RESTAURANTS Dining Out

Kosher on Forest Lane, steaks and longnecks on McKinney, health food in East Dallas

Shalom’s. If you’d rather eat a bialy than a brioche, try Shalom’s, which is already a big hit with
authorities on Dallas’ Kosher food. At lunch, there are lines, the scent of sauerkraut, tables to be shared, babies
to be changed, waitresses balancing three or four plates per arm – you’d think you were on Upper Broadway or
Delancey, not at Preston and Forest, just two doors from Fishburn’s. The beautiful, bountiful deli sandwiches, a
good inch or two of lean corned beef or pastrami slapped between pumpernickel swirled with rye, are bargains at
$2.95. So are the extravagant combinations, including the Vilma Essen (corned beef, pastrami, and homemade chopped
liver) and the Boobola (your own creation – we had corned beef, turkey breast, and not-so-terrific tongue), with
potato salad or sour cole slaw, for $4.35. We were disappointed by Shalom’s brunch, however, mostly because we had
hoped that a Kosher restaurant serving just about the best pastrami we’ve tasted might deliver first-rate Nova
Scotia salmon as well. Shalom’s not only did not deliver, they tried to dupe us, serving pink, pre-packaged stuff
instead of slices from the belly behind the deli counter. On our way out – after scrambled eggs with pastrami, good
smoky whitefish, some first-rate salt sticks, bagels, and Danish – we asked the owner’s son-in-law to slice us some
Nova Scotia salmon to go. He did, from the belly; it was delicious. “How do we get some of this to eat here, for
brunch?” we asked. “Ask,” he said. (6045 Forest Lane. 386-5620. Sun-Thur 8:30-7; Fri 8:30-5; closed Sat.
Reservations. No
credit cards. $)



Hoffbrau’s. Hoffbrau’s has taken the simple formula that made it a popular Austin institution and imported it
to McKinney Avenue (they’ve done the same in Houston). If you like skillet-fried steaks, Lone Star longnecks, and an
unceasing country-and-western juke box, you’ll probably become a regular; otherwise, you’ll probably go exactly
once. The menu is so short it can be written on a chalkboard with room left over: 13-and 16-oz. T-bone steaks, strip
steaks, chopped steaks, and a shish kebab for variety’s sake. All are served with some rather chunky but tasty
potatoes (skillet-fried, of course) and a large tossed salad drenched in an olive oil-based dressing. Just because
the menu is simple, however, doesn’t mean the food isn’t good. We’ve tried every selection (it didn’t take long) and
found our steaks to be good cuts of meat that were well prepared. And though the potatoes seem to have been sliced
with an axe, they are undeniably good. The shish kebab combines some excellent chunks of steak (what else) with
tender little tomatoes, green peppers, and onion for a good meal. When the same Willie Nelson song rolls by on the
juke box for the third time, however, you may wish you had consumed more longnecks to prepare yourself. (3205
Knoxat McKinney. 559-2680. Mon-Fri 11-10; Sal & Sun 6-11. MC, V, AE, $$)




Marvin’s Garden. Just when you think there’s not an empty niche left in the Dallas restaurant pantheon, along
comes Marvin’s Garden, a small cafe on Oram that caters to serious vegetarians. And we mean serious: rennetless
milk; no sugar, coffee, liquor, or other harmful substances. Naturally, we asked for several of the above and got
the kind of look reserved for the schlemiel who orders a corned beef and Swiss in a kosher deli. But the staff at
Marvin’s is very broad-minded and willing to guide the uninitiated through the intricacies of the menu. We
especially enjoyed the fresh vegetable plate, the mushroom and rice soup, the peanut butter and jeily sandwich (a
dining out first for us), and just about everything Mexican – chalupas, enchiladas, quesadillas. One thing Marvin
doesn’t lack is courage. We tried one special, a bell pep-per stuffed with rice, and found that it wasn’t. We also
sampled the vegetarian pizza, topped with tomato sauce, peppers, olives, and bean curd, and have to admit that we
prefer the destructive Shak-ey’s version. We’d recommend finishing your meal with a piece of carob cake and coffee,
except that the coffee is made from grain, and alas, not coffee. But the carob cake was moist and rich. So, for
vegetarians who despair of eating out in Dallas, Marvin’s Garden is a real find. For the rest of us, it’s a
delightful place to go when you’re in the mood for something really different. (6033 Oram at Skill/nan. 824-5841.
Lunch: Mon-Fri 11-3; Dinner: 5:30-10; Sal 11-10; closed Sun. MC, V. $)


RECOMMENDED RESTAURANTS



These restaurants represent the best in Dallas 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 $15 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



Antares. The most spectacular place to be on this monotonous prairie, and a good restaurant to take people
with whom you have very little in common: your most boring client, Aunt Flo and Uncle Herman, anyone under 12 years
of age. When conversation fails, you can always point out the Zale Building as it floats by. As for gastronomy: The
drinks and appetizers were good; the desserts were great, including a super chocolate mousse and splendid
strawberries Romanoff. But the entrees were pretty awful: veal scallopini with bouillony sauce, mushy lobster tail,
and weary vegetables, including a glop of what looked like Rice-a-Roni but didn’t taste that good. Lunch is probably
better – it’s less pretentious and falls into fewer traps. When the check comes, you may feel you’ve been taken for
a ride. You have been, but wasn’t the view terrific? (Reunion Tower at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. 741-3663. Lunch:
11-2; Dinner: 5-mid-night. Reservations. All credit cards. $$$)


Arthur’s. Either we were unlucky or Arthur’s has slipped a notch since our last visit. Kind words first: We
loved the poached salmon with dill sauce and the grilled calf’s liver with onions; the fowl and game paté was
surprisingly good, and there’s a maple mousse that screams excess in print yet is light and delicate in fact. Now
for the bad news: cream of avocado soup that tasted like Green Goddess dressing, a smoked salmon appetizer hacked
into unpalatable chunks, and oysters Rockefeller that disgraced the family name. The steak Diane was a disaster – a
tough, stringy cut that added new dimensions to the term “aged.” (When we informed the waiter, he said, “Thank you
very much,” and disappeared.) This sort of roller -coaster experience isn’t what you expect – or deserve – at a
restaurant like Arthur’s. (1000 Campbell Centre. 361-8833. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2; Dinner: Sun-Fri 6-11; Sal
till midnight. Reservations. All credit cards. $$$)

Chateaubriand. Chateaubriand delivers mainline excess with flair. With live music and dancing, a meal here
amounts to a big evening’s entertainment, but the place continues to serve impressive food, in spite of an unusually
large and varied menu. We played it safe this time, with lobster tails and lamb chops (both quite good), but strayed
enough to try the pastitsa and dolma appetizers, a better sampling than you’ll find at the city’s full-fledged Greek
restaurants. With the exception of a curt and rather formidable hostess, the service was friendly and skillful. All
in all, a good place to tie one on. (2515 Mckin-ney. 741-1223. Mon-Sal 11:30 am-midnight. Reservations. All
credit cards. $$$)


The Chimney. Make reservations: Homestyle atmosphere and superb Swiss-Austrian food have built the Chimney a
loyal following, and the place is usually overflowing. Lunch is like a formal meal at a relative’s – it includes an
obligatory first course of bouillon and cheese wafers – though (he food is probably a lot better. We loved the
scallop casserole, with white wine sauce over rice, and the chicken breast with orange-almond sauce. For dinner, you
might try venison (the only place in town you can get it) or one of the veal offerings, like lemon veal or veal
ricotta. The calf’s liver is legendary – thick, tender, and topped with perfect onion rings. Save room for dessert.
Service is pleasant, though sometimes a bit stuffy. (Willow Creek Ctr, 9739 N Central at Walnut Hill. 369-6466.
Lunch: Tue-Sal 11:30-2; Dinner: Tue-Sal 6-10:30, Sun 6-/0. Reservations. MC, V, AE, DC. $$$)


Ewald’s. Long one of the most comfortable restaurants in (own, and though we sometimes wish it were more
adventurous, there’s no arguing with a good thing. Ewald’s service is attentive without being pushy, its atmosphere
quiet and unpretentious; not many places in town manage to make diners feel so thoroughly at home. The food is
consistent and well-prepared, especially the beef and veal dishes; among the best are the veal papagallo (a cutlet
stuffed with Canadian bacon, Swiss cheese, and sour cream), the veal with lemon butter, and the tenderloin tips a la
Ewald (with mushrooms, green pepper, onion, and pimiento). The pepper steak seems to be invariably good. For
appetizers, we recommend the shrimp du chef (broiled in a tangy sauce), priced the same as a shrimp cocktail but
much better. The Black Forest cake is the best of several excellent dessert selections. (5154 W Lovers Ln.
357-1622. Mon-Fri 6-10:30. Sal till 11. closed Sun. Reservations. MC, V. US)


The Grape. A romantic little hole in the wall, where you can spend hours in quiet conversation. Many regulars
fashion simple meals from wine and cheese, salad, and (he Grape’s legendary mushroom soup, but those who order
entrees from the chalkboard menu are rewarded with food of steadily increasing quality. On our last visits, we’ve
had a first-rate paté au poivre; the best, richest salmon steak we’ve been served in Dallas; and a good, grainy
homemade vichy-ssoise. The only dull spot was the beef Flamande, a rather gray-looking stew of beef and beer. All in
all, a restaurant with lasting charm, and very hard to beat for the money. (2808 Greenville at Goodwin. 823-0133.
Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2; Dinner: Tue-Sun 6-11. wine and cheese till mid night. No reservations. MC, V. $$)


Jennivine. Given its early days as a quiche-and-chablis spot, Jennivine has come a long, long way. Our recent
dinners have been delightful, featuring a rare roast leg of lamb (hardly a standard locally), fresh scallops with
lemon butter, and respectable red fish and salmon steak. Pates are featured, with good reason – the pate au poivre
and salmon pate were excellent (and available over the counter). It’s worth noting, however, that as a wine bar
Jennivine continues to do virtually nothing right; they should clean out the dogs and stock up on a few good wines
to do justice to their wonderful chef. Still, one of the best small restaurants in town, and one of the few where a
couple can eat well for less than $30. (3605 McKinney. 528-6010. Tue-Sat 1:30 am-l 1:30pm, closed Sun & Mon.
Reservations. MC, V, AE. $$)




D Revisits Old Warsaw. A species of one in the continental dining world: Old Warsaw is a hardy relic from the
Fifties and Sixties, yet savvy and adventurous enough to roll over more than a few of its younger competitors.
Granted, there’s still plenty of corn in Old Warsaw’s act, including an abundance of flaming brandy, but there’s
lasting elegance, too, and a willingness to experiment. Some of the nicest surprises are the little things: the
delightful Brie soup, for example, as well as a crisp salad of Belgian endive and watercress, and a side dish of
wild rice so flavorful it will probably ruin you for any other kind, even at $4 a plate. As for the main offerings,
one gets the feeling the chef could turn them out perfectly in his sleep. On recent visits, we’ve had excellent
steak Tartare, fish mousse in mersault sauce, lamb chops, tournedos in a sauce of red wine and shallots, and Grand
Marnier souffle. If you like your seafood straight up, you may find two of Old Warsaw’s productions a bit excessive
– the striped bass with fennel and Pernod sauce, and the filet of sole Bercy (with white wine, cream, shallots, and
parsley). We did, though three additional fish entrees offer plain old lemon and butter. Like most elegant and
successful restaurants with a large business clientele (on a week night, the place resembles the executive annex of
Republic Bank), Old Warsaw features flawless service and an outrageously overpriced wine list. Unlike most others,
it throws in a refreshingly down-to-earth sommelier with a Salvador Dali moustache. One of the city’s very best.
(2610 Maple. 528-0032. Sun-Fri 6-10:45, Sat till 11:45. Reservations. All credit cards. $$$$)



Patry’S. Patry’s sometimes seems to belong to the dowager generation of Dallas restaurants, but it has a
reputation for being steady and reliable. Patry’s has the basics down pat, including excellent appetizers – we had
an old favorite, the stuffed leeks, and a well-prepared crab Nantua – and perhaps the lightest, most delicious
chocolate mousse in town. The Chateaubriand was superbly grilled and fork-tender. On the other hand, the coq au vin
lasted warmed-over in a sauce that was over-seasoned. The place has a somewhat fussy decor that seems out of sync
with its size and unpretentious menu, but service is pleasant and responsive. (2504 McKinney. 748-3754. Tue-Sun
6-11, Sal till 11:30, closed Mon. Reservations. All credit cards. $$$)




D Revisits The Pyramid Room. If man could live by appetizers alone, our first choice would be the smoked
Irish salmon with eggs, capers, onions, and a glass of aquavit at the Pyramid Room. For simple elegance it is
unsurpassed, and also quite foreign to the whole spirit of the restaurant, where caviar is served in elaborate ice
sculptures, entrees are accompanied by windmills, sailing ships, and various carved animals, and where if you ask
for a bottle of vino verdc your sommelier is likely to burst into an aria from Aida. Since there’s no way to
ignore the service, the best thing to do is sit back and enjoy it, as though you were watching a play. After the
salmon, you might try an endive and Boston lettuce salad, a filet bordelaise (beef tenderloin in a wine and shallot
sauce), and a Grand Marnier souffle. If you prefer a different scenario, try the beef consomme with sherry, a simple
item prepared superbly, followed by a filet of sole en croute, and a dessert of sliced oranges in Amaret-to. We
can’t rave about the baked whole lobster which, as frequently happens in Dallas, was overcooked, or the médaillons
of ve.l with goose liver pate, which were tough and nearly indistinguishable from the beef médaillons. In fact,
it’s now possible to find many of the Pyramid Room’s main dishes prepared as well or better in other Dallas
restaurants. But the overall dining experience remains unique. When you’ve finished, you know you’ve eaten out. And
in the age of microwaves and Big Macs, there’s a lot to be said for that. (Fairmont Hotel, Ross and Akard.
748-5454. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-1:30; Dinner: Daily 6-9:45. Reservations. All credit cards. $$$$)




Three Vikings. A warm, family-owned place serving altogether pleasing Swedish cooking. And what is Swedish
cooking? That’s still an open question, but Three Vikings has given us the start of an answer with its hearty,
well-seasoned soups, pungent sauces, and carefully prepared seafood and meal dishes. For openers, we’ve never gone
wrong with the shrimp chowder or the shrimp Erika appetizer. Chef Anders Edman has also concocted an onion soup from
light veal stock and several varieties of onions – delicious. Standards among the entrees include Swedish steak –
tenderloin pounded thin and cooked with onions and a rich meaty sauce – and the grilled salmon with dill sauce,
though a newer dish – duck with almond sauce – is destined to drive game-lovers wild. The only weak point is the
salads, among which the spinach seems safest. Be sure to try a few slices of Three Vikings’ limpa bread, baked
specially in Denton. (2801 Greenville at Goodwin. 827-6770. Dinner: Tue-Sat 6-11; Sun brunch 11:30-3; closed Man.
Reservations. MC, V, AE. $$$)




DELICATESSENS



Kuby’s. Where else in Dallas will you find such animated polyglot service accompanied by lips on knish
baking, sausage stuffing, herring pickling, and a dozen other matters of interest to aspiring gourmets? As for the
food, it’s still as reliable as any in town: an impressive selection of wursts and cold cuts, superb soups, hot
potato salad, steak tartare, and pastries rich enough to immobilize an army of Valkyries. But perhaps the easiest
way to understand Kuby’s appeal is to drop by on a Saturday when the doors are jammed open by mobs of shoppers and
the whole place takes on the character of a street carnival. This, almost as much as the food, is what draws people
to Kuby’s: the sense of participating in a genuine old-world food fest in the middle of an emphatically new-world
city. Deserves the label “institution” as much as any restaurant in Dallas. (6001 Snider Plaza. 363-2231. Mon-Sat
8-6, sandwiches till 5:30. No reservations. MC for purchases over $15. $)


Wall’s. A cheerful, albeit slightly dingy deli with the best cheese blintzes in town. At midday, Wall’s
hospital green back room clatters with the soup-and-sandwich bunch, but the best time to go is Sunday morning, when
serious eaters meet for hours on end of schmoozing and fressing. You might order a combination platter
of smoked fish (it’s not on the menu, but you can work something out); the best is the fragrant barbecued salmon,
followed by the Nova Scotia salmon and lox. Add to that an order of herring in sour cream, scrambled eggs with lox
and onions, apricot danish, juice, and coffee; this comes to about $20 and feeds two or three. The baked goods are
not up to snuff, but all else seems good by local standards. Oddly, Wall’s closes at 6:30, just when we’re nearly
ready for dinner. (10749 Preston near Royal Ln. 691-4444. Daily 7 am-6:30 pm. Reservations. MC, V. $$)



FRENCH



Calluaud. Solidly among the city’s top restaurants, and more adventurous than some of its fellows. The
Calluauds have thoroughly revised their luncheon menu and added five or six new dishes at dinner. Calluaud’s gets
our vote for the best lunch in town. Everything we tried was simple, elegant, and delicious: médaillons of veal
chasseur; a lovely plate of salads (potato, carrot, cucumber, ratatouille, and several others); and the nicest bit
of self-indulgence available locally, half a chilled Maine lobster with homemade mayonnaise. Exotic game, simple
steak preparations, veal, and seafood still form the heart of the dinner menu. Among the additions, we particularly
liked the lobster souffle appetizer, and you can’t beat the old standby rack of lamb with garlic. An utterly
delightful place. (2619 McKin-ney. 823-5380. Lunch: Tue-Fri 11:30-2:30; Dinner: Mon-Sat 6-10:30. Reservations.
All credit cards. $$$)


La Cave. A delightful, dependable little wine bar which manages to offer a wide selection of good, reasonably
priced wines, despite price gouging by French growers and shippers. Just as important, the food is very good. La
Cave’s pate maison is among the best we’ve eaten, as are the gazpacho and ratatouille, and we have no complaints
about old standbys like the salade Nicoise and artichoke stuffed with shrimp and caviar. Finish up with a slice of
almond torte and a pot of fresh coffee and you’ll leave content, even smug. An ideal spot to try a few new wines
with a light meal. (2926 N Henderson. 826-2190. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2, cheese plates and wine only 2-5:30;
Dinner: Mon-Fri 5:30-11:30; Sat continuous food service noon-11:30. Retail wine sales Mon-Fri 10 am-midnight, Sal
10:30 ant-midnight. MC, V, AE. $$)


Jean Claude. Right up there with the best, always good, often brilliant, and never merely an also ran. The
menu changes nightly, but let’s just say that if you’re offered a choice of Maine lobster in white wine and butter
sauce, or rack of lamb, or veal tournedos with green peppercorns, or poached salmon, say yes. Add to that the salmon
mousse, which has become our favorite appetizer. There are, in fact, only a few miscues among Jean Claude’s
offerings (our chocolate souffle didn’t, and the shrimp in brandy sauce sounded better than they tasted). Everything
else, from the service to the loaves of coarse, thick-crusted bread of impressive weight and taste to the
after-dinner port (a Quinta do Noval 1963) was first rate. The place is expensive, but unlike so many other
expensive restaurants, it convinces you that your money is going for food and service instead of show. (2520
Cedar Springs. 653-1823. Dinner: Tue-Sat, seatings at 6 and 9. Reservations only. MC. V, AE. $$$)


Le Boul’Mich. This little bistro has so much going for it in the way of location and atmosphere, not to
mention prices, that we hope the kitchen can catch up. It’s certainly trying. We were delighted with the soups,
especially the carrot and the vichyssoise; our roast beef salad was large and expertly seasoned; the coq au vin and
scallops in curry sauce were quite good. On the minus side was an overcooked steak parisien, and none of our meals
was what you’d call eyecatching. Perhaps the chef could hang a color wheel next to his spice rack. Finish up with a
dish of homemade ice cream, preferably strawberry, and you’ll be in a mood to forgive anything. Not quite there, but
closing fast. (2704 Worthington. 626-0660. Mon-Sat 11-midnight. Reservations for six or more. MC, V, AE. $$)


Le Rendez-Vous. A charming French restaurant, brasserie-style: long hours, a la carte menu, first come first
served. The lengthy menu covers all the bases, from salads and omelettes to seafood and steaks, but it pays to be
adventurous. Try the subtle fish mousse, shrimp croquettes in tomato-based sauce Nantua, cucumber salad, filet of
red snapper in pastry shell, or sautéed rabbit in a beautifully seasoned brown sauce. This is also the place to try
prosciutto and melon – the prosciutto is the real thing – and the pepper steak, served with a boat of cream and pan
drippings, is one of the best ever. Service is occasionally awkward, but we expect Le Rendezvous’ waiters to develop
the esprit de corps that we associate with Alberto Lombardi’s other enterprises. (3237 McKinney at Halt.
745-1985. Daily 11:30-1 am. No reservations. MC, V, AE. $$$)




INDIAN



India House. India House makes few concessions to American tastes, meaning, among other things, that its
vindaloo curries are hot enough to make a believer out of Red Adair. The basic idea of Indian dining is to “compose”
your meal from an array of individual dishes, so clearly the best tactic is to arrive in a group of four or five in
order to sample without slumping into a stupor. Appetizers might include chicken chat, chunks of chicken in a tangy
sauce; or alu tikki, potato and vegetable patties seasoned with herbs. Among the entrees, we recommend any of the
curries, the chicken jalfrazie (a marinated chicken dish cooked with peppers and onions), and the saag paneer, a
soft homemade cheese somewhat like feta, cooked in a spinach puree. India House has recently installed traditional
clay ovens known as tandoori, a nice touch that on two recent visits produced mixed results: a definitely off fish
tikka, and considerably better chicken tandoori. All the breads are homemade and excellent, with special praise
going to the naan and the paranthha. As for the desserts, all we can say is that they’re different. (5422 E
Mockingbird. 823-1000. Lunch: Daily 11:30-2:30; Dinner: Sun-Thur 5-10, Fri & Sal till 11. Reservations. MC, V.
$$)




ITALIAN



Campisi’s. Campisi’s would probably have the same crowd queued up every evening if it didn’t serve any food
at all. That is not to say that the food is necessarily bad – the thin crust pizza is quite good, and the spaghetti
is better than Stouffer’s – but that it’s beside the point. The point is that you’re going to Dallas’ original
pizza parlor, Campisi’s Egyptian Restaurant, where it’s cool and dark and you sit in red leatherette booths and
are served by some of the city’s finest pro waitresses. It’s a great place year round, but especially hospitable for
lunch on a summer day, when it makes the heat, noise, and traffic outside seem like a bad dream. Try this for
nostalgia: The cocktail list includes Shirley Temples and Roy Rogerses. (5620 E Mockingbird 827-0355
Mon-Fri 11 am-midnight, Sat till I am, Sun noon-midnight. Reservations for 6 or more. No credit cards; personal
checks accepted. $$)


Lombardi’s. Lombard)’s has enough good choices on its menu to maintain its place as one of the best
restaurants in Dallas. The veal is a can’t-miss proposition, as veal limone, parmi-giana, marsala, or saltimbocca
romana (veal in a tremendous cheese and white wine sauce). The eggplant parmigiana is superb. The kitchen staff
performs magic with seafood in dishes like tur-bot with lemon sauce, sole mare adriatico, and crab canelloni.
Lombardi’s offers some very good light meals, too, like the frittate (Italian omelettes served at lunch) and the
spinach salad. The only out-and-out failure we’ve had is the heavy, doughy tortellini alla panna. Service is
consistently spirited and efficient. (2815 McKin-ney. 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. $$$)


Marcello’s. The decor is dingy, and the service brusque, but oh, the pasta. Marcello’s makes its own
cannelloni, manicotti, and lasagna, using an anachronistic recipe that calls for hand-rolling, and then ensures that
every diner gets a taste, at least as a side dish. Our favorites were the cannelloni with cream sauce and the
cheese-packed lasagna, among the best we’ve sampled. Apart from thoroughly ordinary salads and bread, just about
everything from Marcello’s kitchen was good. For appetizers, you might try the stuffed mushrooms (with light, lemony
sea food-and-vegetable stuffing) or the clams Possillippo, a sort of zuppa di pesce with a lovely homemade broth.
The seafood was generally quite good, and the veal picante (called lemon veal at most places) was outstanding. One
final compliment: Every dish is hot, so hot, in fact, that you can’t get near it for several minutes. You’ll
probably wish you could enjoy Marcello’s food in more pleasant surroundings – the place looks like a basement rec
room, complete with fish tank – but as long as the pasta is this strong, it’s hard to argue priorities. (9507
Overtake. 352-9594. Daily 5:30-11. Reservations. MC, V, DC. $$$)


Mario’s. A mainline classy restaurant whose kitchen is capable of great things, even if its standard
performance is less than consistently excellent. The seafood appetizers are good, especially the hot antipasto tray,
and the lemon veal and lamb chops are well above average. For dessert, try the chocolate cheesecake, or order a
Cognac and coffee – if that ritual ever makes perfect sense, it’s at Mario’s. The one-item dress code requires men
to wear jackets. (135 Turtle Creek Village, Oak Lawn at Blackburn. 521-1135. Daily 6-11, Sat till midnight.
Reservations. All credit cards. $$$)


Pietro’s. Pietro’s strong points have always been hearty, no-frills Italian cooking served in a homey, Mama’s
kitchen style. Well, Pietro’s is still noisy and crowded, especially on weekends, and the portions certainly haven’t
shrunk, but as the local competition has improved, its shortcomings have become more obvious. For instance, the
bread (no heft, no crunch), salads (iceberg garnished with tomato wedge and a lone hot pepper), and tomato sauces
(generally thick, acidic, and overwhelming). Sauces aside, we’re still fond of Pietro’s cannelloni (with a trace of
anise) and think its antipasto, crème caramel, and cannoli are among the best in Dallas. But we can’t say much for
its pasta, and with so much good pasta now available, that’s a major problem. The same for Pietro’s specials, like
the over-designed vio alla Veronese – scallops of veal in lemon and wine sauce, topped with asparagus spears, served
on a bed of toast points. So, old loyalties notwithstanding, Pietro’s needs some revamping. (5722 Richmond, off
Greenville. 824-9403. Tue-Thur 5:30-10, Fri & Sol till 11, closed Sun A Mon. No reservations. MC, V. $$$)


Sergio’s. Pasta will usually tell you what you need to know about an Italian restaurant. If it huddles
protectively in the center of the plate, or sticks to the roof of your mouth like bad bridge-work, you’ve got
problems. No problems at Sergio’s. We tried the cannelloni and the manicotti (both homemade) and found them
outstanding. Sergio’s salads and antipasto are nothing to wax operatic about, and the tomato sauce isn’t much better
than at many other restaurants in town, but we have no complaints about the saltimboc-ca, or the eggplant
parmigiana, or the chicken regina (breast of chicken in white sauce served on a bed of homemade spaghetti), in its
first few months, Sergio’s survived staff problems and a fire that put it out of commission for several weeks. One
can only speculate about where it would be if it had gotten off to a clean start. (Suite 192, the Quadrangle.
742-3872. Mon-Sat 11-10, closed Sun. Reservations. MC, V, AE. $$)


II Sorrento. What Trader Vic’s is to the South Seas, II Sorrento is to Italy, except that II Sorrento’s decor
– one part each sidewalk cafe, village square, and archaeological site – is a lot classier. And its food much
better. From the long list of appetizers, the littleneck clams, minestrone, and antipasto were fine (the only
off-note being some mushy snails). Among the entrees, we especially liked the manicotti and the fettucine al pesto,
whose fresh basil sauce is lovely and, incidentally, sticks to your teeth in little green globs. For a sampler of
elaborate dishes, which are more characteristic of II Sorrento’s kitchen, you might try the Combination alla
Sorrento No. 1 (rollatina of veal, beef pizzaiola, breast of chicken Parmesan); all are house specialties, and quite
good. A well-run restaurant with the customers to prove it, and more gracious to children than the prices might
suggest. (8616 Turtle Creek, north of Northwest Hwy. 352-8759. Daily 5:30-10:30, Sat till 11:30. Reservations
except Fri & Sat. All credit cards. $$$)




MEXICAN



Casa Dominguez. Pete Dominguez’ empire has grown into a taco conglomerate, with locations stretching from the
bowels of One Main Place to the Addison strip. You’ll still find the best food at the original location, however.
The carne asa-da and tacos al carbon, the two big beef items on most Mexican menus, are better than average, and the
special Mexican and Poblana dinners both give a credible cross section of Tex-Mex. The bean and cheese nachos have a
slight hint of chili, which gives them an edge over some of the good but predictable items on the menu. Another
bright spot is the pico de gallo – a spicy vegetable mixture served alongside the standard tos-tadas and hot sauce.
Service is courteous and quick. (2127 Cedar Springs. 742-4945. Tue-Thur 1110. Fri till II, Sat 5-11, Sun till 10.
No reservations. MC, V, AE. DC. $)




D Revisits Chiquita. No Mexican restaurant in Dallas has a wider variety of entrees or delivers more
consistently good offerings than Chiquita. Perhaps that’s why Mario Leal’s place is invariably crowded. If you want
to stick with the mainline Tex-Mex offerings, you’ll find this restaurant does good things with all the old
standbys: enchiladas, tamales, tacos, frijoles, guacamole. It’s all there and it’s all good. But you can also do
well by ordering some of the more unusual fare. The pescado marinero (sole stuffed with spinach and topped with a
cheese and oyster sauce) is an excellent choice if you have the extra half hour it takes to prepare it. The kitchen
staff is also skilled with chicken (enchiladas, grilled chicken breasts with lemon-butter sauce, even chicken
nachos). We’ve grown particularly fond of the tortilla soup, which combines shredded tortillas, cheese, and a
chili-seasoned hot sauce for a mixture that, suprisingly, is not quite as heavy as a bowl of chili. The place is a
little more formal than most of its competition, but still relaxed. (3810 Congress off Oak Lawn. 521-0721.
Mon-Thur 11:30-10:30, Fri & Sat till 11. No reservations. MC, V, AE. $$)




Guadalajara. Little Mexican cafes seem to come and go, but Guadalajara may live – and excel – forever.
There’s something about this spot that reminds us more of Mexico than anyplace else in Dallas. That has something to
do with its somewhat gritty surroundings and less-than-polished atmosphere, and a lot to do with the food. There’s
lots to choose from and it’s hard to go wrong. We suggest the chile relleno (with cheese, not beef), the carne asada
(the real thing – no fancy trimmings), and the soft cheese tacos (the best in town). The menu also includes some
unusual items like nopalitos con huevos (cactus and eggs), chilaquiles (a traditional Mexican egg and tortilla
dish), or a simple papas con heuvos (eggs and fried potatoes); great late-night food, and you can eat it here until
3:30 in the morning. And don’t leave without one of their fine sopapillas with honey and cinnamon. (There’s a second
Guadalajara on Henderson, but it doesn’t compare with the original.) (3308 Ross Avenue. 823-9340. Tue-Sun 11
am-3:30 am, closed Mon. No reservations. No credit cards. $)


Herrera Cafe. The tinier and dumpier a restaurant, the better the food, right? Then stray no farther. You
want the original, unchanged, adobe shack on Maple Avenue, where patrons queue in sun and sleet, the restrooms are
in the kitchen, and you have to brownbag your own beer. Anybody can make a good nacho; Herrera’s makes a great
nacho. And superb soft cheese tacos with the best con queso sauce in town. Most everything else is unrivaled, too.
If you must have frozen Margaritas and American Express, however, you could do worse than Herrera’s newer Lemmon
Avenue branch. (3902 Maple Avenue. 526-9427. Mon, Wed, Thur 9-8, Fri-Sun till 10, closed Tue. No reservations. No
credit cards. $)


Javier’s. Javier’s boasts “gourmet Mexican” cooking, and decor, bar, menu, and tab all contribute to the
atmosphere of class dining. The closest thing to Tex-Mex on the menu is carne asada, and Javier’s thick filet bears
little resemblance to the usual run of thin, well-done flank cuts. From the entrees (mostly steaks and seafood) the
high points are shrimp Guaymas, broiled in garlic and butter, and a steak filet served with huitlacoche crepes
(huitlacoche is a fungus that grows on cornstalks, a rare delicacy this far north). But the real treats come before
and after the main course. Don’t miss the cheese panelas (thin flour tortillas wrapping cheese, green pepper, and
chorizo) or the crepes with cajeta flamed in brandy and Amaretto. (4912 Cole. 521-4211. Sun-Thur 5:30-10:30, Fri
& Sat till 11. Reservations. MC, V, AE. $$)


Raphael’s. Expansion of the old ranch-style building to include a cocktail lounge has helped; now you can sit
and drink Margaritas while you wait for some of the best Mexican food in the city. Start with the queso flameado, a
flaming white cheese appetizer seasoned with chili and rolled up burrito-style. Most house specialties, like chicken
mole, carne asada, flounder Vera-cruzano, and chiles rellenos are superb, but the carne Tampiqueno and polio
Tampiqueno are in a class by themselves. Save room for the stellar sopapillas topped with whipped cream and
strawberries; they are decadently delicious. Service is attentive and courteous. (3701 McKinney. 521-9640.
Mon-Fri 11:30-10:30, Sat noon-10:30, closed Sun. Reservations Mon-Thur only. MC, V, AE. $$)


El Taxco. Some regulars feared that Taxco’s spiffy new interior would mean the loss of that certain something
in the kitchen. We’re happy to report that nothing essential has changed. The old favorites are intact, right down
to the chile relleno, still a test of any fire-eater’s mettle. Special attractions include carne asada, a goodsized
steak piled high with grilled onions; sour cream and chicken enchiladas; and tostadas a la McCaffrey, with lettuce,
ground beef, guaca-mole, sour cream, and other ingredients too numerous to list. N.B.: The Margaritas, which have
been described in these pages as “bilious” and “Kool-Aid,” are now really pretty tasty, and a bargain at $1 from 11
to 5. (2126 N St Paul at McKinney. 742-0747. Wed-Mon 11-10. closed Tue. No reservations. MC, V. $)



NATURAL FOODS



Sh-Boom’s. A quiet, rustic spot whose menu has enough twists and turns to accommodate less than true
believers – like wine, beer, chicken, fish, and a generous hand with seasonings. Sh-Boom’s real successes include
its whole-grain rolls and muffins, excellent coffee, and a wonderful vegetable tempura plate with zucchini,
cauliflower, broccoli, and a soy sauce dip. Strangely, just about everything else we tried was overdone, not a
common offense at health-food places. In the overpowering category, include the shrimp de Jon and the seafood crepes
and quiche at Sunday brunch, all of which were topped by rather intimidating, paprika-laden sauces. So stick to the
simpler things, like sandwiches, soups, and vegetable plates. And order at least one Mimosa, a decadent concoction
of fresh-squeezed orange juice and champagne. (4356 Lover’s Ln. 692-1411. Lunch: Mon-Sat 11-2:30; Dinner: Mon-Sat
5:30-11; Sun brunch 11:30-2:30. Reservations. All credit cards. $$)




ORIENTAL



Asuka. Bright and spacious, with flag blue and natural wood contemporary furniture – a delight to the eye.
The food is delightful, too, simply prepared and beautifully presented. Of the main courses, we tried sushi (tuna,
squid, and salmon); tempura shrimp and vegetables in a light, tasty batter; and ishiyaki, a rather dull
beef-and-onion dish whose single novelty is a bed of hot stones in the bottom of the platter. The vegetables were
all steamed and chilled, which lent a note of the exotic to an otherwise very East Texas lineup: okra, new potatoes,
sweet potatoes, radishes, and turnips. Our principal difficulty was with the speed of the service; meat dishes were
served while we were still sorting out our second appetizer. Not until the tempura ice cream (yes, fried ice cream)
could we relax and talk about how good it all was. Prices are much higher than average. (7236 Greenville between
Park and Walnut Hill. 363-3537. Lunch: 11-2; Dinner: 6-11; closed Mon. Reservations. MC, V, AE. $$$)


Bo Bo China. The building is a dump, the food superb. And there’s always a crowd; plan on waiting 10 or 20
minutes to be seated. You may spend longer than that with the extensive menu. Start with the kuo-teh, a tasty,
ravioli-style appetizer, or the won ton soup, almost a one-dish meal. Of the more than 40 entrees, we’ve tried
chicken with plum sauce, shrimp with lobster sauce, black mushroom pork, and green pepper beef, and haven’t yet been
disappointed. If you want something extra fancy, try the Peking duck, which must be ordered a day in advance. Lunch
costs about the same as a Big Mac with fries and is served even faster. (10630 Church Rd at LBJFwy. 349-2411.
Lunch: Tue-Sat 11-2:30; Dinner: Sun. Tue-Thur 11-9, Fri & Sal till 10. No liquor license. Reservations. MC, V.
$$)


China Coast. China Coast has all the charm of a Grange hall, but the food is good enough to distract you. The
Hunan/Szechuan menu emphasizes seafood dishes, and these are certainly the stars, particularly the green jade
scallops (with snow peas, broccoli, and water chestnuts), the four-flavor shrimp (actually one-flavor shrimp and
three-flavor vegetable), and the crispy whole fish served with a delicate sweet-and-sour sauce. China Coast’s other
dishes are less memorable, though the sliced chicken with orange peel and the paper chicken appetizer were
delightful. Watch out for overseasoning in the Hunan lamb, eggplant with garlic sauce, and hot-and-sour soup – the
last can give you laryngitis. The staff is efficient and eager to please, and for the most part, China Coast does
precisely that. (2930 Northwest Hwy at Bachman Blvd. 350-6282. Mon-Thur 11:30am-II pm, Fri & Sat till midnight,
Sun 12-11. Reservations. MC, V, AE. $$)


Fuji-Ya. Probably the most interesting restaurant in far North Dallas, though that’s not nearly strong enough
praise, since some of its principal competitors are the Arby’s and McDonald’s in the same shopping center. The menu
includes plenty of entrees that you can get kids to eat – shrimp tempura, beef and chicken teriyaki, suki-yaki. All
very good, though hardly a trip to the Far East. The adventurous diner will start with sashimi (sliced raw tuna,
yellowtail, squid, octopus, and giant sea clam), served with a mix-it-yourself sauce of soy and wasanabi, an
incredibly potent green horseradish. Then it’s on to the Makunouchi Fuji-Ya Special, a.k.a. Combination C, a
lacquered box containing pickled radishes, sauteed seaweed, tempura, rice cakes, and the star of our meal, marinated
grilled salmon. A beautiful sushi plate is offered on Thursdays and Fridays. (13050 Coit Rd. 690-8396. Tue-Sat
11-10, Sun noon-10, closed Mon. Bar by membership. No reservations. MC, V. $$)




Hunan. You’ve probably wondered why all of Dallas’ Chinese restaurants are the same. The reason is that when
this one opened a few years ago, it was wildly successful; even asbestos-tongued chili heads had to admit that there
was something to be said for Chinese food. Then, through some inscrutable process, facsimiles of Hunan’s menu –
faithful even to its typographical idiosyncracies – started appearing everywhere. Through it all, Hunan has been the
best. Maybe not good enough, if you’re used to New York and San Francisco. Hunan’s range is narrow, and its
successes are mostly on the hotter end of the spectrum. We recommend the hacked chicken, a cold appetizer with a
wonderful spicy peanut sauce, and the crabmeat with corn rice soup. Of the entrees, only the fiery chicken and
shrimp Hunan showed any flair – or maybe we should say flare. If you’re planning on being a hermit for a day or so,
try the eggplant with garlic sauce – it’s good, and, uh, memorable. (5214 Greenville at Lover’s Ln. 369-4578.
Sun-Thur 11:30-11, Fri & Sat till midnight. Reservations. MC, V, AE. $$)


Mihama Ya. A slightly screwy place with good inexpensive Japanese food. This time we tried the gyoza (egg
rolls, something like Chinese pot-stickers) and kara age (marinated fried chicken) appetizers, both excellent. The
tempura plate was bountiful and nicely prepared, though the evening’s excitement was provided by Chirashi Donburi, a
collection of raw tuna, shrimp, and squid on sushi rice, served in a lovely lacqured box. Each entree comes with
soup and a salad whose prinicipal value is for chopstick practice. Lunch is a bargain at three dollars for entree,
soup, salad, and rice, though the fare is limited to America’s favorites. Ambience provided by Japanese top-forty
music. (7713 Inwood Rd. 351-9491. Lunch: Tue-Thur 11:30-2:30; Dinner: Tue-Thur 5:30-10, Fri & Sal till 11, Sun
1-10. Reservations. MC, V, AE, D. $$)




South China. A dependable alternative if you’re burned out on Szechuan restaurants with copy-cat menus.
Although South China isn’t on anyone’s list of Dallas’ top ten, it handles standard Chinese fare – sweet and sour
dishes, moo shi pork, etc. – with reliable finesse. The beef with oyster sauce is excellent, and the shrimp curry is
delicious and deceptive, with each bite hotter than the last. (5424 E Mockingbird. 826-5420. Lunch: daily
11:30-2:30, Sal & Sun noon-2:30; Dinner: Sun-Thur 11:30-11, Fri & Sat till midnight. Reservations on weekends. MC,
V, AE, DC. $$)




D Revisits Royal Tokyo. We keep revisiting Royal Tokyo in hopes that, at last, the kitchen will find itself,
and usually come away thinking that at least things aren’t as bad as all the Hollywood back lot decor might suggest.
Which is to say that Royal Tokyo is still the top expense-account Japanese restaurant in Dallas and several notches
below the best places. You have a choice of two menus, one containing sukiyaki, sha-bu-sha-bu, and other more or
less authentic dishes, and another with a more limited selection of special dinners served in the hibachi room to
the accompaniment of clacking cleavers and rattling salt shakers. Surprising as it sounds, the better food is often
found in the hibachi room, even though there’s nothing very exciting about filet mignon and chicken breasts. The
ingredients are invariably fresh, and the worst the chef can do to stir-fry vegetables is to chip a few onto your
lap. In the Tatami room, where you sit unshod on thin cushions, things are more ambitious and consequently more
erratic. To relate the good news first, we had excellent gyoza (egg rolls) and a superb sashimi appetizer consisting
of raw tuna, squid, and octopus. Our large and very expensive sushi dinner contained excellent tuna, abalone, and
snapper, along with a few inedible items such as red clam and an omelette stuffed with rice that tasted as though it
had been sitting around for a week. Put a large question mark beside this entree. In the unqualified disaster
category were a gluey shrimp tempura and a salmon steak teriyaki that had been broiled nearly to powder. There is no
excuse for flubbing these basic dishes. So, not a restaurant for gourmets but satisfactory for dabblers and
dilettantes. (7525 Greenville Ave. 368-3304. Lunch: Sun-Fri 11:30-2:00; Dinner: Mon-Thur 5:30-11:00, Fri & Sal
till 11:30, Sun till 10. Reservations. All credit cards: $$)


SEAFOOD



Crazy Crab. The trick here lies in knowing your way around the pun-filled menu. What not to order is
anything fried; what to order is any of the non-fried shellfish offerings. Our favorite meal consists of a dozen
oysters, a small order of boiled shrimp, and a whole Dungeness crab. The dinner comes with “seaweed,” Crazy Crab’s
delicious fried onion rings; fresh vegetables; and a large, dull salad. If you’d rather not swing at crabs with a
hammer, you might try Ahoy Polloi, fresh broiled crabmeat sautéed in butter; Old Salt’s Surprise, a properly
underbroiled red snapper; or Cortez’s Cuisine, filet of sole sautéed with onions, chili peppers, and tomatoes. The
large dining hall, with mile-high ceilings and newspaper-strewn tables, is too cavernous to be cozy, though it’s
much improved now that the salty sayings and fishnets have been scraped from the walls. (3211 Oak Lawn at Hall.
522-5310. Mon-Thur 11 am-10 pm, Fri till 11, Sat 5-11, Sun 5-10. No reservations. MC, V, AE, DC. $$)


Fausto’s. One of the few elegant restaurants in Dallas where you don’t have to buck the noon crowd. We showed
up for lunch without reservations recently, got a prime table by the fountain, and enjoyed an excellent meal of
baked giappino (seafood bisque heavy on crabmeat), trout amandine, and baked filet of sole. Fausto’s is crowded
enough at dinner to make reservations advisable, and prices go up when the sun goes down. But one of the most
expensive items also happens to be the best: the whole lobster, served with drawn butter (available on Fridays and
Saturdays only). A few of the appetizers, like the crabmeat Orleans, are worth their somewhat inflated price tags.
Service is attentive and agreeably formal. (Hyatt Regency Hotel. 651-1234. Lunch: Sun-Fri 11-2; Dinner: Daily
6-11:30. Reservations. All credit cards. $$$)




D Revisits S&D Oyster Company. A high-spirited oyster house whose plain good looks, bustling service, and
simple offerings suggest a busy terminal not far from the sea. On a recent visit, the raw Gulf oysters sparkled; the
red snapper, broiled crisp on top and nearly moist in the middle, shone; and our gallant waiter, straight off the
old Congressional dining car, dazzled as he whipped up a fine red sauce with plenty of lemon juice and a touch of
Tabasco. On an earlier trip, we had been surprised by uncharacteristically tired oysters and a waitress so surly she
was surely on her way out the door. Even so, we enjoyed the homemade gumbo, thick with meat and fish; the pungent
shrimp salad; and the boiled shrimp. S&D does almost everything well: Their fried shrimp and oysters are so good
they almost convince us that fried isn’t such a bad idea after all. They do fall down in the baked goods department,
though; we still can’t tell the lemon meringue pie from the cheesecake. Otherwise, no problems – except the line.
(2701 McKinney. 823-6350. Mon-Thur 11 am-10 pm, Fri & Sat till 11, closed Sun. No reservations. MC, V. $$)



Oysters. Oysters avoids trouble by serving straightforward fish dishes in no-nonsense New England style.
Diners have a choice of, naturally, oysters (fried or on the half shell), boiled shrimp, seafood gumbo, or a number
of daily specials including scrod, sole, red snapper, fried blue fish, or some other fresh catch of the day. We’ve
yet to have a bad meal at Oysters, though the scrod and sole have consistently been better than the other entrees.
The fried zucchini and fried eggplant appetizers are excellent, and a bargain at $1.75 for a large basket. For
dessert, there’s carrot cake, as well as praline ice cream and lemon sherbet. And that’s about the whole story. The
one serious omission is a sampling of good white wines to offset the mediocre house offering. Otherwise, a
dependable, unpretentious place in an area already over-populated with gee-whiz theme restaurants and dreary steak
and barbecue spots. (4580 Belt Line Rd. 386-0122. Mon-Thur 11:30 am-10 pm, Fri & Sat till 11, closed Sun. MC, V,
AE. $$)




SOUTHERN SPECIALTIES



Broussard’s. The atmosphere is about like Bill King’s Brake-O, with most of the patrons in greasy work
clothes and baseball caps with “Bar-dahl” printed across the front. But that’s all part of the down-home style that
makes Frenchy Broussard’s place such a joy. The Cajun cooking is authentic, and better than anything you’ll find on
Greenville or McKinney. The oysters, fresh or fried, are superb, as is the catfish plate, Brous-sard’s most popular
lunch item. We are particularly partial to the gumbo and the outstanding picante, which tastes terrific over rice.
We’ve had mixed reports on the jambalaya, though. If you dine at Broussard’s on Friday or Saturday night, try the
barbecued shrimp, which is well worth the drive to Irving; expect a crowd if you go for lunch any weekday.
Brown-bagging is encouraged, and the only solution to Irving’s liquor laws. (707 N Belt Line Rd in Irving, 1 mile
S of Rte 183. 255-8024. Lunch: Mon-Sat 11-2; Dinner: Mon-Sat 5-10, closed Sun. No reservations. No credit cards.
$$)




D Revisits Celebration. You’ve eaten this kind of food before. It’s what your mother serves you when she
thinks you need more balanced meals. Hearty meatloaf. Pot roast. Baked chicken. Heaping bowls of vegetables like
steamed broccoli, pinto beans, and mashed potatoes. Huge green salads with homemade dressings. All is served “family
style” (big bowls for the entire table instead of individual servings) by waiters as eager to bring you second
helpings as your mother would be. The only item on the menu that doesn’t automatically entitle you to the vegetables
is the spaghetti plate, which tastes more like it was prepared by dear old mom than an Italian chef. Hot biscuits
come with every dinner, of course. The only shortcoming of this restaurant is that it is not open for lunch. Expect
a brief wait in line some evenings; no reservations. (4503 W Lovers. 351-5681. Mon-Thur 5:30-10, Fri & Sat till
11, Sun 5-10. No reservations. MC, V, AE. $)




Fanner’s Grill. You won’t find any fancy food at the Farmer’s Grill, just lots of it. “It” could be
chicken-fried steak, liver and onions, barbecued hot links, a predictably fine vegetable plate, corn bread, peach
cobbler, or half a dozen other items that fall under the general heading of Texas homestyle cooking. Homestyle fare
is a bad joke at many local restaurants, but the Farmer’s Grill obviously serves the genuine article, since any time
of day you’re likely to see truckdrivers, cops, secretaries, and several dozen pairs of bib overalls bent over
heaped, steaming plates. The whole place is nearly as noisy as the produce market across the street, and the
waitresses are all in the six-plates-to-an-arm class – friendly but firm. Even more important, the Farmer’s Grill is
an excellent value. You have to struggle to spend $3.50, and anyone who manages to (op $5.00 will probably have to
be carried out. Also a good bet for breakfast. (1101 S Pearl Expwy. 741-9361. Mon-Sat 5 am-10 pm, Sun till 2 pm.
No reservations. No credit cards. $)


Red Moon Cafe. The Creole menu has some conspicuous weak spots (red beans and rice aren’t served with the
entrees and the sauces tend to be more timid than tangy), but this quiet, rather dumpy little neighborhood cafe is
one of the best around for consistent, home-style food. Get there early (it opens at 7:30 most days) and you can
enjoy a hearty breakfast of well-prepared omelettes, biscuits, gravy, and grits. Luncheon offerings include New
Orleans fare like crawfish, pork chops Creole, and several varieties of poorboy sandwiches. The dinner menu includes
all of the luncheon standby’s, as well as shrimp Mediterranean, filet of beef Napoletana (cooked in Burgundy,
garlic, tomatoes, and olive oil), and chicken jambalaya. The homemade desserts, like the buttermilk pecan pie, are
standouts. (4537 Cole at Knox. 526-5391. Breakfast and lunch: Mon-Sat 7:30-2:30; Dinner: Mon-Thur 6-10. Fri & Sat
till 11; Sun brunch 10-2. No reservations. MC, V. $$>




D Revisits Sonny Bryan’s. As soon as you pull into the parking lot, you know the food has to be good.
Why else would a large group of patrons crowd into barn-like surroundings unfit for a good quarter horse? Sonny
Bryan’s serves spare ribs fit for a king. We’ve sampled all the barbecue variations – sliced, chopped, sausage – and
found them to be excellent, as are the home-style barbecued beans and slaw. The secret is that the large pile of
hickory stacked in front of the place is obviously used for more than decoration. Every morsel of barbecue has that
unmistakable taste of slowly smoked meat. The only seating is on school-desk style benches, which you’ll be lucky to
get during the noon hour, when the crowd is overflowing. Sonny Bryan’s has compensated for that with a pair of
waitresses ready to fetch you a beer the minute you walk in the door. Beer only. (2202 Inwood. 357-7120. Mon-Fri
8-6 or until the meat’s all gone; Sat 11-3, Sun 11-2. No reservations. No credit cards. $)




STEAKS, BURGERS, ETC.



Chili’s. We wish we’d discovered Chili’s – and then not told anybody about it, so we wouldn’t have to stand
in line. But no matter, Chili’s enormous success has given it a stability that virtually nothing else along the
silly Greenville Avenue restaurant strip can equal. As for the hamburgers: Chili’s has chosen the middle road, and
to our conservative tastes has established a standard by which all Dallas burgers can be measured. The Rojo Burger,
for example, is what Harvey Goff’s Number 2 with Cheese is supposed to be: an inch-thick patty with hickory sauce
and a slice of cheese, not a thin smattering of grated. The soft tacos, with chili, cheese, and lettuce, are
also good, as are the fabled French fries (on our last visit they were slightly overdone, though that didn’t stop us
from munching through two baskets-full). The prices are low, the service swift, and the noise level high. But
Chili’s is a place to pig out, not to linger. (7567 Greenville at Meadow. 361-4371. 4291 Belt line, Ad-dison.
233-0380. Sun-Thur 11 am-11:30 pm, Fri & Sal till 1:30 am. No reservations. MC, V. $)


Kirby’s. A still point in the turning, restless restaurant business. Kirby’s still serves good steaks, big
baked potatoes, and chocolate sundaes with real whipped cream for dessert. Fora family dinner (or if you simply want
a steak without having to become your waiter’s best friend), it’s Dallas’ Old Reliable. Just settle in, have a
couple of drinks, order a sirloin, and let the waitress play mother. Kids love Kirby’s, which offers them their
choice from a basket of little plastic toys on the way out. (3715 Greenville. 823-7296. Tue-Sun 5:30-10, Fri &
Sat till midnight, closed Man. Reservations. All credit cards. $$)


Las Pampas. Argentinean food served in a refurbished Shell service station? Yes, and consequently, Las Pampas
is a real sleeper. Argentineans are big fans of charcoal-broiled meat, and that’s what’s served here: steak,
chicken, lamb, and sausage, served on tabletop grills, accompanied by vegetables and potatoes. The best option is
the mixed grill (chicken, flank steak, and sausage); a true Argentinean mixed grill includes the innards, but
management wisely decided to play it safe. The least successful item is the lamb chops, which lean to the greasy
side. Most fun are the appetizers, especially the empanadas (delicate fried meat pies), the chicken tortillas al
carbon (flour tortillas with a filling of broiled chicken chunks, onions, and green pepper), and the cheese fundido
(three flour tortillas accompanied by a bowl of melted cheese and butter, which you spoon up, roll, and eat; simple,
but a knockout). For a remodeled gas station, the place is really quite nice, aided and abetted by an easy-going
staff and a charming maitred’. (2408 Cedar Springs at Fairmount. 742-5311. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2; Dinner:
Mon-Sat 6-11; closed Sun. MC, V, AE. $$$)


T.G.I. Friday’s. Friday’s doesn’t serve any light meals. The menu, with scores of entrees, tempts to excess,
and the kitchen delivers it. Any of the appetizers (try the fried artichoke hearts or potato skins) is plenty for
supper, and a main dish will quell even the most severe case of munchies. There’s every variety of burger; steaks,
chicken dishes, and omelettes (we like the artichoke/crab-meat); and nifty pocket bread sandwiches. The preparation
and presentation aren’t always terrifically careful, but there are always plenty of first-rate ingredients; besides,
what do you expect at a singles bar with 250 customers and a hundred items on the menu? If you have any enthusiasm
left after your meal, try one of the incredibly rich desserts – but pace yourself. (Old Town. 5500 Greenville.
363-5353. 5100 Belt Line, Addison. 386-5824. Daily 11:30 am-2 am; Sun brunch 11-2. No reservations. M(, V, AE.
$$)

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