A server in a black tuxedo vest and bow tie ignited a flame and dramatically ran it around a cinnamon-rimmed cocktail glass before setting it down. The drink—a Cafe Pierre, an after-dinner cocktail made with brandy, amaretto, coffee, Kahlúa, and a dash of Bacardi 151 (fuel for the flames), all topped with homemade whipped cream—pays homage to the elegant era of flaming baked Alaskas and tableside Caesar salads. It’s not just the drinks menu. There are nods to history and custom all over this Dallas institution, in business since 1977. Start with a bowl of the caldo xochitl, a traditional Mexican soup made with chicken consommé, onions, cilantro, serrano peppers, and large pieces of tender chicken. If you’re looking to keep the meal modest, order a plate of the combo nachos. The generous mounds of tenderloin beef, smoked chicken, refried beans, sour cream, and jalapeño peppers are smoky and substantial enough to be a meal. For the complete over-the-top experience, go for the filete cantinflas. A thin filet of beef tenderloin is filled with seasoned butter and Chihuahua cheese, covered with a chile mulatto sauce, and topped off with a slice of avocado. Skip the broiled chicken in sugary-sweet mole sauce unless you like your mole to taste like dessert. You have the Cafe Pierre for that.
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