The Best New Restaurants in Dallas 2012

Which new kitchens were the cream of this year's crop?

NICK BADOVINUS photography by Kevin Marple


Nick Badovinus continues to create food that makes me hungry. His creations are clever but not tricky. The menu at his other restaurant, Neighborhood Services, is straightforward. When you read the descriptions, you understand the ingredients and preparations. The trouble comes when you have to decide between a pan-roasted halibut or hand-made pappardelle covered with Bolognese sauce. The decision-making at Off-Site Kitchen is even more difficult. Badovinus has crafted an inspired list of lunch options that all sound delicious.

Arrive before noon and see how difficult it is to choose between the sloppy taco, a hard shell filled with a marvelous mess of meat steeped in barbecue sauce, salsa, and ranch dressing, or a sandwich piled high with tender ham, roasted pork, hot Swiss, and jalapeño and bacon relish, topped with cabbage slaw tossed with Thousand Island dressing.

At Off-Site Kitchen, Badovinus has elevated the wet sandwich to an art form. Such as: the 48-Hour Cracked Pepper Brisket sandwich filled with tender beef cooked for 48 hours before it is placed on a long roll slathered with mayonnaise, spiked with cherry peppers, and smothered with caramelized onions and melted Swiss cheese.

Go to Off-Site Kitchen if you suffer from burger fatigue. The sandwiches, burritos, and tacos will give you relief. But hopefully you won’t spy somebody biting into one of Badovinus’ Do It Murph-Style burgers. It’s a quarter pound of freshly ground Angus chuck filled with chopped onions, slapped on a griddle, and slathered with hot pepper bacon relish and American cheese. Just the sight of it will make your mouth water.

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