney. 526-5391. Breakfast
and lunch: 7:30-2:30. Dinner: Mon-Thur 6-10, Fri & Sat till 11. Sun brunch: 10-2. No reservations. MC, V. $$)


Sonny Bryan’s. A down-home barbecue joint furnished with old school desks and picnic tables – a distinctive
Dallas institution. The 800 pounds of meat they’re reported to cook every day is usually gone by late afternoon.
Don’t pass up the onion rings or the fries, and the crisp fresh cole slaw is great. (2202 In wood. 357-7120.
Mon-Fri 8 am-6 pm. Sat 11-3, Sun 11-2. No reservations. No credit cards. $)




STEAKS, BURGERS, ETC.

Chili’s. Not ambitious, but expert. The Old Timer (mustard, lettuce, tomato, etc.) and the Terlingua Pride
(everything in the kitchen plus chili) are the best of the burgers, the soft tacos the best of the other items.
You’ve probably tasted better chili, but never, never better French fries. Pleasantly casual atmosphere and quick
and friendly service once you get inside. There’s usually a long waiting line. 7567 Greenville at Meadow.
361-4371. Daily 11 am-2 am. No reservations. MC, V. $)


Cork ’n’ Cleaver. Despite the cute name and the fact that this is a chain restaurant, the prime rib is
excellent- and you can have seconds of it at no extra charge. The steaks are equally good, and the salad bar is
varied spinach, muchrooms, cottage cheese, cauliflower, sprouts, grated cheese, and assorted other goodies-a
lunchtime meal in itself for $3.25. The only annoyance is a phony Colorado motif, especially in the bar. The current
leader in the steak-and-salad-bar sweepstakes. (8080 Central Expwy at Caruth Haven. 361-8808. Lunch: Mon-Fri
11:30-2:30; Dinner: Mon-Thur 5:30-11, Sat till 12, Sun till 10. Reservations for party of six or more. MC, V, AE,
DC. $$)


Houlihan’s. Unlike some of its Greenville Avenue neighbors, Houlihan’s takes itself seriously as a
restaurant. For starters, have the fried zucchini strips or the boiled spiced shrimp with red sauce. Try the
gazpacho, which is available with gin and vermouth as a sort of Spanish martini. You’ll fare best among the burgers
and omelettes and steaks, but the roast duck with orange sauce is surprisingly good. Desserts look tempting but are
mediocre. Since you’ll probably have to wait in the bar, it’s nice that the drinks are excellent. (4 NorthPark
East at Park Lane and Central. 361-9426. Sun-Thurs 11-11, Fri & Sal till 1 am. No reservations. MC, V, AE, DC.
$$)




D Revisits Double Barrel. We were ready to love Double Barrel. The drive out Preston Road to Frisco set the
mood for an evening at a roadhouse, where all the interesting action took place in Dash Hammett’s mysteries. We
weren’t disappointed to find, instead of a gambling den, a family steakhouse with children playing the piano and a
small TV bar. We could see the mesquite-fired grill from the dining room, and the menu promised some delightful
bargains: All-you-can-eat catfish cost $4, and the rib-eye special was a steal at $7 tor a 10-ounce steak, unlimited
salad bar privileges, Tries, and dessert. The steak was fine, a good cut broiled just right. But our enthusiasm fell
when we sampled the catfish (bland and greasy in a batter like the Colonel’s Extra Crispy) and hit bottom when we
visited the salad bar. It looked bountiful from our table, but the cornucopia shrank as we approached. Two bowls of
everything doubled the apparent diversity and most of the ingredients were well past their prime – the green onions
were ready for planting. We’re still prepared to love the place, but steak-and-salad restaurants achieve greatness
by doing a few things extremely well, and Double Barrel isn’t doing quite enough; it needs some work to bring the
whole menu up to the quality of the steaks and the exceptionally friendly service. (1315 E Hwy 720, just W of
Preston Rd in Frisco. 248-6061. Mon-Sat 11 am-10 pm. Bar membership $5/yr. Reservations. MC, V, AE, DC. $$)




Kirby’s. Step inside and you’re back in the Fifties, when dining out meant sitting in a very dark place and
eating a huge piece of meat. It’s still great. Kirby’s steaks are tender, among the best in town, and priced to
compete with the chains’. You might want to order rarer than usual, though – our steaks were left on the fire a bit
too long. Kirby’s offers all the salad you can eat (though it’s just iceberg and cherry tomatoes) and fine baked
potatoes topped with everything. (3715 Greenville. 823-7296. Tues-Sun 5:30-10, Fri & Sal till midnight.
Reservations. All credit cards. $$)


Stoneleigh P. A made-over drugstore, with two very popular items on the menu – lentil soup and a cheeseburger
on a dark rye bun with provolone cheese. Other standouts include broiled boneless chicken and sausage sandwich. The
Godiva chocolate pie is great for dessert. Check out the eclectic jukebox – everything from classical to country –
and the marvelous magazine rack. (2926 Maple. 741-0824. Mon-Thur 11-midnight, Fri & Sat till 1:30 am. Sun 12-12;
bar daily till 1 am, Fri & Sat till 2. No reservations. No credit cards. $)


Strictly Ta-Bu. Old and intentionally tacky, but nice. Basically, it’s a neighborhood bar, with fair to
excellent food – especially the pizza (which is, however, small and expensive) and burgers. For a change try the
Ta-Bu special, a ham, turkey, bacon, and cheese sandwich with thousand island dressing on a rye bun. But most people
come here for the jazz and the beer and the pizza, so don’t expect more than that. (4111 Lomo Alto. 526-9325.
Lunch: Mon-Fri 11-3; Dinner: Sun-Thurs 5-12, Fri & Sal 6-1. No reservations. MC, V. $$)


T.G.I. Friday’s. Dozens of burgers; enormous portions of beef, chicken, and shrimp; thick, gooey desserts –
Friday’s menu rolls on and on. We’re especially fond of the pocket sandwiches, steak fingers, and
crabmeat-and-arti-choke omelette. For appetizers, try the baked brie or the zucchini slices, and for a treat, a side
order of fried potato skins. Always mobbed with singles, but there are compensations – Mexican pizza, for instance,
and those fried artichoke hearts. (Old Town, 5500 Greenville. 363-5353. Daily 11:30 am-2 am; Sun Brunch 11-2. No
reservations. MC, V, AE. $$)




FORT WORTH RESTAURANTS



Angelo’s. A rambling patchwork shack with sawdust on the floor and patrons wearing gingham dresses or shirts
with mother-of-pearl buttons. The atmosphere is right, and so is the barbecue. You’ll never find better spare ribs
or more tender beef. The prices are a bit steep, though the beer is a bargain (have the medium – the large looks
like more glass and less beer). Beer prices double after 10 pm, so they must know the beer is a steal. (2533
White Settlement Rd. (817) 332-0357. Mon-Sat 11-10. No reservations. No credit cards. $)


The Balcony. It will never be mistaken for a great restaurant, but it’s a pretty good one, and the place for
Ridglea society matrons to meet for lunch. The trout amandine was too dry on a recent visit, and the beef oriental
is probably called beef stronganoff in other restaurants but there was a very good vegetable soup. The service is
brisk, competent, and friendly, and the house white wine excellent. (6100 Camp Bowie. (817) 731-3719. Lunch:
Mon-Fri 11:30-2; Dinner: Mon-Thur 5:30-10, Fri & Sat till 10:30, closed Sun. Reservations. MC, V, AE, DC. $$$)


Carriage House. What a restaurant this would be if every dish were as good as some of the beef dishes,
especially the excellent Chateaubriand and the fork-tender filet mignon. A lack of finesse mars everything else,
especially the seafood and the desserts. The service is unassuming and expert. (5136 Camp Bowie. (817) 732-2873.
Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2, Sun brunch 11-3; Dinner: daily 6-11, Sun 6-10. Reservations. MC, V, AE. $$$)


Cattleman’s. Smack in the middle of the old stockyards, surrounded by more false fronts than the back lot at
Warner Brothers, Cattleman’s is a Fort Worth Institution with a large and loyal following. Steak is the specialty
here: We’re partial to the ribeyes and the Kansas City strip. The calf and lamb fries are also terrific, though
something of an acquired taste. Don’t stray into the spaghetti or lobster; they’re just not Cattleman’s forte.
Service is a delight – more fun than dinner theater, and there’s no cover charge. (2458 N Main. (817) 624-3945.
Mon-Fri II am-10:30 pm, Sat 4:30-10:30 pm, closed Sun. Reservations. All credit cards. $$$)


Edelweiss German Restaurant. The attraction here isn’t the food – it’s the Gemiitich-keit, the
infectious good humor that fills this huge West Side beerhall. Bernd Schnerzinger, with a voice big enough to be
heard from the mountaintops, sings nightly with an oom-pah band; singalongs and dancing are encouraged. Service is
better than good, and so is the food, as authentically German as one finds in Texas. Although the schnitzel
sometimes resembles thinly battered chicken-fried steak, the sausages, sauerkraut, cabbage, and potato pancakes are
tasty, and the Black Forest cake excellent. (3801-A Southwest Blvd. (817) 738-5934. Dinner: Mon-Sat 5-10:30.
Reservations. MC, V, DC. $$)


Medary’s. The food is pure Lebanese, prepared and served by Hedary, his wife, and seven of their nine
children. The result is a long roster of exotic dishes served in a mildly erratic fashion. We’ve tried the Hummus
Bit-Tahini, a salad of garbanzo beans, pine nuts, spices, and ground beef – the combination was fresh and delicious
– and the Frarej entree, baked chicken and vegetables basted with olive oil and lemon juice. Finish up with Arabian
coffee, brewed bitter and black for sad occasions and sweet for good times. Ours was sweet. (3308 Fairfield in
Ridglea Center. (817) 731-6861. Sun-Thur 5-11; Fri & Sat 5-midnight. No reservations. MC, V, AE, DC. $$.)


Joe T. Garcia’s. Garcia’s is Fort Worth’s favorite Mexican restaurant. The food is Southern Mexico-style,
less spicy than Tex-Mex, and the menu is limited, a set meal at a set price. But most people don’t care – they come
mainly for the atmosphere. You can eat in the old house or alfresco beside the pool. The service is often slow,
crowds overflow, it’s noisy, confused and very friendly. (2201 N. Commerce. (817) 626-4356. Lunch: Mon-Sat 11-2;
Dinner: Mon-Sun, 5-10:30. No reservations. No credit cards. $)


Kincaid’s. The best hamburgers in Texas, maybe the world. Kincaid’s is a gourmet burger joint cleverly
disguised as a neighborhood grocery store. The burgers come from behind the meat counter and they are huge, juicy
and freshly made, with meat patties the size of small sofa pillows. Kincaid’s has Texas deli items, too, for takeout
– the chicken-fried steak, cornbread, and barbecue are excellent. The crowds are huge: You wait for your order, and
eat standing up. But no one cares. (4901 Camp Bowie. (817) 732-2881. Mon-Sat 10-6:15. No reservations. No credit
cards. $)




London House. An old-line favorite for steak lovers, London House has the basics down pat – salad, beef and
potato. The decor is ersatz-Tudor English, but a less obvious forgery than those beef-and-ale chain operations. The
steaks come in rather large sizes for the price. If there is a criticism, it could be that the lettuce is not always
as fresh as it should be on the heavily stocked salad bar. (4475 Camp Bowie Blvd. (817) 731-4141. Dinner only.
Sun-Thurs 5-11; Fri-Sat 5-midnight. Reservations. AE, MC, V. $$.




Massey’S. More properly known as Herb Massey’s Dinner Place, this red leatherette-booth cafe is always
crowded. The reason is chicken-fried steak – the very best, served with salad, French fries, cream gravy and
homemade biscuits. (Massey’s menu ranges from Mexican to seafood, but chicken-fried steak is the pièce de
résistance.
) Service is fast and folksy. (1805 Eighth Ave. (817) 924-8242. Daily: 6:30 am-10:30 pm. No
reservations. MC, V. $)


Merrimac. This restaurant/disco sprang to life beside the Trinity River and instantly became a crowded
weekend favorite. The food is nothing spectacular (although the Alaskan king crab legs are delicious and
well-prepared) and service could be better, so it must be the ambiance, which is cozy and somewhat romantic. The
disco is upstairs and evening diners are shielded from the music, but you may be happier with everything at lunch
when the Merrimac is less frenetic. Without reservations on Friday and Saturday evenings, expect an hour’s wait.
(1541 Merrimac Circle off University Dr. (817)332-9306. Lunch, Mon-Fri 11-2; Sun Brunch 11:30-2. Dinner: Mon-Thur
6-11; Fri-Sat 6-midnight. Reservations. AE, MC, V. $$.)


Old Swiss House. Dependable but not dazzling. The veal dishes, though on the heavy side, are the recommended
house specialties. The veau Zurichoise, for instance, is tasty but immobilizing. The veau aux champignons is simpler
and more delicate. Excellent filet mignon and good fish dishes, including a lovely Nova Scotia salmon appetizer.
It’s a Fort Worth institution, but it’s also rather stuffy, though the fresh flowers and the slice of lime in each
water glass give the place a gracious air. The extensive wine list is strong in Californias and the service is quick
and polished. (5412 Camp Bowie. (817) 738-8091. Mon-Thur 6-10, Fri & Sat till 10:30, closed Sun. Reservations.
MC, V, AE, DC. $$$)


Rangoon Racquet Club. Even if this weren’t the best singles bar in town, a visit would be re-quired to sample
the hamburgers, which are large and packed with all the trimmings. Other luncheon items include ham hocks and lima
beans. The atmosphere is dark and cozy in this nicely re-done old mansion, the service cheerful and quick. Singles
begin arriving right after work, and the most popular drink seems to be an exceptionally good house Chablis.
(4936 Camp Bowie Blvd. (817) 737-5551. Mon-Sat 11-10. No reservations. V, MC, AE. $).



Willow Garden. The menu claims Chinese,Thai, and Mongolian dishes, and who’s to argue? To an American taste,
the food is Oriental, good, and inexpensive. To begin withthere is an excellent Moo Goo Gai Pan (breastof chicken
with vegetables and mushrooms), abenchmark for Chinese restaurants. The Mongolian barbecue, chunks of beef and pork
in avegetable sauce, and Hung Sui Har, eight jumbo shrimp with a mix of scallions, tomatoes,and ginger, are
highlights from a lengthymenu. All is served in booths with beaded curtains. A good buy. (6712 Camp Bowie.
(817)738-7211. Lunch: Mon-Sat 11:30-2; Dinner:daily 5-10, Fri & Sal till 11, closed Sun. No reservations. MC, V, DC.
$)

Newsletter

Keep me up to date on the latest happenings and all that D Magazine has to offer.

Comments