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DINING OUT A Critical Guide to Restaurants

By D Magazine |

Newcomers



The Library. It’s hard not to enjoy being in The Library, with its high ceiling, dark paneling, and shelf on
shelf of Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. It has the intimate, clubby feel that one expects in a vintage
hotel. Unfortunately, the atmosphere is far superior to the food. After raving about the chicken cordon bleu, our
waiter returned to ask if we’d like to try the teriyaki steak instead since they’d just run out of chicken. Not a
bad choice, better certainly than the co-quilles St. Jacques, which were overcooked and smothered in a taste-killing
white sauce. In fact, heavy-handedness was the problem with most of the dishes we tried. The hollan-daise sauce on
our eggs Benedict was much too lemony, the seafood salad was awash in mayonnaise, and the complimentary cheese
fondue clung to the crock like cement. Good house dressing on outstanding salads, however, so all is not lost,
especially at lunch. Attentive but not always well-coordinated service. We’ll wait for the revised edition. (The
Melrose Hotel, 3015 Oak Lawn. 521-5151.
Breakfast: 7:30-11; Lunch: 11-5; Dinner: 5-10. Reservations. All
credit cards. $$)


Churchill Polo Tavern. This lunch spot in NorthPark has been open since July, though it looks so much like
the old John Bull Pub that you may not have noticed. Olde English is still the motif, though there’s a new menu (and
a few new gimmicks like “flower pot bread,” a large Parker House roll served in a little clay pot with honey
butter). The onion-soup-and-spinach-quiche plate was a stereotyped ladies’ lunch, and not particularly well done at
that; we had better luck with more substantial dishes like the grilled “deli” sandwich, hot and loaded with salami,
tomatoes, and melted cheese, and the apple pie, awash in brandy butter. At $5.45, the London Broil (actually a
teriyaki steak) was a great bargain – it must’ve weighed 10 ounces, and came with romaine salad and a baked potato.
These are modest achievements, and nothing to drive across town for, but if you’re starving in NorthPark it’s nice
to know you can now get something to eat besides crepes and chili dogs. (220 North-Park Center, between Neiman’s
and Tit-che’s. 368-2861. Mon-Thur 11-10:30, Fri & Sat till 11, Sun brunch 11-3. Reservations dinner only. MC, V, AE,
DC. $$)


Bayou Rapides. It’s probably too much to expect that a restaurant that calls itself a “seafood emporium”
would be up to serving authentic, down-home Cajun cooking. Bayou Rapides isn’t, though there are a few items on its
extensive menu that deserve high marks. The file gumbo is good, the fresh oysters and the boiled shrimp even better.
After that, you pays your money and you takes your chances. The crawfish étoufée was emphatically not a
stew and the jambalaya had been too long in the microwave, though the seasoning suggested untapped potential in the
kitchen. The whole stuffed flounder was mediocre except, once again, for the imaginative seasoning. There is also an
item called crawfish pie that is inedible and a number of Italian specialties that, frankly, we were too timid to
sample. Service is pleasant but a bit halting, especially at peak hours. At the moment, Bayou Rapides seems to have
attempted too much too soon. (8021 Walnut Hill Lane at The Corner. 696-2100. 11-11 daily. All credit cards. $$$)


Carlotta’s Cadillac. We’ve had lunch and supper at Carlotta’s and enjoyed both meals, but judging from
others’ reports, either we’ve been lucky or there’s room for serious disagreement over what constitutes good food.
The menu is short, a few Mexican appetizers, entrees, and desserts scrawled on a chalkboard. We tried the
combination nachos, JOE SNYDER served up on a big quesadilla shell like a pizza, piled high with bean, cheese,
guacamole, and assorted condiments; some call it wonderful, others messy and overdone. The tacos al carbon were
filled with tender, well-marinated meat on our visit; others have said they were dry and flavorless. And the chicken
chimichanga, a thick chicken crepe deep-fried and covered with verde sauce and olive slices, was delicious, though
we’ve heard it called obtrusively greasy. At any rate, everyone likes the verde sauce, and the entrees are bargains
at around $3. (3239 McKinney. 521-4360. Open daily 11 am-12 pm. Reservations. MC, V. $)

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, Sal till midnight. Reservations. All credit curds. $$$)


Bagatelle. One of the classiest dining rooms in town, with a solid wine list, sophisticated service, and a
cozy bar. The sole Véronique and veal francaise, seasoned with hérbs and wine, have been impressive on recent
visits, as have the shrimp du chef appetizer and the cscargots. 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 & Sal till 11, bar till 2.
Plaza: Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30. Reservations. MC, V, AE. DC. Bagatelle: $$$, Plaza: $$.
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. $$)


Calluaud. The secret of this first-class restaurant is restraint; just enough items on the menu for the
kitchen to handle with care, light and delicate sauces, lightly cooked fresh vegetables, and an overall reverence
for the subtle pleasures of fish and veal. It’s hard to make a wrong move at dinner, but be sure to start with the
red snapper pate when it’s on the menu. Lunch features superb omelettes and some fine light entrees: coquilles St.
Jacques, filet of sole, and a steak accompanied by the best French fries in town. Noisy when it’s crowded, and
service sometimes goes astray when things get too busy. But most of the time, Calluaud is a class operation.
(2619 McKinney. 823-5380. Lunch: Tue-Fri 11:30-2:30; Dinner: Mon-Fri 6:30-10, Sat till 11, dosed Sunday.
Reservations. MC, V, AE. $$$)


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-1
am; open all day for package wine sales. No reservations. MC, V, AE. $)


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. Dine early, however, for about 9 p.m. the place gets nightclubby, with noisy, mediocre “entertainment.”
Lunch is nothing special. (2515 McKin-ney. 741-1223. Mon-Sat 11:30 a.m.-midnight, closed Sun. 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-embellished. 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’spaelzli 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. $$$)




D Revisits Le France Co. This bustling little walk-down restaurant in the Quadrangle has some of the flavor
of a French cafe and, when it puts its mind to it, some of the quality as well. At lunch a small selection of soups,
salads, omelettes, and sandwiches is served over the counter – we tried the onion soup (good) and the cream of
chicken (weak, more like milk of chicken); the mushroom and rata-touille omelettes, while unaccountably pale in
color, were tasty. Bread won out over filling by a ratio of about four to one in the salami and paté maison
sandwiches, but they were given life by spicy Dijon mustard. At dinner, the medaillon of beef Tyrolienne came topped
with several bland stewed tomatoes, though the meat was excellent and perfectly cooked; the émince de capon a
I’lndienne was saved by a delightful light curry sauce. The crème caramel was tops – among the best we’ve had. The
wine list was brief and overpriced. ($9.45 for the plain old C6te du Rhone?) The service was brisk, even a bit
breathless. We found few knockouts at Le France Co., but it’s a cheery spot for French deli-style cooking at
reasonable prices. (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 béarnaise, 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 & Sat 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 and a solid wine list, though it lacks the offbeat selections one expects in a serious wine bar.
(3605 McKinney. 528-6010. Tues-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 crème 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, Sat till 11:45.
Reservations. All credit cards. $$$$)
Patry’s. When the Patry family is at work, you can’t go wrong. Start
with the poireaux farcis (stuffed leeks) or the delicate, light, near-perfect vichyssoise, then have any of the
superb entrees: a wonderful coq au vin, a filet in a flawless béarnaise, or their splendid escalope of veal. The
place itself is a bit sterile except for their terrific – and very French – little bar. (2504 McKinney. 748-3754.
Tue-Sun 6-11, Sal till 11:30, closed Mon. Reservations. All credit cards. $$$)


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 fresh
fruit 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



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 that’s a lunchtime bargain (80c). A congenial
spot with a German accent. (6601 Snider Plaza. 363-2231. Mon-Sat 7-6. sandwiches till 5:30. No reservations. MC.
$)


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 7 am-7:30 pm. Reservations. MC, V. $$)



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 lends 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 11-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 béarnaise
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, frittata (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, pale, 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 mozzarella; piato misto, meatballs, sausages, mushrooms 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
Overtake. 352-1765. 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 crème
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. Temporarily closed because of fire, but should reopen in January. (8616 Turtle Creek, north
of Northwest Hwy, 352-8759.)




MAINLY FOB 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. $$)


Gallery Buffet. One of the best lunchtime bargains around, the Gallery Buffet in the Dallas Museum of Fine
Arts features a hearty soup of the week, with salad, homemade bread, dessert, coffee, tea, and wine if you want it.
The dining room is airy and spacious, with prints from the museum’s collection. (DMFA, Fair Park. 421-4187.
Tue-Fri 11:30 am-1:30 pm. Reservations for 6 or more. No credit cards. $)


Note: Gallery Buffet will be closed until April 3 for the Pompeii A.D 79 exhibit.

The Magic Pan. Yes, it’s a chain restaurant, and sometimes it shows. Fortunately, the crêpes themselves are
very good, even if the soups and salads that precede and /or accompany them are thoroughly ordinary. Try the creamed
chicken crêpes 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 North Park 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 partial to the praline
cheesecake (in a class by itself), guacamole, flautas, chiles rellenos, and a special dinner called Guadalajara (hat
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-Sat 11-2:30; Dinner:
Mon-Thurs, 5:30-8:30, Fri & Sat till 10, closed Sun. Reservations for 6 or more. MC, V, AE. $)


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, the 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
II. No reservations. MC, V, AE. $)


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 arc large: Two people can stuff themselves for well under
$10. No alcohol served, so bring your own. (3902 Maple. 526-9427. Mon, 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 topped with cajeta (caramel sauce) and flamed with Amaretto and brandy – they’re a knockout. (4912 Cole
Ave. 521-4211. Sun-Thur 5:30-11, Fri & Sat 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. $$)


El Taxco. No frills as far as ambience is concerned, but what they don’t spend on decor they must spend on
food, for El Taxco serves some of the best Tex-Mex in town at prices low enough to cause a double-take. The standard
stuff is excellent, but the more adventurous dishes, such as the Carne Tampiquena and the wonderfully named Tostadas
a la McCaffrey, are well-seasoned, ample, and delicious. Go when you feel laid back. (2126 N St Paul at McKinney.
742-0747. Sun-Thur 11 am-9 pm, Fri & Sat till 10, closed Tues. No reservations. MC, V. $)




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 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 shrimp 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. $$)




D Revisits Hunan. With the current Szechuan blitz in Dallas, it’s easy to forget what individual dishes are
supposed to taste like. To refresh your memory, go back to Hunan, where the boom began and where you’ll still find
some of the best and most authentic Szechuan cooking around. On recent visits we investigated the soups and found
all of them excellent, with the San Shien (pork, shrimp, chicken) and the aba-lone with chicken just a bit belter
than the others. Old favorites like Hunan lamb, prawns in ginger sauce, and Buddhist delight continue to impress,
though by now we’d be prepared to say try everything except the champagne chicken and the crab velvet, which were
bad ideas to begin with. Hunan is bustling most of the time, but the waiters usually manage to get the food to your
table hot and intact. Well on its way to becoming a Dallas institution. (5214 Greenville Ave at Lovers Ln.
369-4578. Mon-Thur 11:30 am-11 pm; Fri & Sat till 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 and deep 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 & Sat 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: Dailv 11:30-2 except Sat; Dinner:
Mon-Thur 5:30-11, Fri& Sat till 11:30, Sun till 10. Reservations. All credit cards. $$$)




D Revisits Szechuan. You could probably drive up and down Lemmon Avenue many times and not notice the place.
And if you happen to stop in and enjoy, but live far away, you’re not likely to drive across town to get back to it.
But for those in the Oak Lawn area, Szechuan has proved to be a dependable, if not flashy, neighborhood purveyor of
the trendy but wonderful Szechuan-Hunan cuisine. The menu is a familiar one to fans of this style; it’s the one with
the “Chef’s Specialties” and the little red stars on the opening page. All of those offerings are reliable, and a
few are special. The house chicken with scallions, celery, and green peppers doesn’t sound so extraordinary, but it
is. And their version of Hunan beef is as good as anybody’s. We recently strayed from page one and had good luck
with the shredded pork with garlic sauce (though it could have been more highly seasoned) and shrimp with lobster
sauce. One of Szechuan’s virtues is a dependable take-out service. The moo-shi pork here, an old take-out favorite,
is variable, but sometimes sensational. When you order by phone, they’ll tell you 20 minutes and when you get there
you’ll most always have to wait longer, but it’s okay really, because you’re assured of everything being hot. If you
eat there, you won’t be swept away by the dining room decor, but the very friendly, ever smiling staff will make you
comfortable. (4117 Lem-mon near Douglas. 521-6981. Sun-Thurs 11:30 am-11 pm, Fri & Sat till 12. Reservations
weekends. MC, V, AE, DC. $$)




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 EMockingbird. 826-5420. Lunch: Daily 12-2:30, Sat & Sun noon-2:30; Dinner:
Sun-Thurs 5-10, Fri & Sat till 12. Reservations. MC, V, AE. $$)




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



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 & Sat till 11,
Sun 5-10. No reservations. MC, V, AE. $)




D Revisits Broussard’s. Broussard’s has moved from a tacky strip shopping center to slightly spiffier
quarters down the street, but hasn’t, bless ’em, lost its raucous boarding-house atmosphere. Here everyone talks to
everyone else, and the topic of conversation is usually the food: superb oysters, fresh or fried, sweet catfish,
outstanding piquante and gumbo (sans file, however), and the best crawfish this side of Baton Rouge. About the only

weak spots are the tough and tasteless frog legs and the jambalaya, which frequently suffers from over-exposure to
the infra-red lamps. The three cavernous dining rooms are so lacking in decorator touches as to be charming. Just
the kind of no-nonsense restaurant that Dallas needs more of. Bring your own liquor. (707 N Bell Line Rd, Irving,
I mile S of Rte 183. 255-8024. Lunch: Mon-Sat 11-2. Dinner: 5-10, closed Sun. No credit cards. No reservations.
$$)




Pittman House. We’ve had some disappointing lunches here, but the dinners have been wonderful. Standouts
include jumbo broiled unshelled shrimp in butter, file, and spices; 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; Sat & Sun 12-2:30; Dinner: Sun-Thurs 6-10; Fri & Sat 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. 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 Inwood. 357-7120.
Mon-Fri 8 am-6 pm. Sat 11-3, Sun 11-2, No reservations. No credit cards, $)




STEAKS, BURGERS, ETC.



Houlihan’s. Unlike some of its Greenville i Avenue neighbors, Houlihan’s takes itself seriously as a
restaurant, For starters, nave 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 & Sat till 1 am. No reservations. MC, V, AE, DC.
$$)


D Revisits Chili’s. Chili’s certainly isn’t ambitious, but the long waiting lines encircling the parking lot
tell you that what it does it does very well. 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. And enormous portions of everything. The
place has a pleasantly casual atmosphere, lots of greenery and colorful Mexican tiles, and the service is quick and
friendly once you squeeze through the door. A favorite of the late-night snack crowd. (7567 Greenville Ave at
Meadow Rd. 361-4371. Daily 11 am till 2 am. No reservations. MC, V. $)


D Revisits Cork ’n’ Cleaver. It’s a chain, and the name bodes no good – usually a name with “’n’” in it means
your meal will be bland V disappointing. No so here, though. Steak and prime rib are the mainstays, and it’s hard to
say which is the better bet. The prime rib has always been excellent and, if you’re one of those who just can’t get
enough, you can have seconds (and a generous portion at that) at no extra charge. No need to order the more
expensive bone-in cut, since you end up paying mainly for the bone. On the steak side, the Cork’s Pride is
absolutely the thickest steak you’ll ever see, but ounce for ounce it’s not the best value at $10.95. Perhaps the
most attractive thing is the salad bar, a far cry from the usual iceberg lettuce, brace of cucumbers and handful of
croutons; here it boasts fresh spinach, fresh mushrooms, cottage cheese, cauliflower, sprouts, grated cheese, and
assorted other goodies – a great lunchtime meal-in-itself for $3.25. The dining room is dominated by a big fireplace
and has a warm hunting-lodge feel, even if it’s nouveau hunting lodge. The only irksome aspect is the rather cloying
Colorado motif, especially in the bar. On one visit we had to endure old ski movies. But little matter. All-in-all,
this is 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. $$)




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 terrific baked
potatoes topped with everything. (3715 Greenville. 823-7296. Tues-Sun 5:30-10, Fri & Sat 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 & Sal 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 & Sat 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 zuchini 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. $)




D Revisits The Balcony. If the food were as good as the setting, and the setting as good as the service, and
the service as good as the house Chablis . . . but, then, that’s asking too much. The Balcony will never be mistaken
for a great restaurant. It is a pretty good one, and it apparently is the place for Ridglea society matrons
to meet for a late luncheon. The food continues to be commonplace and unintrusive – this time we sampled the trout
amandine (too dry) and the beef Oriental, which is probably called beef stroganoff in other restaurants. There was a
very good vegetable soup and a bland navy bean soup. The only debacle of the day was the Black Forest cake, which
tasted like it came off the day-old shelf at the supermarket. The service, as usual, was brisk, competent, and
friendly, and the house Chablis icy and very dry. (6100 Camp Bowie Blvd. (817) 731-3719. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2;
Dinner: Mon-Thur 5:30-10, Fri & Sal 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.
$$$)
Cattleman’s. Smack in the middle of the old stockyards, surrounded by more false fronts than the back
lot at Warner Brothers, Cattleman’s is a Fort Worth Institution with a large and loyal following. Steak is the
specialty here: We’re partial to the ribeyes and the Kansas City strip. The calf and lamb fries are also terrific,
though something of an acquired taste. Don’t stray into the spaghetti or lobster; they’re just not Cattleman’s
forte. Service is a delight – more fun than dinner theater, and there’s no cover charge. (2458 N Main. (817)
624-3945. Mon-Fri 11 am-10:30 pm, Sat 4:30-10:30 pm, closed Sun. Reservations. All credit cards. $$$)


Edelweiss German Restaurant. The attraction here isn’t the food – it’s the Gemutlich-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. $$)


Hedary’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 required to sample
the hamburgers, which arelarge and packed with all the trimmings. Otherluncheon items include ham hocks and
limabeans. The atmosphere is dark and cozy in thisnicely re-done old mansion, the service cheerful and quick.
Singles begin arriving right afterwork, and the most popular drink seems to bean exceptionally good house Chablis.
(4936Camp Bowie Blvd. (817) 737-5551. Mon-Sat11-10. 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 excellent Moo Goo Gai Pan (breast ofchicken 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 1I, closed Sun. No reservations. MC, V, DC. $)

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