Super Bowl bound? Where to eat in Dallas (and beyond)
Whether you're watching the big game from Cowboys Stadium or on a big screen in a hotel bar, Dallas is the place to be this weekend, when an estimated 100,000 fans will descend for the Super Bowl. And the die-hard football fans and the opportunistic sybarites will all have one thing in common — the need for good food.
Here's our quick guide, helpfully divied up for all the places you'll want to be.
It may be further from Cowboys Stadium, but Dallas is stil where it's at. The only problems: avoiding Beltline (a traffic nightmare even on the best of days) and getting a reservation. With some of the best chefs in the Southwest, trust us: it's worth it.
If you love Robert Del Grande's style at RDG, check out the eponymous eatery of his Dallas friend and counterpart, Dean Fearing. Reservations are out, so it's best attempted at off hours or if you don't mind squeezing in to a spot at the bar.
2. Screen Door
Out of the many gushed-about openings in the relatively new One Arts Plaza (including Jorge's and the James Beard-recognized Tei An) our favorite is this paean to modern Southern food, including the best shrimp and grits in town.
If you crave a turn at the original El Fenix, that's perfectly respectable — don't miss the white queso. But for Mexican cuisine that's modern and sexy, head to Trece.
Sorry, Houston, but one area where Dallas might have an edge is authentic old world-style pizza. And the best spot for a thin crust, wood-fired pie is tiny Olivella's, adjacent to SMU.
Nonna is a cozy neighborhood Italian place with a few distinct touches of Texas — it's just that the neighborhood happens to be Highland Park, and the food happens to be amazing.
ESPN made Ft. Worth the base of it's Super Bowl operations because it has one thing Dallas doesn't — a legitimate, walkable downtown area with decent dining and nightlife and some lovely restored buildings. And if you want classic Tex-Mex or barbecue, nothing in Dallas can compete.
Fans of Irma's will feel right at home in this Ft. Worth institution where for years there were only three things to order — fajitas, enchiladas and margaritas. The menu has expanded a little (with appetizers and more lunch options) but there's no reason to stray from the classics here.
Funny how the opposite of something fantastic can still be fantastic. Lanny's is the anti-Joe T's (although since Lanny is Joe's grandson, he probably wouldn't describe it that way), with a menu that spans from the interior of Mexico to the Mediterrenean, elegant and flavorful but never fussy.
No one should venture to Ft. Worth without a taste of cowboy cuisine, and despite a devastating tornado and a habit of chefs leaving to create their own empire, Reata is still the best in town, and beautiful to boot.
If your find yourself downtown and not in the mood for a Billy Miner's burger, Ferre is a more than adequate choice for light, modern Italian dishes.
Angelo's has been the best in town for over 50 years, churning out sausage and brisket recipes that haven't changed since they opened. The forsted mugs of Budweiser don't hurt, either.
If you find yourself near the stadium and want to avoid the chain (and the Jerry Jones prices), we've got a few ideas.
This unassuming burger joint sits in the corner of a strip center, but locals drive for miles for these greasy but delicious burgers.
Dallas isn't known for celebrating it's ethnic cuisine, which is why some of the best in town is at suburban joints like Tandoor, a surprisingly nice place in the middle of an Indian-focused strip center.
The name pretty much says it all — a traditional soul food hole-in-the-wall (yes, the plates and silverware are disposable) with great Cajun classics by Damian himself and some truly amazing corn bread.