The amount of excellent food available in Dallas is dizzying, yet mediocre meals somehow keep worming their way into our lives. With your Eater Dallas editor dining out frequently, that means coming across lots of standout dishes and drinks that need to be shared.
Pappa’s Delta Blues Smokehouse
At one decadent lunch in Plano, we ordered the Family Table, which comes with a meat board of prime brisket, pork ribs, smoked chicken, smoked turkey, pulled pork, and house-made jalapeno cheddar sausage. Plus two sides. And there were appetizers. The standout items were the brisket, with that melt-in-your-mouth taste one wants in barbecue, and the pork ribs, with their perfect crust.
Eater’s Restaurant of the Year for 2021 is ready for a revisit. It has added a happy hour menu, served Monday through Thursday from 4:30 to 6 p.m., on which the most expensive thing is its Meridian X-Tudo Burger at $17. It is worth every penny. Two smashed patties are served on a Sourdough potato roll, and inside is a shallot jam with Gruyère cheese plus a maitake mushroom aioli, creating the taste of onion soup on a burger. I got it with the $9 happy hour martini — opted for gin — but it would also be well matched with a caipirinha or Old Fashioned.
There’s a brand new brunch menu at this East Dallas eatery, and yes, it is worth a try. The duck egg hash, made with sweet potato, bacon, roasted duck, red onion, Brussels sprout, poached duck egg, and blackened hollandaise, is a symphony of traditional fall flavors that will leave you feeling just healthy enough to order that second mimosa.
Don Artemio Restaurant
This Mexican restaurant in Fort Worth has been winning raves. After finally trying it (and most of the appetizer menu), here are my recommendations: order the Nopalitos Fritos, a fried cactus served with bits of bacon and eaten in a corn tortilla like a taco. Also impressive were the creamy fresh guacamole, the ceviche made with salmon and white fish, and the Tacos de Lengua, made with beef tongue braised overnight.
Peanut Butter Paradise at the State Fair of Texas
Despite eating one when we shot our guide to the new foods at the State Fair, a second Peanut Butter Paradise was a must when we went back for a fair visit. The delicious combination of honey bun, caramel, and peanut butter was too amazing to resist. Sadly, we’ll all have to wait until next year to eat it again.