Monday, September 25, 2023 Sep 25, 2023
79° F Dallas, TX


Also: Chuy’s, Bahama Bob’s, Cafe Sport
By D Magazine |

Hibachi-Ya Japanese Restaurant

Call me Un-American and my opinions heresy, but I do believe the Japanese have ways with beef that are little short
of sorcery. That’s aside from all the exotic lore about cattle pre-tenderized via hand-massaging with beer (now
there’s someone who earns a salary); what I’m saying is that Japanese chefs can take an ordinary Texas
sirloin or tenderloin filet and transform it into something approaching ambrosial; a cow of a different culture, if
you will.

Most recent case in point is Hibachi-Ya, a modest little newcomer tucked shyly away in a comer of Bachman Plaza’s
growing restaurant community. From its name, you’d expect the plate to be one of those Japanese emporia that
showcases the chef as swordsman/entertainer at his grill. Hibachi-Ya’s not like that at all. Owner Pete Yamamoto,
who cooked at Kobe Steaks for ten years before opening his own restaurant, plays his role quietly, over a grill set
into a side counter, leaving his guests free to enjoy dining without the burden of applause.

Applause is due, though, for the beef that stars on his menu along with chicken and shrimp, not only hibachi-grilled
but in less familiar traditional Japanese dishes also offered. Best by far was a traditional entree, Ume steak,
meltingly tender filet perfumed by marinating in plum sauce, then grilled and cubed for easy chopsticking. Teriyaki,
less memorable but lovely, was humbler curls of sliced beef nicely sauced. A hibachi special (most expensive dinner
on the menu at $14.95) played cubed filet against scallops so silken the perfectly good shrimp and chicken included
in the combo were totally overshadowed. Shrimp and vegetable tempura, while fresh and suitably lace-encrusted in
batter, were likewise outshone.

The best appetizers, too, were beef-notably in sirloin tataki, rare slices served with a fruity ponzu sauce, and in
hibachi rolls, bite-sized bits of fresh carrot, bell pepper, onion, and pineapple wrapped in sliced sirloin, with
teriyaki sauce for dipping. Ninja Yaki, which involved egg-like fried tofu enfolding sauteed chicken and vegetables,
was forgettable by comparison.

The salad was a lively toss of lettuce, spinach, tomato, and apple sticks, all immaculately clean and properly dried
to allow the sparkling apple-onion dressing to coat them in sweet-tart perfection.

Green tea ice cream was mellow, but dessert was really unnecessary; tiny cups of the beverage itself, steaming-hot,
were sufficient to end a meal notable for seamless service in an atmosphere of soothing tranquility. The setting
contributed to the effect, with deep terra cotta walls and dark wood accents warming smooth gray floors. Even the
house wines-Geyser Peak white or red-were superior to those one expects to find in a place so small and
unpretentious. Hibachi-Ya seats only forty guests, but the restaurant serves lunch as well as dinner, and Dallasites
in search of a beef fix several cuts above back yard grilling can get it here seven days a week. 3850 W Northwest
Hwy, Suite 510. 350-1110. Lunch Mon-Fri 11-3; dinner Fri-Sat 5-11:30, Sun 5-9:30. All credit cards. Inexpensive.
-Betty Cook


If PeeWee Herman opened a Mexican restaurant in Dallas’s West End, chances are it would look a lot like Chuy’s:
there’s a photo booth just inside the door (just like PeeWee’s telephone-“I’ll get it!!!”), and the cheerfully zany,
multilevel, multicolored room is furnished with chrome and glitter-vinyl dinette sets, strung with model cars and
schools of plastic fish, and plastered with pink-painted 45s. Past the playhouse atmosphere, though, is some serious
Mexican food, Texas and New Mexican-style.

We started with fresh lime margaritas and an order of banditos, fried cheese and chili-filled whole wheat tortillas
(the healthy whole wheat a clue to Chuy’s Austin origins), along with the full-flavored salsa and crispy chips. The
menu listed some tempting combination plates, ranging from the huge comida deluxe (two enchiladas, one flauta, one
crispy taco, chile con queso, guacamole, rice, and beans) to Chuy’s “lite plate,” a spare offering of a single taco
with guacamole and queso. But we chose instead a “Chuychanga,” a big fried flour tortilla encasing a half breast of
chicken and some melted cheese, served with a selection of sauces: slightly sweet ranchera sauce, a tart tomatillo
Verde, Tex-Mex chili gravy, or New Mexican-style fiery green chili sauce. Without the sauce, the dish was
underseasoned. Smoked chicken tacos were a soft version, filled with tender, smoky, but slightly dry meat and sided
by a generous scoop of first-rate guacamole. Chuy’s special enchiladas. New Mexican blue com tortillas stacked with
chicken, cheese, and tomatillo, were gooey and good; the chile relleno, an Anaheim pepper stuffed with well-seasoned
meat, was covered in a too-tomatoey sauc

The music was loud rock and we were showered with souvenir buttons (“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff-Chuy’s”), but the
service was attentive and efficient, even thoughtful, and we got into the spirit of things and ordered a second
margarita. 211 N Record St. 747-2838. Sun-Thur 11-11, Fri & Sat 11-midnight (bar open till 2). MC, V, AE.

-Mary Brown Malouf

Bahama Bob’s

For nearly five years, the word has been out among food fens that the next big gastronomic wave is Caribbean
cuisine; it’s firmly established in New York, but we’re only now seeing it trickle slowly into Texas. Casual and
spicy, island food should be a natural for Texans accustomed to low-key, highly seasoned Mexican food. Bahama Bob’s,
in the old Oasis location in the West End, is not quite what we’ve been waiting for, however. It’s a lot of fun, but
seems to be more of a tourist spot than an authentic taste of the islands. The place has the right feel-the interior
is beach white, light and airy, the galvanized tables are topped with brown paper (the crayons are next to the salt,
pepper, and pepper sauce) and set with blue ladderback chairs, and the service is breezily friendly. But the kitchen
falls a little short; while the menu plays it safe-something for every taste-the food itself is too often under- or

Bob’s serves a truly great pina colada- this from one who eschews sweet drinks- which we sipped while we munched on
our appetizers, unaware that this was the high point of the night’s trip to the tropical zone. Crunchy sweet onion
rings, conch fritters, and plantain chips, slices of the blandly sweet fruit in a spicy crisp coating, were all
good. Entrees were less pleasing: our friendly waitress warned us that the Jamaican jerk chicken was hot-very
hot-but she didn’t say it was so heavily spiced you couldn’t actually finish it, which it was. Underneath the heat,
the flavor was good, but though I’ll endure a certain amount of pain for something I like, I couldn’t finish that
chicken. On the other side of the coin, my companion’s coconut shrimp were so sweet he could only eat a few of them;
they might have been better as an appetizer. The black beans and rice that accompanied the meal were fine; the fruit
muffins were dry, with no discernible fruit. Bahama Bob’s is another fun place to go in the West End, but until the
kitchen takes itself seriously, it’s not the place to go for a true taste of the Caribbean. Have a pina colada,
instead, and another onion ring. 302 N Market. 655-2627. Mon-Thur 11-11, Fri & Sat 11-11:30. Voodoo
Bar downstairs open till 2. All credit cards. Moderate.

Cafe Sport

This elegantly masculine-looking spot on the ground floor of a new Oak Lawn high-rise apartment building will put
you in mind of the Atlantic Cafe up the street-the same brass accents, the same professional but not exactly warm
and welcoming attitude toward customers. But whereas the Atlantic Cafe”, while it serves other entrees, is hard to
think about as anything but a seafood restaurant, Cafe Sport, with its £airly representative menu, is hard to think
about as anything but a temple of red meat. It seems to have been built specifically as a setting for power lunches
and relaxed but stately dinners.

At the weekend brunch there are standard egg dishes, and there is also a version of the famous San Francisco dish, a
“New Joe’s Special,” with ground beef, onions, mushrooms, and spinach along with the eggs.

Weekday lunch has the broadest range of offerings, from sandwiches to an original-sounding buffalo stew served with
corn-bread. The stew had sweetish overtones, and sturdy little new potatoes rather than mealier Irish ones. But
somebody should find a new recipe for the cornbread. It wasn’t sweet, thank goodness, but it didn’t have much of any
other flavor either, and its texture was dull and dry.

At dinnertime, prices and expectations go up. Among the starters, the soups don’t show much promise. But the
costliness of the ceviche proved justified by the presence of lots of scallop and shrimp and even hunks of lobster.
The limey, cilantro-spiked taste of the ceviche was a trifle acidic but pleasing.

The main courses at Cafe Sport offer things as far afield as veal and even fish, but the red meats are the stars.
The Sport Cut of prime rib, served with a huge rib bone still attached, was a Lucullan slab of meat that was served
with tasteless Yorkshire pudding and a vegetable of the day. (But if you require potatoes with your red meat, you
must order them a la carte-and the baked potato is a hollowed-out, stuffed, and recooked version.) The lamb chops on
the dinner menu are small but come four to a serving. They were not served rare, but were done something past

It would be a pity to visit Cafe Sport without trying dessert. The blueberry cobbler was nothing special, but two
other sweets were outstanding. The chocolate mousse pie was an unusual recipe-a cakey, almost brownie-like bottom
and a layer of mousse almost like a topping above it. And the caramel custard was definitive-creamy, smooth, and
rich with the taste of burnt sugar. Who needs an upstart, trendy dessert like creme brulee when an old fashioned one
like this can be so good? This dish shows that Cafe Sport can do what it is setting out to do, if it will only keep
its mind on the job-it can offer superbly executed versions of the simple, nearly forgotten classics. 3227-C
McKinney. 720-2233. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30pm; dinner Sun-Thur 5:30-10:30, Fri & Sat 5:30-11. Brunch Sat & Sun 11
am-3 pm. Alt credit cards. Moderate to expensive.

-W.L. Taitte



Anderson’s. Decorated in the finest Western/schlock tradition, Anderson’s is what food in Texas used to be
all about: plenty of choices of smoked meat, with a few token vegetables provided to ward off scurvy. The
’cue-especially the ribs-is as it should be, and Anderson’s butter beans and baked potatoes are a credit to their
genre. 5410 Harry Hines Blvd 630-0735. Mon-Fri 11 am-7:30 pm. Sat II am-3 pm. Closed Sun. No credit cards;
personal checks accepted. Inexpensive.


Chips. Chips is the burger joint for me: I like its laid-back, not-too-loud atmosphere, I like the friendly
and efficient service. I like the pig sandwich (shredded pork with relish), the chicken sandwich, and all the
burgers I’ve tasted (chili, cheese, hickory, and plain). I like the skinny, sweet onion rings and the big basket of
fries and I love having to choose between cold beer and an honest-to-gosh, from-scratch milkshake, depending on what
kind of comfort 1 need that day. If things seem too bleak, you can get it all to go, but beware-these are juicy
sandwiches and your bun will be soggy by the time you get home. 4501 N Central. 526-1092. 2445 W Northwest Hwy.
Suite 101. 350-8751. Sun-Thur 11-10, Fri-Sat 11-11 at Central location. Mon-Thur 11-9, Fri 11-10 at Northwest Hwy
location. MC, V, AE. Inexpensive.



Snuffer’s. “Does this burger store have chocolate milkshakes?” “No.” “Then it’s not a good burger store.”
Such was my eight-year-old companion’s pre-visit review of Snuffer’s. I told him this was a burger store for big
kids, but once we were there, I felt it was for youngsters, after all. The painfully loud rock music, dim lights,
and apparent average number of drinks per customer seemed to indicate that the optimum age for enjoying Snuffer’s is
somewhere between thirteen and thirty-two-not our bracket that night. Snappy, friendly service for me and lots of
cherries in the Coke for him were pluses: the nachos were good and the chicken sandwich and French fries excellent.
We agreed, though, that the burgers were way too salty and the buns way too soggy. And we both missed our
milkshakes. 3526 Green ville. 826-6850 Mon-Sat 11-2 am; Sun 11:30-2 am. All credit cards.

Solly’s. There are those who believe that good barbecue can’t be found in the squeaky-clean reaches of
Addison. They haven’t eaten at Solly’s, where the “casual cuisine” promised by the logo features barbecue as
flavorful as that in any other part of town-and French fries that were recently derived from a potato, which is a
sadly rare state of affairs. 4801 Belt Line. 387-2900. Mon-Sat 11 am-9 pm. MC, V Inexpensive.



Atchafalaya River Cafe. This branch of the Houston-based Cajun restaurant now has two Metroplex locations
(besides the one in Addison reviewed here, there is an outpost in Arlington). We last visited during crawfish
season, and the little mudbugs on the crawfish carnival we tried (a big sampler platter with etouffee, crawfish pie,
fried tails, and so on) seemed fresh. The way they were cooked, though, left us alarmed about the current trends in
Cajun cooking-lots of pepper heat, but not very much taste otherwise. The redfish Pontchartrain suffered from a
similar problem, though its buttery shrimp and crab sauce would have compensated if there had just been a bit more
of it. 4400 Belt Line at Midway. 960-6878. Sun-Thur 11-11. Fri & Sat 11 am-midnight. MC, V, AE. Moderate. N

Patout’s. Alex Patout’s new restaurant serves some remarkable cooking alongside some pretty ordinary stuff.
The spicy, earthy chicken and sausage gumbo is a marvel, and the Cajun smothered duck with oyster dressing is glazed
to a crisp and succulent perfection. There are admirable versions of standard Louisiana dishes like shrimp remoulade
and boudin (a livery-tasting rice sausage). At its best, this sophisticated country fare is unbeatable. But the
disappointments included cochon de lait-roast young pig-that was stringy and fried shrimp that came in a tasteless
batter. If some of these problems resolve themselves over time, Patout’s could become one of Dallas’s most exciting
restaurants. 5600 W Lovers Lane. 956-9077. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30, Sun 11-2:30: dinner Mon-Thur 5-10,
Fri 5-11,
Sun 5-9; open Sat 11-11. All credit cards. Moderate so expensive.


Crystal Pagoda. One of the oddest facts of dining in Dallas is that although there are more Chinese
restaurants around than any other kind, we don’t have a single one that approaches the greatness of, say, New York’s
Siu Lam Kung. Crystal Pagoda doesn’t match that standard, but it’s as good as Chinese food gets in Dallas-which is
quite good. The shredded beef Szechwan-style and the moo shu pork are two especially good choices here. The service
and setting are both extremely pleasant. 4516 McKinney. 526-3355. Mon-Thur 11:30 am-I0:30 pm. Fri 11:30 am-11 pm.
Sat noon-11 pm. Sun noon-10:30 pm. MC, V, AE. Moderate.


Forbidden City. Competition among Chinese restaurants becomes ever hotter along the Addison strip. Forbidden
City has never seemed to us one of the very best of the contenders, but it does hold its own for quality. Two
chicken dishes took the prizes at our last meal. The old standby moo goo gai pan contained a wealth of fresh
vegetables and satiny meat. The chefs chicken was more unusual: shredded chicken-meat flavored, but not overpowered,
by touches of red hot pepper, and balanced with crisp beansprouts. 5290 Belt line. 960-2999. Mon-Thur 11
am-10:30 pm, Fri 11 am-3
am, Sun noon-10:30 pm. All credit cards. Moderate. -W.L.T.

D REVIsits

Han-Chu. Still one of the handsomest Chinese places in town, with its sleek black decor, Han-Chu is one of
the better purveyors of the cuisine, too. Standard dishes like the spring rolls can be a disappointment, but the
golden coin shrimps proved a worthy appetizer. Among the entrees, Shang-hai smoked pork stir-fried with vegetables
is an unusual standout, and the tangerine beef is one of the best versions in town; tender, pillowy pieces of beef
in a sauce not too sweet or too cloying. The standards of service here seem to have slipped a bit since the very
efficient early days. Caruth Plaza, 9100 N Central Expwy at Park Lane, Suite 191. 691-0900. Sun-Thur 11:30
am-I0:30 pm, Fri & Sat 11:30
am-11:30 pm. All credit cards. Moderate. -W.L.T.

Henry Chan’s. This new Chinese restaurant is one of the best-looking Chinese restaurants in town. Of course,
pretty is as pretty does, and Henry Chen’s acquits itself honorably on that front: the food, to judge from orange
beef and chicken with snow peas, is significantly above average, if not quite as noteworthy as the decor. 3701 W
Northwest Hwy, Suite 180. 956-9560. Sun-Thur 11 am-10:30 pm, Fri & Sat
11-11. All credit cards.


Hong Kong Royale. This is the favored upscale authen tic restaurant for the Chinese community tor miles
around. in its gaudy perch on the second floor of a shopping center that looks like a set for The Last Emperor.
The barbecued duck will probably be too fatty for most Occidental tastes, but the special Chinese soup will make
lots of converts to authenticity-a hearty beef broth filled with tender, bone-in chunks of meat, bok choy, and
other, more unusual Chinese vegetables (anybody seen the one called “dragon’s eye” before?-it’s a knockout). Hong
Kong Royale bills itself as a seafood specialist, and its seafood can be spectacular. Two of the best-prepared
Chinese dishes we have been served in Dallas are the scallops in a potato nest (served with a bonus-deep-fried
scallops on the side) and the fresh whole sole steamed under a blanket of black beans, cilantro, garlic, and
scallions. These delights don’t come cheap. The sole cost $25 (worth it if you’ve got it). And, come to think of it,
even the noontime dim sum can mount up in price awfully fast here. 221 W Post, Richardson. 238-8888. Mon-Fri
II-I1. Sat & Sun 10 am-11 pm. All credit cards. Moderate to expensive.


Jasmine. This is Dallas’s-who knows, maybe the world’s-only Art Deco Chinese restaurant, complete with a
glittering white grand piano pounding out slightly disheveled classics and show tunes. The clientele is faithful,
the service eminently professional, the food consistently above average. Among the unusual appetizers is a wonderful
vegetable roll, surrounded by the crunchiest casing imaginable. The shrimp rolls, on the other hand, are glutinous
and fishy-tasting from their seaweed wrappings. Main courses include Macadamian chicken that could have used a few
more Macadamia nuts instead of so much canned bamboo, and abalone Imperial that had chewy, canned-lasting abalone
but exquisitely cooked scallops and shrimp just touched with ginger. The single best dish we have sampled here is
Eggplant Delite (much lighter in taste and texture than the usual Chinese eggplant preparations); the single worst,
a pastily iindercooked sesame apple dessert. 4002 Belt Line Rd, Ad-dison. 991-6867] Sun 11:30-10, Mon-Thur 11-10,
Fri 11
am-11:30 pm. Sat 4:30 pm-11:30 pm. All credit cards. Moderate.

Mekong. Mekong’s menu gives Vietnamese and Chinese fare equal time. On the Vietnamese side, appetizers of
shredded shrimp and pork rolled with lettuce in tender rice paper caught fire and flavor from the pepper-spiked
carrot sauce that came with them. It was a hot pot soup, though, that knocked our socks off. The dish was a stellar
array of chicken and seafoods-shrimp, scallops, and catfish- cooked barely tender with still-crisp celery, pepper,
and onion strips in an ambrosial broth. I’d have bet nothing from the Chinese listings could possibly equal that
soup. I’d have been wrong. An entree of roast duck almost outshone it-roasted whole in a hot stone over camphor wood
chips, the golden-skinned bird was delicately scented-served with a saucer of salted lemon juice heavily laden with
fresh-ground black pepper, it was superb. 4301 Bryan Street, Suite 101. 824-6200. Mon-Thur 11-10, Fri & Sat
11-11, Sun 10-10. All credit cards. Inexpensive.

Szechwan Pavllion. Anyone who hasn’t visited here for a while wouldn’t recognize the place for all its
splendid new decor and its two floors of seating. The food remains superior to the run of Chinese tare in Dallas.
Our favorites from a recent visit were the Charng Sha shrimp, entangled with strips of peppers, onion, and ginger
and nestled in a boat of foil, and a knockout version of lamb Szechwan style. We were less impressed with the
Peking duck-the skin was no crisper and the) flesh no more succulent than that of the plebeian roast duck you can
buy at any Chinese market. 8411 Preston, Suite 132, at Northwest Hwy. 368-4303. Mon-Thur 11 am-10:30 pm, Fri
11-11, Sat noon-11 pm. Sun noon-10:30 pm. MC, V, AE. Moderate to expensive.

Uncle Tal’s Human Yuan. Uncle Tai’s is the highest of high-end Chinese |options in town. For prices
consistently higher than any other Chinese restaurant in town, the customer gets such off-the-beaten-path dishes as
sauteed sliced pheasant, frog’s legs with gingko nuts, and sliced duck with young ginger roots. The quality of
ingredients at Uncle Tai’s is very high, although the level of saltiness continues to be problematic. Galleria.
13350 Dallas Pkwy, Suite 3370 934-9998 Mon-Thur 11 am-l0 pm, Fri & Sat 11 am-10:30 pm, Sun noon-10 pm. Jackets
required for dinner. All credit cards. Expensive.


Cafe Royal. Romance may be invaluable, but a romantic dinner shouldn’t cost more than a used car. Cafe
Royal’s $34.50 fixed-price dinner, which changes daily, is reasonably priced and, thanks to the lovely setting and
skillful service, unreasonably romantic. The run-down on one night’s uniformly well-prepared options: an appetizer
of a salad with quail breast or an artichoke bottom with lobster ragout and caviar butter sauce; a green
salad or red-wine sorbet; an entree of sliced loin of lamb with wild mushrooms and a shallot and sage sauce or
fillet of John Dory with angel-hair pasta and lemon thyme sauce; and a choice of dessert. Plaza of the Americas.
650 N Pearl.
979-9000- Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2; dinner Mon-Thur 6:30-10:30, Fri & Sat 6:30-11. Closed
Sun. Jackets and ties
required. All credit cards. Expensive.


Chez Gerard. The din on a crowded night guarantees an intimate, if not tranquil, dinner at this cozy, very
French res taurant; you can usually depend on well-executed French fare, too. However, [though my last visit there
began and end ed on a high note, the effect was marred by slightly lackluster entrees. A duck liver and spinach
napoleon was flawless- still-rosy slices of liver layered with bright green spinach and flaky pastry-and the onion
soup was everything onion soup can be. At the other end. creme caramel was a precise balance of bitterswfeet syrup
and lightly sweet custard. But the grilled swordfish was slightly dry, and the fennel sauce bathing a filet of
taramia was so subtle it was almost bland, which the accompanying potato and vegetables frankly were. 4444
McKinney. 522-6865. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30, dinner Mon-Sat 6-10:30. Closed Sun. All credit cards. Moderate to
expensive. -M.B.M.

Cleo by Jean-Claude. Fans of the old Jean-Claude- once perhaps Dallas’s best restaurant-will find much to
evoke nostalgia here. Jean-Claude Prevot himself is again much in evidence, and the menu has some old favorites like
the pristine, very French, lettuce-only salads, the duck in an Oriental-inspired ginger sauce, and the ethereal
chocolate souffles. The price of a four-course fixed meal is just $27.50-remarkably low for what you get. The
standout appetizer is the garlicky escargots in a puff-pastry shell, and the best dessert is the hazelnut souffle.
Among the entrees, both treatments of fish we sampled were superb. The Centrum, 3102 Oak Lawn, Suite 110.
520-9264. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:15; dinner Man-Sat 6-10:30. Closed Sun. AE, MC, V. Expensive.

La Madeleine. The best croissants in town are a draw for breakfast all year round, but as the weather gets
cooler, lunch and dinner at La Madeleine look more and more appealing. Thai’s because of the soul-warming vegetable
soups that only the French can produce. Follow your potage with a sandwich, and chances are that you won’t be
able to do justice to dessert, so perhaps a soup-accompanying salad is a better idea. 3072 Mockingbird. 696-6960;
3906 Lemmon, 521-0182. Daily 7 am-9 pm at Mockingbird location; daily 7:30 am-9:30 pm at Lemmon Ave location. No
credit cards;
personal checks accepted. Inexpensive.

L’ Amblance. Although the renovated gas station setting is unimpressive, the food was fine on a recent dinner
visit. A suave potato-leek soup and watercress salad with bacon, mushrooms, and goat cheese made for excellent
appetizers. Fish has never been a good main-course bet here, so we opted for lamb chops and duck with the fruit
sauce of the day. Both were memorably well prepared. For dessert, floating island with pecan praline and chocolate
souffle cake enlivened by coconut and macadamia nuts served with vanilla sauce were both enchanting variations on
what can be boring themes. 2408 Cedar Springs. 748-1291. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2; dinner Mon-Sat 6-10:30.
Closed Sun.
Jackets required for dinner. All credit cards. Expensive.

Left Bank. The left bank in question is that of the Trinity’ River, and the restaurant in question is the
best thing to hit Oak Cliff since the viaduct from downtown. The food is simple, French-influenced, and changes
every day. On the weekend, all of Oak Cliff wants to be here, so reservations are essential. 408 N Bishop, Suite
104. 948-1630 Lunch Tue-Fri 11:30-2; dinner Tue-Sat 6-10. No credit cards. Inexpen
sive to moderate.

Mr. Peppe. Mr. Peppe is not so much a restaurant as it is a mindset. There exists a subset of monied,
established Dallasites for whom fine dining begins and ends with Mr. Peppe. While the rest of us frantically trendy
parvenus chase around from new hot spot to newer hot spot, the Mr. Peppe-ites are content to eat things like pepper
steak and veal with lemon butter week in and week out. 5617 W Lovers Lane. 352-5976 Mon-Sat 6-10. All
credit cants. Moderate.


Tha Riviera. Dinner at The Riviera makes a poor reviewer feel like a million bucks. From the moment of your
arrival, when the valet takes the Toyota to park it among rows of Cad dies and Beemers and you’re greeted effusively
at the door by a Mastroianniesque host with an Italian-style kiss, you’re led to expect the best. Chances are, you
won’t be disappointed. Smoked red bell pepper soup with bacon and sun- dried tomatoes was a perfect blend of salt,
sweet, and smoke; the special yellowfin tuna salad played the meaty fish against smooth avocado and balanced the
combination with nutty sesame vinaigrette. Delicate halibut was given depth with a rich, though slightly salty,
lobster sauce, and the succulently sweet loin of lamb was sparked by a green peppercorn sauce. Desserts-orangey
creme brulee and a chocolate cake with almond meringue-were only a little less memorable and service was gracious
throughout. 7709 Inwood. 351-0094. Sun-Thur 6:30-10:30 pm; Fri & Sat 6:30-11 pm. All credit cards. Expensive to
very expensive. -M.B.M.

Tieste. This is a quiet, understated. un-American restaurant. The menu, which changes every Monday, was
frankly French on our visit. Entrees included potato (a tan-shape of au gratin slices) and vegetable
(slivered zucchini, squash, tomato). The fresh tomato looked as lively as it tasted with its garnish of creme
fraiche and dollop of caviar, while the smoked trout mousse folded into rosy slices of smoked salmon was pure silk.
The rare lamb slices were bathed in a sauce full of fresh currants, and the French combination plate, lobster
medallions and beef tender, was served with two sauces, a classic demi-glace and a rich bearnaise fragrant with
tarragon. We were invited to invent our own souffle combinations, but it was the Lack, rather than the choice, of
flavor that made the results (chocolate with hazelnut and mocha with vanilla) disappointing. The homemade ice creams
were a better choice. 1444 Oak Lawn Ave., Suite 600. 742-4433. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30; dinner Tue-Sat 6-10.
Closed Sun. MC, V, DC Moderate.


Belvedere. Perfectly tender Wiener schnitzel is what keeps me coming back to Belvedere, a Swiss/Austrian
restaurant that adjoins the CrestPark Hotel, a residential hotel. Alas, this time around the rehsteak Hubertus, a
Montana venison preparation that I had fond memories of from past dinners, was dry and uninteresting. I had to
console myself with an extra order of spaetzle (fat, freshly made dumplings). Salads, appetizers, and desserts,
while not egregious, have never been advisable here unless you’re extremely hungry. The setting, with its warm brick
and cream color scheme, is pleasant and unimposing, as is the service. Crest fork Hotel, 4242 Lomo Alto.
528-6510. Lunch Tue-Sat 11:30-2; dinner Tue-Sat 6-10, Sun 6-9; Sun brunch 11-2:30.
Closed Mon. All credit
cards. Expensive.

Hofstetter’s. Tucked away in the Plaza at Bachman Creek, Hofstetter’s is a Viennese jewel. Here, in a setting
that leads one to expect nothing more than sandwich-shop fare, some of the best Germanic cuisine in the area is
served. Sandwiches, coffees, and desserts are listed on the menu, but the real action is on the blackboard, which
lists the daily specials. Plaza at Bachman Creek, 3830 W Northwest Hwy. 358-7660. Lunch Mon-Sat 11-2:30;
dinner Tue-Thur 5-9:30.
Fri & Sat 5-10. MC, V, AE. Inexpensive to moderate.


Kosta’s Cafe. There is no great Greek food in Dallas; in fact, there’s still not much Greek food at all.
Accompanied by a glass of retsina and preceded by an order of saganaki, a combination plate at Kosta’s
is as close as you can get to Greece, gustatorily speaking. All the elements are there: the dolma
(meat-stuffed vine leaves) were tasty, though their tenderness bordered on mushiness; the souvlaki
(grilled lamb chunks) and grilled shrimp were authentically seasoned and nicely cooked; pastitsio, a
slightly sweet, tomato-laced casserole of meat and macaroni, was delicious, and the square of spanokopita
(layered spinach, filo pastry, and cheese) was savory and flaky. However, everything, even the
saganaki, flamed several feel before our eyes, was too cool and the salad was short on feta, olives,
and the aromatic oil that normally make salad one of the glories that is Greece. 4914 Greenville. 987-3225.
Mon-Thur 11 am-10 pm, Fri & Sat
11-11, Sun 5 pm-10 pm. All credit cards. Inexpensive.


Akbar. Usually one of our favorite local Indian restaurants. Akbar disappointed us recently. We don’t like
our tandoori chicken overcooked and dried out, but surely no one likes it undercooked, and that was the way it was
served to us this time around. The accompanying onion kulcha (bread stuffed with onions and also cooked in the
tandoor, which is an Indian clay oven) was undercooked and gooey, too. Even the shrimp cooked with large pieces of
pepper were underdone to the point of translucence. We hope that this visit was an aberration, but we have noticed
that the luncheon buffet- which used to be full of innovative dishes-has slumped a little lately, as well. 2115
Promenade Center, Richardson. 235-0260. Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2. Sat & Sun 11:30-2:30; dinner Mon-Thur 5:30-10, Fri-Sun
5:30-10:30. All credit cards. Lunch inexpensive, dinner moderate.

Kabab ’N’ Kurry. A visit to the Walnut Hill K ’n’ K to check out the $7.95 weekend brunch was rewarding.
Although a few items (mushy strawberry and banana fruit salad, fishy fish curry) didn’t send me, plenty of choices
did. including succulent tandoori chicken; fragrant kashmiri pillau (rice with peas, currants, almonds, and
cashews): savory palak panir (spinach cooked with homemade cheese); flavorful lamb kofta (meatballs in a mild curry
sauce); and tender naan (flat bread). Dessert was a lesson in the outer limits of sweetness-if there is anything on
the planet sweeter than gulab jamun (pastry balls in cardamom-flavored syrup), I hope never to taste it. 2620
Walnut Hill Ln. 350-6466 Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2; dinner Sun-Thur 5:30-10, Fri & Sat 5:30-10:30: brunch Sat & Sun
11:30-2:30. MC. V, AE. Inexpensive to moderate.

Kebab ’N’ Kurry. 1 suspect that part of Kebab ’n’ Kurry’s secret lies in the comparatively limited menu.
There are really only a few delights of North Indian cuisine offered, but they are done extremely well, from the
chicken korma (rich, creamy, and mild) to the shrimp in a tomatoey curry sauce. Paradoxically, you can find the
rarest treasures here at the weekend lunch buffets. They offer such unusual delicacies as curried fresh black-eyed
peas for the ridiculously low price of $6.95 for all you can eat, including a dessert like the lovely, barely sweet
rice pudding. 401 N Central Expwy. Suite 300. Richardson. 231-5556. Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2; dinner
Sun-Thur 5:30-10, Fri & Sat
5:30-10:30; brunch Sat & Sun 11:30-2:30. All credit cards.
Inexpensive to moderate.


Alessio’s, If you’re not happy with your meal at Alessio’s, it will only be because you have failed to
apprise the ever-watchful Alessio Franceschetti of any problems. Happily, on a recent visit, there were no problems
to report. Crab cannelloni, an appetizer of the day, was estimable enough to warrant on-the-menu status. Shrimp
provencal, with mushrooms and tomatoes, was quite good, if not as seductive. The subtly dressed romaine lettuce
salad that accompanied en-trees was simple perfection. Linguine with shrimp and scallops in a delicately spicy
tomato sauce was agreeable, though not as meritorious as the perfectly breaded veal parmigiana accompanied by
buttered, parslied mostaccioli. 4U7 Lomo Alto. 521-3585- Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2; dinner Tue-Sat 6-10:30 pm.
Sun & Mon 6-10 pm. MC, V, AE. Moderate to expensive.

Ciao. New Wave pizza may be the featured attraction at Ciao, and they are well and good, but the smart money
is on the calzone, a sort of pizza turnover filled with fresh riccotta, Italian sausage, and herbs. One of these and
a perfectly simple green salad, and you won’t be in the market for dessert. 3921-B Cedar Springs. 521-0110.
Mon-Sat 11:30 am-
midnight. Sun 3 pm-midnight. MC, V, AE; personal checks accepted. Inexpensive.

Ruggeri’s. Ruggeri’s belongs in the upper tier of Italian restaurants in Dallas. The lunch menu is too
limited for my taste, but dinner more than makes up for that shortcoming. Although I have yet to order anything at
Ruggeri’s that blew me away, neither have I ended up with anything-pasta or veal-that was less than acceptable.
2911 Routh. 871-7377, Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30;dinner Sun-Thur 6-11 pm, Fri & Sat 6 pm-11;30 pm. All credit
cards. Moderate.

Sardo’s. If you’re feeling low, a visit to Sardo’s is in order. Pasta is wonderful here, and the breaded veal
cutlet with wilted greens is a close competitor. Plaza on Bachman Creek, 3802 W Northwest Hwy. 351-4378.
Mon-Fri 11 am-2
pm, 5 pm-11 pm. Sat 5 pm-11 pm. All credit cards, Inexpensive to moderate.

Sfuzzi. This new McKinney bistro is a fashionably frenzied room full of fashionably friendly waiters serving
fashionable frozen bellinis to a high-fashion mob. Pizzas here are exceptional, with a thick but somehow light
crust; the grilled salmon pizza with yellow tomatoes ranks as one of the best pies in Dallas, but the veal version,
with sun-dried tomatoes. is also a winner. From the selection of “primi plates,” the salads were terrific. Arugula
and radicchio were sprinkled with crisp pancetta and crumbled gorgonzola and dressed in balsamic vinaigrette;
spinach salad was arranged with grilled chicken chunks, toasted pinenuts, and yellow tomatoes. Pastas aren’t handled
as well-a serving of angel hair was overcooked and undersauced. But fettuccine with pancetta, parmesan, and cream
was surprisingly lighter than a classic Alfredo. 2504 McKinney. 871-2606 Mon-Wed 11:30 am-11 pm; Thur & Fri 11:30
am-1 am. Sat 13:30 am-1 am. Sun 11:30 am-11 pm. MC. V. Moderate.


Travis Walk Lombardi’s. Fears that popularity might dilute the delights of this newest link in Lombardi’s
evolutionary chain have proved unfounded-even when the place is crowded, the ambience here is as suave as the West
End 311 Lombardi’s is frisky. Perhaps it is that Travis Walk’s clientele is more grown-up than downtown’s-certainly
the sound level is more comfortable. Otherwise, though, the new place is a virtual clone of its inner-city sister in
service (stylish) and food (excellent). The menu is identical and. If you can resist a pre-meal orgy of
parmesan-crusted, rosemary-scented focaccia loaves (I never can), offers a full-range Italian dining experience as
fine as you’ll find in Dallas. Stan with flawless carpaccio, paper-thin and mustard-sauced, or delicate soft-shell
crabs sauteed with garlic and tomato in white wine. Proceed with succulent rabbit in Provencale sauce, or a sauteed
veal chop-big as a crutch, tender as a lover’s sigh-strewn with vinaigrette-spiked arugula. If it’s your meatless
day, rejoice in gnocchi, plump potato dumplings in mild tomato and bold gorgonzola sauces. Leave room for a wicked
wrap-up of double chocolate mousse cake if you can, or wind down with cappuccino or espresso-both are superior. And
valet parking, complimentary to Travis Walk patrons, is right outside the door, so you won’t have far to waddle
after all this indulgence. Travis Walk. 4514 Travis. 521-1480. Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2; dinner Sun-Thur 5-10:30,
Fri-Sat 5:30-midnight. All credit cards. Moderate. -B.C.



Hana Japanese Restaurant. As in most Japanese restaurants, the sushi bar here is the social center-a joyous
stretch of immaculate revelry staffed by swift-bladed showmen who slice out the usual artistic raw-fish delicacies
as well as a specialty or two all their own: their oyster shot, a chewable potion involving raw oyster, fresh quail
egg, and spicy accents, is alone worth a visit. The kitchen excels, too, with shrimp tempura and fried oysters
crisped to air-light, greaseless perfection, grilled salmon steak and beef teriyaki moistly tender. One
late-arriving entree flawed our dinner visit; otherwise the service, like the food, was exemplary. 14865 Inwood,
991-8322. Lunch Mon-Fri 10-2; dinner Mon-Wed 5:30-10:30, Thur-Sat 5:30-2. Closed Sun. All credit cards.

Mr. Sushi. It’s all raw fish to me, but a number of my friends are dedicated seekers of sushi, and the most
serious of them swears by Mr. Sushi. My friend was moved by the “sushi B” dinner-tuna, white meat fish, yellowtail,
jumbo clam, shrimp, salmon, smelt egg, salmon egg, cooked egg, and tuna roll-and I was appeased by the sauteed
soft-shell crab and perfect shrimp tempura. 4860 Belt Line, Addison. 385-0I68. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2; dinner
Mon-Thur 5:30-10:30, Fri & Sat 5:30-11, Sun 5:30-10. All credit cards. Moderate.

Sushi On McKinney. As a rule, the sushi is a better bet than the cooked things at this self-styled “friendly
postmodern sushi bar.” The atmosphere is lively to the point of freneticism, which is either a refreshing or a
disturbing change from the traditionally quiet, subdued atmosphere of local Japanese restaurants. 4500 McKinney.
521-0969. Lunch
Mon-Fri 11:30-2; dinner Sun-Thur 5:30-10:30, Fri & Sat 5:30-11. All credit cards.



Casa Rosa. This Mexican outpost on the Miracle Mile offers standard to outstanding Tex-Mex in the
pinkest of settings. The rosy-hued atrium room is a little faded now, but it’s still a pleasant place to sample
specialties from the kitchen, which is still going strong. Fried stuffed jalapenos and tortilla soup were good
beginners, both more attractively presented than is usual in Mexican restaurants. The chile relleno that followed
was breaded too heavily, but the filling and the ranchera sauce were flavorful. Pollo en la concha was a rich dish
of chicken chunks and slivered peppers smothered in thick cheese and sour cream in a fried flour tortilla shell. Our
waiter was helpful when he was present, but we seemed for a while to be lost in the land that busboys
forgot-necessities such as chips, salsa, water, and flatware were hard to come by. 165 Inwood Village (Inwood at
Lovers). 350-5227. Mon-Thur 11 am-3, 5-10; Fri 11-3, 5- 11; Sat 11-11; Sun 11-10 (brunch 11-3). All credit cards.
Moderate. -M.B.M.

Garcia’s Caribbean Grill. What is this world coining to? We’ve had Tex-Mex, Mex-Mex, tropical-Mex, and now,
from Garcia’s, fish-Mex- their term, I swear it. Your reviewer, for one, has not been waiting breathlessly for
catfish enchiladas, but Garcia’s peerless chili con queso-composed of while cheese and spinach, unlikely as it may
seem-is alone worth a visit. Plaza at Bachman Creek, 3830 W Northwest Hwy. 358-2664. Mon-Thur 11-10, Fri & Sat
11:30-11, Sun 11-9:30. MC, V, AE. Inexpensive to moderate.

Gloria’s. Gloria’s is in our Mexican category because, technically, there is Mexican food available here. But
the point of Gloria’s is the Salvadoran fare: tamales, pupusas, and a licuado du plantano (a plantain milkshake) for
dessert. 600 W Davis. 948-3672. Tue-Thur 9 am~10 pm, Fri-Sun 9 am-midnight. Closed Mon. MC, V; personal
checks accepted. Inexpensive.

J. Pepe’s. J. Pepe’s Mexican food is a cut above most local Tex-Mexeries. and its setting is exceptionally
pleasant. These two facts, plus the availability of outdoor seating (the local appetite for margaritas consumed
en plein air is apparentiy boundless), go far to explain the madding crowds i found here on weekend nights.
2800 Routh. 871-0366. Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2:30; dinner Mon-Thur 5:30-11, Fri 5:30-mid-nighi. Sat 11-midnight,
Sun 11-11, MC, V, AE. Inexpensive to

Jimi’s Baja Boat Club. Jimi’s was formerly Chimi’s, but the menu still says Chimi’s, so one wonders, what’s
in a name? A flour tortilla by any other name would taste as | good, though not many taste as good as Ch-uh, Jimi’s.
The sturdy but flaky rounds enfold shredded chicken or beef to make soft burritos or crisp chimichangas, and piping
hot stacks are ready to roll into fajitas. This is not a spot for nibblers-portions are enormous, but good to the
last bite. The setting is comfortable-lots of plants, wood, and windows make the room seem cozy when it’s cold and
airy when it’s warm. Service was enthusiastic, starring one of the best waitresses in town-a veteran familiar to
patrons of the old Guadalajara and El Gallito. But the kitchen was out to lunch on our last visit-bottomless baskets
of chips and glasses of tea couldn’t make up for a forty-five-minute wait for our order. 4301 Bryan. 826-054!.
Mon-Thur 11 am-midnight, Fri & Sal 11 am-1:30 am. MC, V, AE. Inexpensive,


Mario’s Chiqulta. Years ago, before fajitas became a staple on the menu of every Tex-Mex. beef, and burger
restaurant in town, tacos al carbon were the order of the hour. Some of the best to be had were Mario Leal’s
Chiquita, first on Oak Lawn, then on Congress. Fortunately, tacos al car bon are still to be had at Chiquita. now in
Travis Walk. This conservative but pretty pastel restaurant offers dependable Tex-Mex. but its forte is the
kitchen’s specialties: such as the above-mentioned tacos, tender strips of steak folded in flour tortillas, or the
carnitas a la tampiqueno, a plate of grilled pork strips sided by a cheese enchilada in a terrific
ranchera sauce. Came asada is great and almost worth ordering for the triangles of grilled Linares
cheese alone, and the sopapilla with cinnamon ice cream is one of the few really wonderful desserts I’ve had with
Mexican food. 4514 Travis (in Travis Walk). 521-0721. Sun-Thur 11:30-10:30, Fri & Sat 11:30-11. All
credit cards. Moderate.

Primo’s. This is the Mexican restaurant for the “thirty-something” crowd-small enough to have character, nice
enough to be comfortable. MTV on one of the bar’s television sets, sports on the other, and Sixties music coming
through the speakers. Oh yes. and plenty of high chairs. The menu is Tex-Mex, with blackboard specials, and, except
for bland margaritas and some overcooked shrimp, everything we sampled on a recent visit was as soul-satisfy ing as
good Tex-Mex can get. Primo’s offers one of the best botanas platters around-two kinds of nachos, midget
flautas. and terrific quesadillas. Take note of the tiny, crispy meal tacos-fried after they’re
filled, and available in the standard size, loo. The chicken enchilada in ranchera sauce was also memorable. 3309
McKinney. 520-3303. Mon-Thur 11 am-midnighl, Fri 11 am-1 am, Sat 5 pm-1 am, Sun 11-11. All credit cards.

Uncle Julio’s. The decor is heavy on pink and purple, and the food is notable more for its quantity-portions
range from generous to immense-than for its quality. One notable exception: the tamales, which are available with
pork and with chicken, are excellent. Beware, however, of the mesquite-grilled specialties, which are overwhelmingly
woody tasting. 4125 Lemmon Ave. 520-6620. Mon-Thur II am-I0:30 pm, Fri 11 am-11:30 pm, Sat 11:30-11:30. Sun 11:30
am-10:30 pm. MC, V, AE. Moderate.


Who’s Who. Here’s what’s what at this little takeout/eat-in establishment: skip the mundane sandwiches and
opt for the falafel. hummus, or eggplant dip. 6025 Royal, Suite 540. 739-7139- Mon-Thur 11 am-9 pm. Fri 11-6, Sat
11 am-9 pm.
Closed Sun. No credit cards; personal checks accepted. Inexpensive.


Bluebonnet Cafe. If you are a yuppie of a certain age, here is where, to the tune of James Taylor, you’re
likely to run into friends, acquaintances, or the ex-spouses of same. Bluebonnet Cafe is part of Whole Poods Market,
and as the name of the establishment indicates, the food tends toward the healthful. Happily, however, Bluebonnet
doesn’t take a doctrinaire stand. Burgers, wine, and coffee-three controlled substances at hard-line health
establishments-are allowed here. Check out the strawberry-banana-papaya smoothie and the black bean nachos with
white cheese and guacamole. 2218 Greenville. 828-0052. Mon-Fri 11 am-9 pm. Sat 9-9, Sun 9 am-3 pm. MC, V;
personal checks accepted. Inexpensive.


Dream Cafe. Aficionados of this health food-cum-trendy natural establishment are legion-witness the
forty-five-minute wait for a table any time of the day on weekends. Whether you’re among the ardent depends
somewhat, though, on which meal you’re experiencing: I find Dream Cafe’s breakfast and brunch dishes head and
shoulders above some of their more solemnly nutritious lunch and dinner specialties. In fairness, my samplings of
the latter were limited, but a stir-fry of tempeh and polenta cubes with vegetables was disappointing, both kinds of
cubes too leathery and tasteless to be redeemed by the crisp green and yellow squash that joined them over chewy
brown rice in a pleasant basil pesto. Japanese noodles tossed with steamed vegetables in tamari-ginger-miso sauce
were microbiotically correct but hardly electrifying. A fruit crisp that wasn’t struck no dessert sparks afterward,
either. What did knock my socks off was a fresh-as-morning omelette delectably filled with chicken, fresh pears, and
blue cheese, the sweet fruit and sharp cheese perfect complements to the milder flavors of eggs and white meat. And
a Sunday brunch special of strawberry pancakes almost beggars description, the pancakes airy whole wheat folds over
sliced ripe berries, the whole affair lavished with whipped butter and warm syrup. The more you sin, apparently, the
better Dream Cafe’s tare is, so choose accordingly. You’ll not sin here by smoking, by the way-none’s allowed; and
neither beer nor wine is offered at this writing, but you’re welcome to bring your own if you wish. 2800 Routh
St. Suite 170. in the Quadrangle. 954-0486 Mon-Fri 7 am-2:30 pm. Wed-Sun 6 pm-10 pm, Sat & Sun 8 am-2:30 pm. AE;
personal checks accepted. Inexpensive.


Beau Nash. It’s a heady sensation in often early-to-bed Dallas to see a bar and restaurant thronged with
people after 11 on a weeknight (though more of the glitzy patrons were drinking than eating). But the crowds can be
noisy, and the trendiness of this glossy spot carries over to the menu, sometimes to its detriment. Everything we
sampled at Beau Nash this time had an assertive and appealing taste, especially the Chinese-dumpling-shaped ravioli
filled with wild mushrooms and drizzled with two sauces, but sometimes the assertive tastes competed too strongly
with one another. The thick, tender veal chop, for instance, hid a bed of spaghetti squash in a sunny sauce and lay
under a compote of fresh tomatoes and herbs-all surrounded by a wine-dark sea of sauce of another sort. Enough
already! The mimosa cake we sampled for dessert looked prettier than it tasted. Hotel Crescent Court, 400
Crescent Court, Maple at McKinney. 871-3240. Breakfast daily 7-10:30; lunch daily 11:30-2:15; dinner Sun-Thur
6:30-10:15, Fri & Sat 6:30-midnight; Sun brunch 11:30-2:15. All credit cards. Expensive.

City Cafe. The simple dishes had it all over the complicated ones here on our last visit. The
ordinary-sounding fresh tomato soup turned out to be comfort food for angels, and the sauteed sole with lemon butter
was elegant perfection. The Maryland crabcakes. on the other hand, hardly justified all the effort, and the roasted
shoulder of wild boar stuffed with wild rice, pine nuts, and currants with a cranberry cassis sauce proved
overcooked and chewy. At dessert time, however, elaboration won the day with a peanut butter fudge pie, whipped
cream, and hot fudge sauce. 5757 W Lovers Lane (just west of Dallas N Tollway). 351-2233. Lunch Mon-Fri
11:30-2:30; dinner Mon-Sat 6-10:30 Sun brunch 11-2:30. MC, V, AE. Moderate.

Crockett’s. Small plate devotees have discovered a creative way to sample a variety of dishes. We tried a
curry-chicken ravioli that was excellent, a ginger-cumin-duck pasta plate that missed, and fabulous crab cakes. The
wine list recognizes the taste of their customers, though it is too expensive by the glass. Crockett’s is the most
underrated hotel restaurant in Dallas. 5410 LBJ Freeway, Doubletree Hotel at Lincoln Center. 934-8400.
Lunch Mon-Fri 11.30-2; dinner Mon-Thur 6-10, Fri&Sat 6-11. Closed Sun, All credit cards.
Moderate to


Deep Ellum Cafe. Deep Ellum isn’t exactly becoming gentrified, but this spiffy little restaurant could start
a trend. The food is excellent and reasonably priced. Downhome fantasies mix with trendy pastas and foreign
influences. A duck and chicken shortcake sounds standard enough until you stop to think about it-then it seems
adventuresome; it is just what the name implies, a stew of fowls on top of which sits a piece of crusty shortbread
and a dollop of whipped cream. Among the pastas, we were especially taken with the large ravioli filled with spinach
and ricotta, Perhaps the best dish we sampled, though, was an appetizer of fish cakes Thai-style-light and zingy and
flavorsome. Desserts, mostly homebaked goodies topped with ice cream and sauce, are belt-bustingly rich. 2704
Elm. 741-9012. Lunch Mon-Fri 11
am-2:30 pm; brunch Sat & Sun 11-2:3O; dinner TUe-Thur 6 pm-midnighs, Fri
Sat 6 pm-1 am. MC, V, AE, Inexpensive to moderate. -W.L.T.

Gershwin’s. Gershwin’s now offers “small plates,” which are like appetizers, except the idea is you order
several instead of, rather than before, a main course. Black bean cakes with sour cream, baked goat cheese with
almonds, and barbecued shrimp are some of the small-plate highlights. The rest of the menu continues to be
surprisingly well prepared in light of its extensiveness (usually a warning sign for savvy restaurant-goers).
8442 walnut Hill. 373-7171. Mon-Thur 11:30 am-midnight, Fri & Sat 11:30 am-1 am, Sun 10:30 am-3 pm & 5
pm-11 pm; brunch Sat & Sun 10:30-3.
All credit cards, inexpensive to moderate.

The Mansion on Turtle Creek. What never seems to change at the Mansion is its historic beauty and
top-of-the-line service. What does change is the menu. Now it’s printed daily, the better to accommodate changing
offerings according to season-and the creative inspiration of Dean Fearing. Regulars tend to opt for whatever
appears on any given day; diners for whom the Mansion is a relatively rare experience may prefer to sample such
classics as the peerless tortilla soup; Louisiana crab cakes with a sauce of smoked chilies, lobster, and blood
orange: and creme brulee with raspberry sauce for dessert. 2821 Turtle Creek Blvd. 526-2121. Main dining
room-jackets and ties required. Lunch Mon-Fri noon-2:30: brunch Sat noon-2:30, Sun 11-2:30; dinner Sun-Thur 6-10:30,
Fri & Sat 6-11: supper Mon-Thur 10:30 pm-midnight, Fri & Sat 11 pm-midnight. Promenade Roam-breakfast daily 7 am-11
am: tea Mon-Fri 2-5 pm. All credit cards. Expensive.


McKinney and Knox. This place has matured into one of the city’s better restaurant bargains. The menu is
huge, and the specials of the day add even more choices-interesting ones, but not excessively ambitious. Fish can be
a real test of a kitchen’s mettle, and we found two fish specials excellent: sauteed redfish with lime-cilantro
sauce served with linguini, and a grilled yellowfin tuna with a pineapple-basil buerre blanc (the latter sauce
tasted better than it sounds). The low prices are brought down even further by the availability of “light
portions”-still big enough for hearty appetites…especially nice for those who want to save room for the fine
desserts. 4544 McKinney. 522-4340. Sun-Thur 11-10, Fri & Sat 11-11. MC, V, AE. Moderate. -WLT.


Routh Street Cafe. A dinner at this-one of Dallas’s two most celebrated restaurants these days-is always
memorable and satisfying. But in the four years Routh Street has been open we have found it dependably erratic. The
introductory muffins, salads, sorbets, and desserts always blow away all criticism; this time even the
unlikely-sounding sorbets (chocolate sapote-sarsaparilla ice?) were as spectacular as the downhome-sounding desserts
(banana-cream macadamia-nut pie with fudge sauce and blackberry buckle). But the appetizers and main courses are
spectacular only some of the time: they can also be just a bit too experimental. We loved our quail with saffron
fettuccini and our venison with a blue-corn tamale, but our black bean cake with sea scallops and our lamb with a
guajillo-chile waffle (!?) didn’t entirely work. 3005 Routh at Cedar Springs. 871-7161. Tue-Sat 6-10:30 pm.
Closed Sun & Mon. Reserva tions. Alt credit cards. Very expensive. -W.L.T.

Sam’s Cafe. Sam’s Cafe is the Southwestern sister of Mariel Hemingway’s chic New York bistros, and like most
restaurants that open with a big bang, the place is usually packed. On one visit, the polenta of the day was
excellent-crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside, the golden slice was topped with sauteed peppers and squash
in cilantro cream. Skewers of grilled chicken were moist and flavorful and the three accompanying sauces-poblano
bearnaise, fresh tomato, and barbecue-were tasty. Sam’s Caesar salad is, in good Eighties style, “light”; though
good, it’s not as redolent of anchovies and garlic as the classic version. Simple, grilled entrees, such as the
semi-boned breast of free-range chicken smothered with slivered peppers, goat cheese, and herbs and the tenderloin
with poblano bearnaise, come off better than more complicated dishes. Apple cobbler was a soothing, grandmother’s
dessert, hot and fragrant with cinnamon, and chocolate shortcake put an Oreo twist on the American classic. 100
Crescent Court, Suite 100. 855-2233. Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2:30, Sat 11-3:30: dinner Mon-Thur 6-11, Fri-Sun 6-midnight.
MC, V, AE. Moderate.

San Simeon. Richard Chamberlain’s food matches the splendor of San Simeons service and its subtly, weirdly
wonderful, post-modern Egyptian interior. (Keep your eye on the lighting; it changes over the course of a meal.)
Pick hits include a chowder of com, wild rice, and duck sausage; chilled bow-tie pasta and prosciutto with sage
walnut pesto; and Romano-crusted veal with angel-hair pasta and tomato sauce. 2515 McKinney at Fairmount in
Chateau Plaza.
871-7373. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30; dinner Sun-Thur 6-10:30, Fri & Sat 6-11; Sun brunch
11-2:30. All credit cards.

Spatz. The menu here holds little more than a couple of soups, a couple of salads, a short list of pasta
dishes (all made with the same delectable, at dente fettuccine), and simple things like fried catfish. The pastas
are dependably flavorful, from a smoky-tasting number with peppered bacon and mushrooms to an assertive version with
anchovies, capers, and tots of garlic. The fried things-such as big, tender shrimp-are surprisingly
memorable, too, with homemade potato chips and a perky chili sauce on the side. Most of the obvious ambition here
seems to go into the daily specials like a poblano pepper stuffed with chicken and coated with a crisp cornmeal
batter. Desserts sound rather ordinary, but carp obviously goes into their preparation. The apple pie a la mode has
too strong a taste of cloves, but the fruit is firm and the crust tender. 2912 N Henderson. 827-7984. Lunch
Tue-Sat 11:30-3; dinner Tue-Thur 5:30-11, Fri & Sat 5;30-midnight. Sun brunch 11-3:30. All credit cards.


Atlantic Cafe. After several disappointing meals at Atlantic Cafe1 in the [last year, I had given up on the
place. However, after bearing of recent changes, I returned and (bund the food to be back on track. The new menu
includes such winners as shrimp and crab ravioli and nicely sauteed soft shell crab. 4546 McKinney at Knox.
559-4441. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2; dinner Sun-Thur 6-10, Fri & Sat 5:30-10:30; Sun brunch 11:30-2. All credit cards.

Aw Shucks. Although the “fried thangs”-oysters and shrimp-that are the featured attraction at this relaxed
restaurant are splendid, one does tend to feel in need of a shower after eating at Aw Shucks. But if you can handle
the inherent grease factor involved in dining at an establishment fitted out with a battery of deep-fat fryers, Aw
Shucks is a worthwhile destination. One exception to the rule of quality here is the fat French fries, which have
hardly any flavor. 3601 Greenville, 821-9449; 4535 Maple, 522-4498; Village at Bachman Lake. 3701 W
Northwest Hwy, Suite 310,
350-9777. Mon-Thur 11-10 pm. Fri & Sat 11 am-11:45pm, Sun 11:30 am-9 pm at
Greenville location; Mon-Fri 11-9, Sat
11-10, Sun 11-9 at Maple location; Mon-Thur 11 am-10 pm, Fri &
Sat 11 am-11:45 pm. Sun noon-9 pm at Northwest Hwy location. MC, V, Inexpensive.

Cafe Pacific. There are a lot of first-rate waiters working in Dallas, but Don at Cafe Pacific has to be in
the very top rank. Even if the food hadn’t been as close to perfection as mere mortals can approach, his courtly but
never pretentious manner and ability to be there exactly when you need him would still have made a recent lunch at
Cafe Pacific a pleasure. All the game, Chinese chicken salad and a daily special of red snapper with a julienne of
snow peas were all that they could and should have been. Highland Park Village, Preston at Mockingbird, Suite 24.
526-1170. Lunch Mon-Sat 11;30-2:30, Sun 10:30-2:30; dinner Sun-Thur 5.30-10:30, Fri & Sat 5:30-11. All credit cards.

Ratcliffe’s. Apart from a tendency to overprice some items ($4.25 for sliced Cucumbers in piercing dill
vinegar??) and oversalt some sauces, this suave establishment deserves the loyalty of its many local and
business-travel aficionados. A ceviche of bay scallops and shrimp was simply perfect; grilled Hawaiian yellow fin
tuna was properly moist in an admirable leek-laden Zinfandel sauce. A salmon fillet ordered poached was delivered
grill-broiled instead, but its flavor and texture were so sublime. I gladly spurned the hovering waiter’s offer to
correct the error. The day’s dessert souffle (Grand Marnier) and the moment’s fresh espresso capped the evening very
well. Check the wine list here- it’s one of the country’s recognized best, although the house by-the-glass pourings
seemed as overpriced as the cucumbers. 1901 McKinney. 871-2900. Lunch Mon-Fri 11.30-2; dinner Sun-Thur 5-10, Fri
& Sat 5-11. Reservations recommended. MC, V, AE. Expensive.


Yoll’s Seafood & Grill. This plain-jane descendant of a more ambitious failed Pacific/Oriental restaurant in
Garland is thronged evenings by Northeast Dallasites willing to wait forty-five minutes in line for a fresh-seafood
fix at under five dollars a pop. Willing, too, to overlook uninspired accompaniments: shrimp scampi, for instance,
heaped pink shrimp (more than a dozen) on linguini that was much overbuttered though nicely al dente; meaty scallops
given the same treatment glowed with spicy Cajun heat, and a sauteed rainbow trout swimming in butter tasted
wonderful once we separated the delicate flesh from myriad baby-needle bones. No one else seemed to mind that the
vegetable of the day with all was canned new potatoes, served naked-white on one visit, brown-fried the next, or
that neither dressing we tried (a too- sweet honey-mustard, a too-piercing warm vinaigrette) overcame the
all-iceberg salad’s basic boredom. We could detect no crab meat in the cream cheese-filled crab Rangoon’s rather
rigid pastry pockets, and Yoli’s cuts corners too by serving no bread, only saltines, and no water unless requested;
but heaping helpings of hospitality set a merry mood for the casual crowd that fills the tiny tables. Beer and wine
are available by membership-$3 a year-but iced tea seems to be the beverage of choice. 9220 Skillman at LBJ,
Suite 124 341-3533. Lunch and dinner Mon-Thur 11 am-10 pm, Fri 11 am-11 pm, Sat noon-11; dinner Sun 4-10. Al credit
cards. Inexpensive.


Celebration. After years of exploration of Celebration’s menu, I have finally found its weak spot: spaghetti,
which vies with Highland Park Cafeteria’s version for the title of worst desecration of pasta in town. However,
everything else on a recent visit was as swell as ever. Given its consistent record, one problem dish can hardly be
held against Celebration, which is an enduring source of well-prepared comfort food. 4503 W Lovers Lane.
351-5681. Lunch daily
11-2:30; dinner Mon-Thur 5:30-10, Fri & Sat 5-11, Sun 11 am-10 pm. All credit
cards. Moderate.

Good Eats. This spiffy diner is a prime source of nutrition for many Oak Lawn residents, who rely on the
basic breakfast fare, burgers, barbecue, and grilled fish that make up the menu. Nothing at Good Eats is ever truly
great, but nothing is ever truly terrible, either. In any case, the juke box and sassy service seem to make
everything taste better. 3531 Oak Lawn. 521-1398; 6950 Greenville, 739-5088 Sun-Thur 7 am-11 pm, Fri & Sat
7 am-11:30 pm; late-night Thur-Sat 11 pm-3 am. All credit cards. Inexpensive.


Highland Park Cafeteria. As cafeterias go, the original HPC is the mama of them all, a homey dispensary of
all the revered classics (chicken-fried steak with cream gravy, crisp-battered fried chicken, sauteed calves’ liver
and onions mercifully not cooked to death). Where else can you find a good country sour slaw, or the minced crunch
of carrots and celery in Jello? The closest thing to a new wrinkle here is mashed potatoes lavished with sour cream
and all the other trimmings you’d pile on a baked one. And the closest thing to paradise is getting the
all-over-frosted end piece of a fresh-baked chocolate cake, or the highest meringuepiled wedge of creamy caramel
pie. Prices at HPC are upscale, but then, so’s the clientele-half of Highland Park grew up on this place, which has
yet to be duplicated even in its own branch locations. 4611 Cole, 526-3801; Village on the Parkway, 5100 Belt
Line at Dallas Pkwy, Suite 600, 934-8800 N; downtown, 500 Akard at San Jacinto. Suite 220, 740-2400. Mon-Sat 11 am-8
pm at Cole location; Mon-Sat II am-8 pm. Sun 10:45 am-3 pm at Village on the Parkway location; Mon-Fri 6:30 am-2 pm
at downtown location. MC, V. AE. Inexpensive. -B.C.


Mama’s Daughter’s Diner. Forget power lunching- lunch power is the draw that made Mama’s Daughter’s Diner an
instant SRO success the moment it opened. Predictably: Mama is Norma Marnis, whose reputation for home-cooked fare
crossed the river before she did, during the twenty-eight years she owned Nonna’s Cafe in Oak Cliff. When she and
her daughters launched their new diner on Industrial, the faithful never doubted the place would dish out breakfast
and lunch classics with the same downhome clout. The plate lunches we tried were generous models of no-nonsense
nostalgia, the chicken-fried cutlet tender in crisp-browned barter with mashed potatoes under perfect cream gravy,
all from scratch; the green vegetables-pork-seasoned turnip greens, cheese-whizzed broccoli-overcooked (weren’t they
always, back then?); the cole slaw a fresh crunch, cream-dressed and Southern-sweet. Navy beans were actually big
white Northerns, but their flavor was fine, and a pot roast’s rich juices almost made me forget I prefer my beef
rare. Homemade rolls and cornbread would have aced out any dessert less formidable than the lofty meringue pies
baked here-coconut cream strewn with golden gratings was more than satisfactory. As was service, which was fast,
unflaggingly friendly, and apparently unfazed by the wistful hordes waiting for us to finish so that they, too,
might pig out. 2014 Irving Blvd (between Fitzhugh and Oak Lawn). 742-8646. Breakfast and lunch Mon-Fri 6
am-3 pm. No credit cards; personal checks accepted. Inexpensive.-B.C.

Theo’s Diner. Don’t fret because this landmark has changed hands and undergone a minor face-lifting (the worn
and wobbly old bolted-down stools have been replaced by movable ones). The only other visible change is a generally
cleaner look throughout And the little diner that could still does, making from-scratch burgers and garlic-breathed
grilled cheese sandwiches as homey as any around, as well as the undisputed best skins-on fries that have ever
passed my lips. A new special added to the daily lunch menu, Greek spinach-and-feta pie, must be good too; on our
visit, it was all gone before we could try it. I’ll S Hall at Commerce. 747-6936. Mon-Sat 7am-4 pm, No
credit cards. Inexpensive.


Tolbert’s Chill Parlor. Never underestimate the power of a legend. When the original Tolbert’s Chili Parlor
downtown was rubbled in the name of progress, chili-loving disciples doubted any successor could replace it. While
no spiffy fast-fbod castle will ever achieve the deplorable dinginess right-thinking locals loved, this latest
Tolbert’s Chili Parlor, in the West End, does capture some hint of the old Chilimaster’s irrepressibly bawdy spirit.
Could be the location-deepest downtown, after all, is where any Tolbert’s belongs. Could be the Southwesternness of
stone arches, armadillo art (check the monster crashing through brick behind the upstairs bar), pool tables in the
back room. Could even be (he food, she said grudgingly-somehow, the menu’s cutesiness seems less obnoxious here.
Most specialties we tried reflected some care in preparation, and all ingredients seemed fresh and high-quality. The
chili labeled Frank’s Original Texas Red wouldn’t win this year’s award at Ter-lingua, but it’s a respectable, if
underseasoned, long-simmered version studded with bite-sized beef cubes. So is its companion brew. Stovepipe chili,
a darker, slightly milder mole-style version. Donkey tails, a pair of cheese-stuffed hot dogs wrapped in flour
tortillas and deep-fried, are an inspired Tolbert invention, and the onion-sparked mustard served with them is a
robust accent. For my money, though, the burgers are the best bet-the Fredericksburger, a two-handed stack of
cooked-to-order beef, bacon, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, and onions, is big enough to qualify as a
for-two entree, even without [be thimble-full of too-mild pico de gallo available as a side order. The latter was
overpriced at 75 cents a mini-shot, but other prices arc reasonable-burgers top out at $4.95, and fajitas for two at
$12.95 are the costliest menu listing. Entree servings at Tolbert’s are staggering, which means you can forget
dessert. 350 N St Paul, Suite 160. 953-1353: 1800 N Market. 969-0310. Mon-Thur 11 am-8 pm. Fri 11 am-10 pm, Sat
11 am-4 pm, closed Sun at St Paul location. Sun-Wed 11 am-midnight, Thur-Sat 11 am-2 am at Market location. All
credit cards. Inexpensive. -B.C.


Del Frisco’s. In some respects, this scion of a distinguished New Orleans steakhouse is Dallas’s most
satisfactory purveyor of prime beef (we mean the bona fide USDA graded, aged stuff). The steep prices include extras
here, as they usually don’t elsewhere, and the extras are worth having: spicy turtle soup; fluffy, loaded baked
potatoes; magnificently crunchy French fries. Even desserts here can be memorable. But on our last visit, the steaks
weren’t quite as majestic as on a previous visit. They still had a fine flavor and were cooked just as we had
ordered, but there seemed to be more tendons and chewy parts than we remembered. We weren’t sure whether
these shortcomings were the fault of a less than ardent trimmer or a couple of overexcercised steers. They didn’t
spoil our visit, but they did take the usual edge of pleasure off of it. 4300 Lemmon. 526-2101. Dinner
Mon-Thur 5-10. Fri & Sat 5-11. Sun 5-9. All credit cards. Expensive.

Lawry’s The Prime Rib. Everything you eat at Lawry’s is accompanied by elaborate ritual, beginning with the
semi-bizarre spinning salad, in which a plastic bowl of greens is set whirling in a bowl of cracked ice as it is
anointed from on high by bottled Lawry’s dressing. When the beef arrives, you expect trumpets to herald the beef
cart, which looks somewhat like the QE2 as it lumbers down the aisle The cart is laden with six roasts in varying
degrees of doneness, available in different size cuts; once the beef is on your plate. accompanied by unexceptional
buttered peas and mashed potatoes, you understand what the hoopla is all about- No one bothers to cook prime rib
like this anymore. The tender, marbled slice was raspberry-red, rimmed with fat, and tender and flavorful to the
last bite. 3008 Maple Ave. 521-7777. Lunch Mon-Fri & Sun 11:30 am-2 pm; dinner Mon-Thur 6-10:30,
Fri 6-11:30, Sat 5:30-11:30. Sun 5-10 All
credit cards. Expensive.


City Market. Remember, a cup of soup equals one vegetable salad, two vegetable salads equal one meat salad, a
bowl of soup equals one meat salad plus 50 cents, and sandwiches are only available in the other line..
.There are some confusing features about the cafeteria-style service at this slick city lunch spot, but by the end
of your meal one thing is clear: a better last lunch will be hart) to find. Ordering does involve some executive
decision-making-it’s hard to choose from the wide selection of delicious, imaginative salads (almond chicken with
rice, potatoes in pesto with black olives, marinated beef with peppers), hearty soups, and excellent sandwiches.
This is not the time to skip dessert-in addition to the apricot-raisin bread pudding, on my last visit there was a
glorious hot chocolate puddingcake I thought only my mother could make. 200 LTV Center (Ross at Harwood).
979-2690. Mon-Fri 11:30 am-2 pm, MC, V. Inexpensive.

Crescent Gourmet. The Crescent Gourmet offers some of the best baked goods in town for breakfast. The
croissants, Danishes, and muffins are done right-and on the premises. Any of the aforementioned, along with
fresh-squeezed juice, would start any day right. At lunch, there are plenty of reasonably priced sandwiches and
salads to choose from, including the knockout pizzas served next door at Beau Nash. 400 Crescent Court, Suite
150, Maple at McKinney. 871-3223. Mon-Fri 10 am-3 pm. Closed Sat & Sun. All credit cards. Moderate.

Everyday Gourmet. This is the takeout establishment that I’ve been waiting for-or it would be, if only it
kept later hours. The food is homey in the best sense, but never tastes amateurish. The fare changes, but peerless
meat loaf and chicken salad are two standards, and the prices for this simple perfection are reasonable. 4446
Lovers Lane. 373-0325.
Mon-Fri 8:30 am-7:30 pm. Sat 8:30 am-5:30 pm. Closed Sun. MC. V. Inexpensive to

Pasta Plus. One of Dallas’s first fresh pasta shops is still one of the best, for pasta anyway. Prepared
items-meat lasagna, baked ziti with three cheeses, and chicken cannelloni were our choices-were presented in
Mom-style pyrex casseroles and looked delicious, but suffered in taste and texture when reheated. Salads (green,
marinated vegetable, and pasta) were good, but the pasta outshines the pluses-rotelle, meat-stuffed tortellini and
marinara and piselli (cream with mushrooms and peas) sauces were wonderful in any combination. Homemade Italian
cream cake and rum cake were moist and rich; however, Mrs. Field’s makes better cookies. Be forewarned-Pasta Plus
doesn’t take credit cards, which seems odd: takeout implies convenience, and for me, convenience means plastic.
225 Preston Royal East, 373-3999. 714 Preston Forest, 373-3999. Mon-Fri II am-7 pm. Sat 10 am-6 pm. No credit
cards: checks accepted. Inexpensive.

Tomasso’s. The pasta’s fine at this Italian to-go shop-it’s available in a mind-boggling variety of shapes
and flavors- but the take-out is really tops. Classic dishes like lasagna and cannelloni hold up well after
reheating, and the rotolo, pasta rolled with ricotta. spinach, and mozzarella and topped with your choice of sauce,
makes an impressive first course or, sided with salad and bread, an elegant lunch or supper entree. Even
desserts-such as cappuccino cheesecake-are delicious. There is also a limited selection of Italian essentials-good
quality olive oil, pesto, fresh parmesan. and bread, so (his really is one-stop shopping for the gourmet on the go.
3034 Mockingbird at Central, 987-4415; 5365 Spring Valley at Montfort. 991-4040. N Mon-Fri 11 am-7 pm, Sat 10
am-6 pm, closed Sun at both locations. MC. V. Inexpensive to moderate.


Bangkok Inn. Despite its sign proclaiming “We Expert in Chinese Food,” most patrons think that Bangkok Inn is
expert in Thai food. Both the pad Thai, the great Thai rice-noodle dish, and the moo satay are exceptional here.
Bring your own wine; there’s no corkage fee. 6033 Oram. 821-8979. Mon-Fri 11:30 am-10 pm, Sat 1 pm-11 pm.
Sun. No credit cards. Inexpensive.

Chao Wang. Though there are ethnic restaurants in most pans of Dallas, Thai restaurants are not so common yet
that every neighborhood has one. That’s why Chao Wing seems a place to treasure, though its cooking can’t compete
with the very best Siamese cuisine in the city. The moo satay- curried strips of pork grilled on a skewer-is
especially flavorful here, and the Panang beef has a thick sauce in which lime leaves lurk. Sadly, the lunch buffet
includes only Chinese dishes, which can be avoided on the dinner menu. There is live music on weekend nights.
Keystone Park Shopping Center, Suite 400. 13929 N Central Expwy. 437-3900. Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2:30; dinner Man-Wed
5-10, Thur-Sun 5 pm-2 am. All credit cards. Moderate.


Mai’s. Lunch specials at Mai’s are a great, inexpensive way to be introduced to Vietnamese food, if you
haven’t discovered it. The garlic shrimp or the subtly fiery lemongrass chicken makes for a great lunch, especially
if you follow it with Vietnamese-style iced coffee with condensed milk. (Finish this stuff off, and the paperwork
will be flying from your desk for hours afterward.) You don’t come here for the atmosphere: Mai’s decor is
distinctly utilitarian. 4812 Bryan. Suite 100 (at Fitzhugh). 826-9887. Wed & Thur 11 am-10 pm. Fri & Sat 11-11.
Sun 11 am-10 pm. Closed Mon & Tue. MC. V. Inexpensive.

Saigon. Situated where Yolanda’s used to be on Lowest Greenville. Saigon is definitely the best-looking
Vietnamese restaurant in town. It also promises to be the best Vietnamese restaurant in town, period. Everything ]
tried on three visits was impressive, but the intriguing-sounding shrimp wrapped around sugar cane was particularly
laudable, As usual at Vietnamese restaurants, the beverages of choke are fresh lemonade and/or iced coffee.
1731Green-ville. 828-9795. Tue-Thur 11 am-10 pm, Fri & Sat 11-11. Sun & Mon 5-10. All credit cards.


China Terrace. I like to think that I will forgive almost anything for good food. However, if that were the
case, the well-prepared steamed dumplings. Szechwan beef, and shrimp with snow peas that I tried on my last visit to
China Terrace would have left me happy. Instead, the harshly lit set-ling and the tough-luck attitude of the service
(a request for a beer at 9:55 was refused because the bar was closed) put a significant dent in my sense of
well-being. 5435 N MacAr-thur. Irving. 550-1113. Sun-Thur 11 am-10 pm, Fri & Sat 11-11. MC. V, AE.

Tandoor. Intrigued by the idea of jeera pani, a harmless-sounding aperitif of cumin, mint, and lemon
water on Tan-door’s menu, we practically had to arm-wrestle our waitress to obtain a glass. Three gastronomic tough
guys tasted humiliation as we choked down a sulfurous concoction that could have passed for Trinity River water. Our
waitress whisked away the evidence of our defeat, and we moved on to a superior assortment of appetizers: minced
lamb patties, vegetables fried in chickpea batter, potato/chili patties, turnovers with potatoes and peas, and
cheese fritters stuffed with mint chutney. A tomato and coconut milk soup provided a pleasurable interlude before
our main dishes, which were a relative letdown: tough curried lamb, slightly overcooked tandoori chicken, and dull
cheese and vegetable dumplings. Tandoor’s setting, with dim lighting and blue walls, is plain but pleasant. 532
Fielder North Plaza, south of I-30, Arling
ton. 261-6604. Lunch daily 11:30-2:30; dinner Sun-Thur
5:30-10, Fri & Sat 5.30-10:30. MC, V. AE. Moderate.


Angelo’s. How much of Angelo’s reputation is warranted and how much mere mystique? I found the sliced
barbecue and the chopped beef sandwich both lacking in smoky flavor (though tender and lean enough) the last time
around. The extras here have never been worth hooting about, so that didn’t leave much besides the cold beer to make
the visit memorable. 2533 White Settlement Rd. (817) 332-0357. Matt-Sat 11 am-10 pm. Closed Sun. No credit

Le Chardonnay. Former Ceret chef Philip Lecoq is a co-owner of this new bistro, and its combination of
serious food and an informal atmosphere is reminiscent of that late, lamented establishment. The lamb chops topped
with goat cheese, served with a rosemary sauce and accompanied by herbed French fries, are a standout. 2443
Forest Park Blvd.
Fort Worth. (817) 926-5622. Sun-Thur 11:30 am-9:30 pm, Fri & Sat ll:30 am-10:30 pm.
MC, V; company checks accepted. Moderate.

Reflections. Fort Worth’s most beautiful and most serene dining room is the scene for some of its best food.
The goat-cheese ravioli, served as an appetizer, sat in a creamy sauce and was dotted with caviar. Both the
blackened redfish (ac