Dallas Journals

Dining Dallas

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to Dallas by Ben the Grate

Samba Room Photo, Dallas, Texas More Photos
Quote: Dallas isn't the most diverse city in our great country, but we DO have our fair share of hot dining spots. And here they are, reviewed by a VERY critical local!

Dining Dallas

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Quote:
Dallas is a wealthy city filled with yuppies, so dining frequently means BIG bucks...with a few notable exceptions. We don't have the ethnic diversity of such culinary cities as New York or San Francisco, but what we DO have is creativity!Quick Tips: The problem with Dallas dining is that most of the highly frequented and reviewed restaurants are major national chains. You can eat at Joe's Crab Shack or Pappadeaux or Uncle Julio's in your own town, why would you eat at it in Dallas? A simple glance on Sep. 4, 2002, at all the IgoUgo restaurant reviews for Dallas revealed that nearly HALF of the guide reviews on this site have reviewed major national chains like Red Lobster. ...Read More

Samba Room

Restaurant | "The Samba Room"

Samba Room Photo, Dallas, Texas
Quote:
The Samba Room is a perfect place for a romantic date with adventurous cuisine and charming atmosphere. The menu is authentic Cuban and can accomodate vegetarians. Favorites from the menu- Appetizer: Fried plantain chips with black bean salsa (this is a MUST TRY!) Brazilian fried calamari Jerk chicken (They excel in appetizers so much that I frequently order several appetizers for the entire meal!) Main Courses: Chicken, Sausage, Mussels, and Fish on saffron rice Plantain crusted Mahi Mahi on coconut rice Sauteed shrimp and chicken in coconut broth with toasted cashews Whole Red Snapper, deep frie...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 25, 2002

Samba Room
4514 Travis Street
Dallas, Texas 75205

Al Amir

Restaurant

Quote:
Al Amir is definitely the finest middle eastern dining experience in Dallas (we have too few of this genre anyways). It is a multi-level place with lots of intimate nooks and crannies and sunken dining areas. There is a large bar, and two stages on which belly dancers perform nightly. The menu is mostly Lebanese, but reflects most of the Arabic countries diets. If you're familiar with Arabic cuisine, you won't find anything surprising or inventive on the menu, but you WILL find all your favorites: Hummus, babaganoush, grape leaves, kabis, falafel, tabouli, kabob, and lots of poultry, lamb, and goat. The emphasis here is not on the cuising as much as it is the dining experi...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 25, 2002

Al Amir
7402 Greenville Ave
Dallas, Texas 75231
+1 214 739 2647

Joe T. Garcia's Mexican Restaurant

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Joe T Garcias"

Quote:
This restaurant DOES NOT ACCEPT CREDIT CARDS! Joe T's is a tradition in the Dallas area, but it's in Fort Worth, which usually means a 45 minute drive. Located just north of the downtown Ft. Worth area in the famous "Stockyards" historic district, this labrynthine restaurant is a MUST VISIT for families, and anyone who enjoys Mexican food. The first thing you have to know about Joe T's is that there are only two things on the menu...fajitas or enchiladas. While that upsets many of my open-minded friends, the benefit is that this restaurant has quite simply PERFECTED these two dishes. Fajitas are served plentifully (either chicken or beef, or both) along with guacam...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 26, 2002

Joe T. Garcia's Mexican Restaurant
2201 North Commerce Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76106
(817) 626-4356

The Mansion on Turtle Creek

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
The Mansion is the grandfather of all Dallas restaurants, and it is consistently ranked one of the finest restaraunts in the WORLD by Conde Nast. Other guides favorably place the restaurants signature chef, Dean Fearing, among the culinary powerhouses in the U.S. Despite all the hooplah, the Mansion on Turtle Creek would be a fantastic restaurant if it were priced about half of what it is. The menu is inventive and delicious, but the restaurant is simply not deserving of all the praise. Nevertheless, the rich and famous still come (the price keeps away the trash, which is the one good thing about it, I suppose). The menu is inventive southwestern, like lobster tacos, peach ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 26, 2002

The Mansion on Turtle Creek
2821 Turtle Creek Boulevard
Dallas, Texas 75219
(214) 559-2100

Monica's Aca y Alla

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Monica's Aca Y Alla (that's pronounced "A-ka ee A-yah" but everyone just calls it "Monica's") is a VERY unique restaurant that is deservedly one of my favorites. It excels in virutally every area that a critic could choose to review. Monica's was started by a post operative transsexual from Mexico City in the early 90s. She proudly claims, "I may not be beautiful, I may sound like Ricky Ricardo on the phone, but I SURE CAN COOK!" And that's no lie! Monica serves up traditional Mexican soul food (none of that TexMex crap) with inventive fusions of Asian and Italian. Menu favorites include the Pumpkin Ravioli with Chili Sauce, the Lime Chicken Soup with avocado, the Mexican ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 25, 2002

Monica's Aca y Alla
2914 Main St
Dallas, Texas 75226
+1 214 748 7140

Kathleen's Art Cafe

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Kathleen's is a rarity in Dallas, belonging more in a funky neighborhood in Seattle or Vancouver than in Cow Town. The food is creative, succulent, and flavorful, and it is served in a unique atmosphere of bare brick walls hung with local art (available for sale should you have a fat pocketbook!). The restaurant only has about 20 tables, so the atmosphere is very intimate. Candlelight reflects off the tin-topped tables as you sip your cocktail, or the excellent house iced tea with mint sprigs. The menu is diverse, from lamb medallions to wild mushroom pizza to sesame-crusted cathfish to penne with sausage, prosciutto, and goat cheese. I have yet to sample a menu item that wasn't fla...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 4, 2002

Kathleen's Art Cafe
4424 Lovers Lane
Dallas, Texas 75225
+1 214 691 2355

Caribbean Grill

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
This cavernous restaurant in North Dallas is home to the BEST Caribbean food in Texas! This combination of party nightspot and restaurant can make for an exciting evening any night of the week, particularly on weekends. The menu is traditional Jamaican with no creativity or deviation. Conch fritters, jerk chicken, ackee and saltfish... It's all there! Prepared, no doubt, by a thickly-accented Rastafarian matron from the island itself. The restaurant has a full bar, but do yourself a favor and have a glass of their homemade ginger beer before getting a cocktail. Make sure you have a glass of water next to your plate!!! If the jerk spice doesn't get you, the ginger beer wi...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 4, 2002

Caribbean Grill
3068 Forest Lane
Dallas, Texas 75229
972 241 9113

Margarita Ranch

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
The Margarita Ranch is the newest addition to the fantastic Mockingbird Station, a collection of restaurants, shops, and galleries surrounding the Anjelika Film Center which showcases obscure art films in its many small theaters. The restaurant is typical chic uppity Dallas! The decor is cold and sharp and efficient, with muted colored lights illuminating bare pastel-colored walls. For lunch it is filled with suit-and-tied business men munching on nachos while they drive the Dallas financial world. In the evenings, it is filled with tall, slender yuppies clad in black with oversized black glasses sipping margaritas out of martini glasses and making small talk about the new art opening at the ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 4, 2002

Margarita Ranch
5321 East Mockingbird Lane
Dallas, Texas 75206
(214) 824-3573

Main Street Cafe

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Main Street Cafe and Bread Baking Co"

Main Street Cafe Photo, Dallas, Texas
Quote:
Main Street Bread Baking Company is one of the true undiscovered GEMS of the DFW Metroplex. Tucked away in the charming community of Grapevine, located near the north entry of DFW airport, this divine cultural corner whisks you away from the raw heat of Texas into a refined reminiscence of Paris. The Baking Company opened in October of 2000 in the heart of charming Grapevine, lined with early 20th century facades now filled with charming shops and wine dealers. The brainchild of French chefs Fabien Gourg and Yasmine Bohsali, the cafe serves breakfast and lunch in true French style, along with a host of fresh breads and pastries. Sandwiches are served for lunch and early dinner. The...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 10, 2002

Main Street Cafe
316 South Main Street
Dallas, Texas 76051
(817) 424-4333

Nikita

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Nikita is a brand new spot in the ultra-chic Westlake Village housing/dining/shopping complex between Highland Park and Uptown, the two most expensive and stylish neighborhoods in the city. Nikita is a combination restaurant/Russian vodka bar. Upstairs is the fine dining area, which is intimate, with perhaps 12 tables. The menu shows a heavy Russian influences, but is definitely a higher level of cuisine than one usually identifies with Russian food. White tuna carpaccio with truffle oil and a green seaweed salad is a fine example ($12). The sweet potato dumplings, which can be ordered as an appetizer but also come with several main courses, are delightful. They also serve a mean cast-ir...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 5, 2003

Nikita
3699 McKinney Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75204
(214) 520-6454

Tom Tom

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Tom Tom is located in the ultra-chic Westlake Village development on the border of Highland Park and Uptown. Weekend nights find the whole development PACKED with the Prada-flaunting upper-middle-class 20s set, dining on ruinously expensive food, shopping for ridiculously overpriced clothing, and sipping cocktails so expensive you have to take out a loan to take your boyfriend on a date. Parking can be a Herculean task, as well. HOWEVER, amid this chaotic jungle of over-indulgence, there is a remarkeably cheap, remarkeably good Thai/Vietnamese noodle house! The decor is delightfully southeast Asian, with heavy influences of bamboo, and rocks in the bathroom sinks. The restaurant is small, w...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 5, 2003

Tom Tom
3699 McKinney Avenue
Dallas, Texas
(214) 522-1694

Cuba Libre

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Cuba Libre Photo, Dallas, Texas
Quote:
Cuba Libre is a welcome addition to the trendy (and expensive!) Knox-Henderson area just north of downtown Dallas. It helps fill a defecit in the amount of good, authentic Caribbean food in the DFW metroplex. From the whimsical architecture and colors of the exterior to the dark and stylish interior, Cuba Libre proves itself to be a visual feast before you even taste the food. The atmosphere is friendly and loud. There is a small dining area downstairs (MAYBE 20 tables), but don't let the small size fool you. This place is NOT the place for an intimate date -- it gets downright RAUCOUS on weekends. This is a place to come with friends. The bar upstairs serves divine mojitos (min...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 4, 2003

Cuba Libre
2822 North Henderson
Dallas, Texas 75206
+1 214 827 2820

Piranha: Killer Sushi

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
The fact that Piranha's menu consists of traditionally higher-priced items like sushi and is very stylish and chic, yet sits in a strip mall in an unstylish lower-middle-class corner of Arlington, and is STILL in business after two years is a tribute to how fantastic this restaurant truly is. If you dropped this place into a more stylish neighborhood in Dallas, you'd never be able to get in the door. Which is lucky for those of us who live nearby! Piranha: Killer Sushi is as unique and funky as its name. It sits in a rather dull strip mall at the northwest corner of Green Oaks and Collins, but the instant you walk through the doors you realize that you have entered a restaurant that ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 7, 2003

Piranha: Killer Sushi
851 North East Green Oaks Boulevard
Dallas, Texas 76006
(817) 261-1636